Evansville can wait ... but the 2009 season can't

Evansville's and Madison's race weekends have run back-to-back for so long, it was almost like the two Ohio River courses were meant for each other. Like peanut butter and jelly, death and taxes, or Laurel and Hardy.But Evansville's decision not to stage an Unlimited race this past weekend disrupted the harmony that has marked the beginning of the season since 2000 and left fans and competitors alike searching high and low for something to do.

Evansville can wait ... but the 2009 season can't >>

Miss Chrysler Jeep Superstores unlimited hydroplane U-3 will return to the water

Miss Chrysler Jeep Superstores unlimited hydroplane U-3 will return to the water during the 2009 Chrysler Jeep Superstores Detroit APBA Gold Cup races July 10-12 on the Detroit River. It will be driven by Memphis, Mich. (near Port Huron) favorite Jimmy King, originally from New Baltimore.

Miss Chrysler Jeep Unlimited Hydro U-3 to be Driven by Southeast Michigan Resident Jimmy King >>

New Starting Rules

“I understand why they did the new start," said U-1 driver Steve David. "We’ll adjust to it just fine.” Being an "old boat racer," David said, we'd just as soon go out there and bump around and drive, but "whatever they throw at you, we’ll take it and make it work.”


Jeff Bernard, Steve David on competition, health of the sport

"Last year, it was a dream come true," said U-5 driver Jeff Bernard. "Going to Madison as defending winner… that place will mean something to me the rest of my life. I’ll never forget."

It will be tougher. J. Michael Kelly moving into the U-7 and defending U-1 champion Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison and Steve David. Not to mentionDave Villwock returning to the full circuit in the U-16.

“Some of the other teams may not have the depth of equipment of (U-16) Elam, but we can overcome a lot," said U-1 driver Steve David. “They (U-16) can go out knowing the lane they want to start in and can set up that way,” said Bernard.

"The competition's never been better," said David. "Now you're talking 7 boats deep (with a chance to win)."

"Going to different countries is cool," said Bernard. "Hopefully, the exhibition in Kelowna (British Columbia) will be a race (in the future).

Plan of attack for debris in Madison

Indiana Department of Natural Resources will have two boats upstream to try to trap debris before it gets onto the course at Madison this year. In past years, debris has caused major damage to boats.

PHOTO: Craig Barney, 2008 Madison

11 boats confirmed for Madison

11 boats confirmed. See list here >>

Quick Editorial Note...

What Ken Muscatel and the group putting together the Thunder on the Ohio event for Evansville have done - in a very short amount of time - is nothing less than spectacular.

This race site could have been gone forever. Now, not only will the Unlimited Hydroplanes continue to race there... and keep the tradition alive... but Evansville has a new, major league event in town.

It's not just hydros... it's a world class Rib fest... it's a classic car show... and now... it's a major concert venue! Each one of the events is worthy of its own promotion, but you can go to all of them in one amazing weekend, for one price!

Congrats to everyone involved.

New ABRA logo?

Thunder on the Ohio Announces major entertainment lineup for Hydro Racing event

Entertainment lineup added to the Evansville Thunder on the Ohio event.

Fri., 8/21 - Marshall Tucker Band
Sat., 8/22 - Travis Tritt with Special Guest Jack Ingram

Admission gets you into Rib America, Hydro Races, Classic Car Show and concerts...!

Tri-Cities Water Follies 2009 Poster unveiled

Play the free, on-line fantasy hydro games before the season starts!

Deck2Deck combines the thrill of unlimited hydroplane racing and the excitement of online fantasy sports. You already follow the American Boat Racing Association series... why not join in the competition?

LINK: Deck2Deck >>

Seafair Programs - hot off the press!

Steve David on the radio Sunday @ 8:05PM ET

Steve David, driver of the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto unlimited hydroplane will be the guest of Seg Dennison and his motorspots hosted hy WLW-700.

The K.O.I. Auto Parts Racing Report show with Steve David will air on the Cincinnati radio station and can be heard on-line at www.700WLW.com on Sunday June 28, at 8:05p EDT.

Hacker Boat Company, Hydro Builder honored with a stamp

1939 Hacker Craft Commemorative Stamp

Hacker Boat Company was formed in Detroit in 1920 but soon moved to Mt. Clemens. The company grew rapidly by building extremely fast runabouts, and it added more factory space in the late 1920s. At the same time, Hacker was designing cruisers to be built by other firms. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, his Gold Cup race boats My Sweetie and Miss Pepsi - both built by Les Staudacher of Kawkawlin - raced against the new three-point hydroplanes. However, the era of the conventional hydroplane was on the wane.

Building Better Boats >>

VIDEO: Science Channel report on Miss Bud, Unlimiteds

The first minutes of the report are about stunt jet skis, followed by Hydros...

Miss Chrysler-Jeep Unlimited Hydro on display in Flint, MI

An exhibit of racing boats will include Miss America X, a boat with four Packard engines, built by Gar Woods and winner of a 1932 race on the Detroit River; and the Miss Chrysler-Jeep unlimited hydroplane.

Flint's Sloan Auto Fair revs up for hot rodders and antique car buffs alike >>

SPONSOR ALERT: Mechanix Wear joins ABRA as Associate Sponsor

ABRA Chairman Sam Cole announced today that Valencia, California based Mechanix Wear has signed on as an associate sponsor of the 2009 ABRA racing season, and will receive “Official Product Status” from the series.

“Mechanix Wear is an outstanding brand, highly respected by America’s work force and especially the racing industry, and a company we are very proud to have associated with the American Boat Racing Association,” said Cole.

Mechanix Wear Gloves became a major part of the American racing landscape when their gloves were used by pit crews at the 1992 Daytona 500. Since then, the company has developed a complete line of quality racing equipment, gloves and shoes, as well as specialized gloves and equipment for construction, industrial, gardening, tactical and other automotive uses.

Mechanix Wear Director of Racing Ted Abdon said, “Mechanix Wear is very excited to be a part of the ABRA series and we look forward to working with this exciting and unique form of motorsport. We are confident that we will receive valuable input from the teams and series officials about our products and will use that information to keep Mechanix Wear the Number 1 glove in all aspects of racing.

As part of the associate sponsorship, Mechanix Wear will provide each team with gloves and other merchandise. Gloves will also be provided to all ABRA staff and Kevlar gloves and heat sleeves will be provided to the ABRA Safety Crew.

The 2009 “Mechanix Wear Crew Chief of the Year” will be awarded a trophy and a product certificate for additional Mechanix Wear merchandise. Information on Mechanix Wear products can be found at http://www.mechanix.com/


Kelowna Hydrofest Update

If you haven't checked out the Kelowna Hydrofest website, it's worth a look... including some nice desktop wallpaper. Kelowna Hydrofest >>

There's also a hydro hauler and hydro with the Kelowna Hydrofest logo that's making the rounds in Canada to promote the event. Great idea! Read more >>

ABRA News, U-7, U-3, and U-100 Updates

Various news items from ABRAHydroplanes.com...

  • Mike Denslow has been named to the ABRA board of directors. Mike is from Tri-Cities, WA and current President of the Water Follies
  • SPONSOR ALERT: Graham Trucking will be the season sponsor for the U-7 with J. Michael Kelly
  • SPONSOR ALERT: Chrysler-Jeep will again sponsor Ed Cooper's U-3 with Jimmy King for Madison and Detroit.
  • The U-100 has a new paint job for 2009. See it here >>

VIDEO: Brockville GP Finals

Grand Prix Hydroplane Final Brockville 2009 from Michael L Pakradooni on Vimeo.

LINK: Click to view videos of Heats and Finals for 1.5-litre, 2.5 litre, 5-litres and GPs >>

VIDEO: Syracuse Hydrofest Finals

Grand Prix Hydroplane Final Syracuse 2009 from Michael L Pakradooni on Vimeo.

LINK: Click to view video of: GP Heats 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B 5-litre final, 1.5-litre final >>

VIDEO: Capsule Training

This is Bud McKay, driver of the West Sound Electric Presents GEICO of Lakewood hydroplane, going through his required capsule training for the start of the 2009 season.

VIDEO: U-5, U-7 testing in Columbus, OH

Video includes interview with J. Michael Kelly

VIDEO: Better viewpoint on Jimmy Shane/Pierre Maheu crash

SOURCE: HydroplanesQuebec.com
LINK: Syracuse info >>

VIDEO: Hydrofest wraps up on Onondaga Lake

Hydrofest wraps up on Onondaga Lake. More than 60 professional racers showed up for this year's festival, representing states from across the country and Canada.

NOTE: It's a pretty short clip on the local news and it's slow loading...

MORE PHOTOS: U-5, U-7 testing in Columbus

PHOTOS: James Crisp

MORE PHOTOS: U-5, U-7 testing in Columbus

PHOTOS: James Crisp

PHOTOS: U-5, U-7 testing in Columbus

PHOTOS: James Crisp

More Photos >>

Even More Photos >>

VIDEO: GP-17 and GP-19 collide

Video of the collision between the GP-17 Shockwave racing and the GP-19. Ryan Mallow catches the roostertail of Greg Hopp and hooks in front of Dustin Echols, who has no place to go but over the top of Ryan. Thankfully both drivers walked away.

VIDEO SLIDESHOW: James Crisp tribute to Terry Troxell, shown at the HARM memorial

Note from James Crisp: Also important to note that while I put it together with some of my images, many people contributed photos. Among those were Chris Denslow, Phil Kunz, Jim Simpson and several others. It was done at the request of Jeff Bernard who helped greatly during a trying time for him and his family. Thanks to ALL who helped. Rest in peace Terry.

Complete team updates


U-1, as the other boats, spent the off-season tweaking equipment and settings to run at the lower 4.1 gpm max fuel flow. Yes, Steve David is back to defend his title. U-1 boat photo tour >>


U-3 team has what they describe as three "virtually new" engines to start the season. Competing with the turbines running at a lower fuel flow, Jimmy King and the U-3 should be better able to keep up speed without burning through engines as quickly. U-3 boat photo tour >>

U-5 / U-7

Jeff Bernard returns in the U-5. The boat has a Terry Troxell sticker on the side for 2009. J. Michael Kelly takes over driving duties for the U-7 in 2009. U-5/U-7 photo boat tour >>


U-10 is not planning to run in 2009 as of right now.


U-13 is not planning to run at this time, although Detroit may be a possibility. If it does run, the U-13 team will need a new crew chief and driver as J. Michael Kelly will be driving the U-7 this year, replacing Mike Allen, and U-13 crew chief Curt Tavener, who is crewing the U-100 this season.


Erick Ellstrom's U-16 team plans to run the entire season with driver Dave Villwock behind-the-wheel. U-16 photo boat tour >>


U-17 will also run the entire season with driver Kip Brown, last year's rookie-of-the-year. The team reports much better performance in testing. U-17 photo boat tour >>


Mike Webster will make his unlimited hydroplane debut in the U-22, a re-built piston boat now running with a turbine engine. The boat will debut in Madison. U-22 photo boat tour >>


Ken Muscatel's re-built U-25 won't be ready for Madison and may not be ready to hit the water before Tri-Cities. For the first few races, he'll be sitting in a rented hydro, most likely the boat Fred Leland ran last year as the U-100. U-25 photo boat tour >>


U-37 has a new paint scheme. It's still yellow, but minus the checkerboard design. Jean Theoret returns as driver. John Rice will be the U-7 crew chief for this season. U-37 photo boat tour >>


Last year, he drove the U-50. But this season, Brian Perkins will drive the U-48, Greg O'Farrell's other boat. It appears the team will only run one boat this season. U-48 photo boat tour >>


U-100 Leland's team has spent the off-season retooling the 1999 hull, which the U-100 team will run in 2009. Jim Harvey will crew the U-100.

PHOTOS: U-5. U-7 testing

With Jeff Bernard out attending the memorial for Terry Troxell, J. Michael Kelly got some seat time in both the U-5 and U-7. Kelly will be driving the U-7 this season.


More photos of GP crash in Syracuse ~ great sequence captured


PHOTOS: F. Peirce Williams

VIDEO: GP Heat 1A, Syracuse

Grand Prix Hydroplane Heat 1A Syracuse 2009 from Michael L Pakradooni on Vimeo.

UPDATE: Jimmy Shane released from hospital after crash

James Shane was released from University Hospital this morning, a day after being involved in a high speed crash near Willow Bay. The other man who was hurt, Pierre Maheu, remains in the hospital in fair condition. Maheu was trapped in the cockpit of his boat before rescue workers could free him from the wreckage.

Hydrofest driver released from the hospital >>

VIDEO: Jimmy Shane and Pierre Maheu crash in Syracuse

Jimmy Shane (GP-7) crashed into Pierre Maheu (GP-46) who was dead in the water on the front straight away. Both drivers were taken to the hospital but were reported to be okay.

Grand Prix Hydroplane Heat 1B Syracuse 2009 from Michael L Pakradooni on Vimeo.

Hydroplane boats crash at Onondaga Lake Hydrofest

A hydroplane boat crash at the Hydrofest race on Onondaga Lake Saturday injured two boat drivers. Hydroplane driver Jimmy Shane, of Havre de Grace, Md., was rounding the second turn of the mile and a quarter course at about 100 to 130 mph when his boat ran into another operated by Pierre Maheu, of Canada, that was dead in the water.

Driver injured >>

Syracuse Hydrofest

Jack Lowe and his video camera are at the Syracuse Hydrofest this weekend webcasting the event. Check out his Ustream page here:

Syracuse Hydrofest Webcast

Jeff Bernard to take over NM-33 driving duties for Terry Troxell

The NM 33 will race the boat for the 2009 season with "Troxzilla" remaining on the cockpit lid in honor of Terry Troxell. The teams original goal to go after the National High Point Championship is what what we still plan to do. In addition to running the Western and Eastern Divisionals and the rest of the region 10 races we have decided to take the package to Hampton for the Summer Nationals as well. Terry really wanted to go to Hampton this year but we had not planned on it until now.

Pole Positions Fridays

The American Boat Racing Association is implementing a plan that will determine the top qualifier during a two-hour window on the opening day of this year's Madison Regatta.Dubbed "Pole Position Friday," the plan calls for all boats to take to the water for qualifying attempts similar to qualifying at the Indianapolis 500.On Wednesday, the Regatta got the OK from the ABRA to put the plan into action, less than three days after it was put forth to the race sites.

'Pole Position Friday' - Regatta adopts new plan for Indy style qualifying >>

Terry Troxell memorial at HARM on Saturday

There will be a Memorial for Terry Troxell Saturday at 1:30pm

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum
5917 S. 196 St
Kent, WA 98032

Please come to the memorial to visit and celebrate the life of a great man. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Make a Wish Foundation or the Hydroplane & Raceboat Musem in remembrance of Terry Troxell.

Dave Bartush on Terry Troxell

The entire U-13 team is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of our 2005 Gold Cup Champion driver Terry Troxell. His untimely death is especially devastating to me personally. Terry accomplished in our first unlimited race what many unlimited owners may never accomplish in a live time. For this I am eternally grateful and proud to know that Terry and I will forever have our names linked together on the prestigious APBA Gold Cup. Not only was he a great driver but he was also a great friend. My deepest sympathy and that of the entire U-13 team go out to his wife Sue and the entire Troxell family for their loss.

-David Bartush on the U-13 website. LINK >>

Freedom Festival minus the hydros

Not to get too analytical, but some of us who monitor such things will be watching this week to see whether Tri-Staters are ready for a new and different Freedom Festival. We will be curious as to whether folks are ready for a four-day riverfront event geared more along the lines of the popular West Side Nut Club Fall Festival than the old Downtown festival that grew from the Press Club bierstube to a major unlimited hydroplane event and now to a new format.

Freedom Festival >>

Memorial Information for Terry Troxell

The following is a schedule of events for Terry Troxell's Memorial this weekend. All are welcome.

Friday June 19, 6:00 PM- 9:00 PM

Viewing at Haven of Rest Cemetery 8503 Highway 16, Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Saturday, June 20 1:30 PM

Terry's Memorial at The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum 5917 S. 196 ,St Kent, WA 98032.

Please come to the memorial to visit and celebrate the life of a great man. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Make a Wish Foundation in remembrance of Terry Troxell.

U-787 scheduled for Tri-Cities appearance

The Boeing-sponsored, bio-fuel Unlimited Hydroplane is scheduled to be in Tri-Cities, Washington Water Follies weekend to make an appearance along with Chip Hanauer. The plan is for the hydro to be there Thursday and Friday, before heading back to Seattle to take part in the Seafair parade.

Mini-Wooden Hydroplane Building Workshop

Do you remember the days of building a wooden hydroplane to pull behind your bike? In honor of every Seattleite who has this memory, Seafair is partnering with McLendon Hardware to re-energize this longstanding tradition.

Mini-Wooden Hydroplane Building Workshop >>

VIDEO: Miss Bud 1996 driven by Chip Hanauer

Curt Tavener joins U-100 team as Crew Chief

Curt Tavener, who served as crew chief for the U-13 Spirit of Detroit team for the past several seasons, will serve in the same capacity for the U-100 team along with his brother, Barney.The Taverners have completely refurbished Leland's 1999 hull, which the team will campaign in 2009. The hull does not have the full front canard wing, standard on all current Unlimiteds, but the Leland hull that does have a full canard has linkage problems with the wing that cannot be corrected at this time.


PHOTO: Terry Troxell remembered

Many of us remember the lighter side of Terry, including this candid photo from Patrick Gleason.

More Terry Troxell Photos

PHOTOS: Jim Simpson

Terry Troxell Photos

PHOTO: James Crisp

Jim Harvey joins U-100 team

Long time Unlimited crewman, crew chief and onwer Jim Harvey has joined Fred Leland's team in a management capacity, and will oversee the U-100's 2009 Campaign.

Harvey Joins Leland Unlimited >>

ON-BOARD VIDEO: A-24 2.5 litre

Jarvis Racing Team A-24 2.5 liter modified hydroplane. Racing at the Issaquah, WA "Tastin' and Racing" Event June 6-7, 2009.

VIDEOS: Walled Lake

View about a dozen more videos from Walled Lake >>

Race boat builer Dave LeClercq passes away

Dave LeClercq transformed a childhood fascination with boats into a decades-long run as the most productive boat builder for the Alaska fishing fleet. He died June 6 on Mercer Island. He was 93.As a boy growing up in Alki, Mr. LeClercq joined with childhood friends Chuck Hickling and Ted Jones — both later legends of the hydroplane circuit — to build racing boats.

Boat builder Dave LeClercq helped launch Alaska's fishing fleet >>

Terry Troxell passes away

Story from Terry's son-in-law Kip Brown >>



If you have pictures you'd like to add to the tribute, please email me and I will post them. Thanks.

VIDEO, PHOTOS: Cruisin for Hope raises money for ill kids, features Hopp Racing team

Hopp Racing - 2009 Cruisin for Hope and Hydros on the Bay - Milwaukie, OR June 13-14

Watch Video >>

PHOTOS: News conference featuring Hopp Racing >>

June 13
8am - Car show entry open.10am - Show begins
11am -6pm - boat racing at the Jefferson St. Ramp, including live music, beverage garden, and BBQ
12 Noon - Car entry is closed - Beverage Gardens and live music begins until 10pm at the American Legion Celebration Village 2146 SE Monroe
4pm - Awards ceremony - Car show hosted by Police Chief Jordan and Damon Coates
4:30pm - Cruise on Out of Here Parade - cars

June 14
11am -6pm boat racing at the Jefferson St. Ramp, including live music, beverage garden, and BBQ

Radio hydro show on WORX June 14th

HYDRO SHOW ~ Sunday June 14th...4:05pm
In-Studio Guest will be ABRA Unlimited Historian Fred Farley, PA Announcer Jeff Ayler, Madison Courier Sports Writer David Campbell. On the phone will be U-1 Driver Steve David, U-22 Driver Mike Webster and Steve Montgomery

LINK: http://worxradio.com/index.html >>

VIDEO: U-17 Our Gang Racing

PHOTOS: U-3 shop tour

Photos by Kirk Duncan >>

Jim Simpson's ABRA pre-season boat shop tour

Direct links to Jim Simpson's ABRA pre-season boat shop tour on the ABRA website...

U-1 Tour
U-5 & 7 Tour
U-16 Tour
U-17 Tour
U-22 Tour
U-25 Tour
U-37 Tour
U-48 Tour

Official Results from Tastin n Racing 2009

Here are the results from 2009 Tastin and Racin:

Pro Stock:

1. Dave Rankin

2. Levi Weber

3. Ryan Butler

Super Stock:

1. Dave Rankin

2. Sid Rennels

3. Levi Weber

One Liter:

1. Perkins Glass

2. Robby Dahlquist

3. Bianca Bonacinni

2.5 Mod:

1. Rob Hall

2. Gerry Jarvis

3. Shawn Warren

2.5 Stock:

1. Scott Meyers

2. Joe Gutierez

3. Austin Eacret

5 Liter:

1. Justin Weymouth

2. Wally Johnston

3. Barry Eacret

National Mod:

1. Rod Bourke

2. Mack Elliott

3. Rob Hall

Grand Prix:

1. Hopp Racing

2. Rick Bridgeman

3. Tom Eckenberg

Debbie Myre, Chief Scorer
Tastin and Racin 2009

ON-BOARD VIDEO: S-81 Meyers Auto Tech at Tastin n Racin

SLIDESHOW: Tastin n Racing U17/U19 damage

View slideshow [ Julie Sparrowgrove ] >>

SLIDESHOW: Tastin N Racin [ Julie Sparrowgrove ]

View Julie's slideshow >>

New U-25 Superior Racing website

For 2009 the U-25 is getting a total facelift by master boat builder Ron Jones, Jr., with the expectation of being one of the top boats this year. For all intents and purposes, it is a brand new, “state-of-the-art” racer.

New website for Ken Muscatel and the U-25 team >>

VIDEO: 360 in San Diego in 2003 >>

PHOTO: U-25 getting ready for the 2009 season, from the U-25 website.

Nice job Heather on the re-design!

Kayleigh Perkins rides (and drives) Miss Thriftway

From Chris Denslow: Larry Fuller of Vashon Unlimiteds gives Kayleigh Perkins a ride in the Miss Thriftway. Kayleigh even got to take a turn driving the boat during the run.
Chris sent 16 photos, which I put into a slideshow at HydroInsider.com.

SLIDESHOW: Tastin N Racing 2009

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Tastin N Racing 2009

VIDEO: U-17 exhibition 2009

Nice editing job on the video of the U-17 test run at Tastin n Racin this past weekend is posted on the Our Gang Racing website.

Watch video >>

VIDEO: GP and Unlimited Light hydros at Tastin n Racin

Grand Prix and Unlimited Light hydroplane racing. Tastin 'n' Racin June 7, 2009, Lake Sammamish, Washington.

VIDEO: Vintage Hydros at Tastin N Racin

The Miss Thriftway (Replica) and Oh Boy! Oberto (1961) vintage unlimited hydroplanes racing. These big boats are powered by Rolls-Royce V12 World War II era aircraft engines. Tastin 'n' Racin June 7, 2009, Lake Sammamish, Washington.

VIDEOS: Brockville Hydro Coverage [ Jack Lowe ]

Jack now has video posted from:

  • 1.5 litre finals
  • 2.5 litre finals
  • 5 litre finals
  • GP: Heats 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B
  • GP Finals

View Jack's website >>

Go3 Racing Website Updated

We've posted new material this morning to Go3Racing.com. Check it out. On your visit to the site, sign up for our newsletter. We'll notify you immediately when we update the site with news of the Go3 Racing Team and when news breaks on the ABRA tour. The best thing it is Free!

Click here to visit Go3Racing.com

Brockville/Long Sault Results, Photos, Video

VIDEO: GP Heat 1B >>

[ PDF File ]


MORE PHOTOS: GP-17 and GP-19 suffer damage

PHOTOS: Lon Erickson

PHOTOS: GP-17 and GP-19 suffer damage

PHOTOS: Lon Erickson

Look at this paint job on the GP-17!

PHOTO: Chris Denslow

PHOTO: Lon Erickson