If you're heading to Doha, Qatar

I need someone to provide photos and info for the live blog for Hydroinsider.com. If you're going to be on-site, please email me. Thanks.

Steve David hero card... in arabic


Getting ready for Doha, Qatar races

VIDEOS: Heat racing from Evansville

Posted on Go3Racing.com website >>

Boats to Qatar

Boats to Qatar: all the boats that raced at Evansville will head to Doha, Qatar to race for the Oryx Cup, except for the U-3.

Jeff Bernard: "King had us covered"

"(U-3's JimmyKing) had us covered. I had to back off a little at the start and that piston motor just accelerates a lot better than a turbine does," said (U-5's Jeff) Bernard. "I told Jimmy before the heat that if I couldn't win I would love to see him win. He's been in that position so many times and he can't get a win. His bad day is my good day."He had this race won."

Madison Courier >>

Thunder on the Ohio chariman: "90 percent sure" event will be back

Thunder on the Ohio Race Chairman Tom Sawyer said today race officials are pleased with crowd turnout over the weekend and he’s “90 percent sure” Thunder will return next summer, preferably in August.“We won’t have hard numbers for at least five or six weeks, but things went real well,” said Sawyer.


Evasnville Courier Press >>

PHOTO: U-16 Flip in Heat 1A @ Evansville


PHOTO: Dick Martin

PHOTO SEQUENCE: Shows what happened right before U-16 flips

Chris Denslow captures the best angle I've seen so far of the run-up to the U-16 flip. U-16 and U-1 are very close together on the turn. Decide for yourself what happens, but the boats appear feet apart at one part right before the flip.

View Chris Denslow's photos of Heat 1A flip >>

VIDEO: Reverse angle on Villwock flip

Thunder on the Ohio Heat 1A Villwock flips from Switching Granny on Vimeo.

PHOTO SEQUENCE: U-16 Flip at Evansville




PHOTOS: James Crisp

Jeff Bernard on win

"When I saw the U3 go down, I had a big smile,” said U-5 FormulaBoats.com driver Jeff Bernard. “Then I looked to my right and I saw my teammate J Michael Kelly. Well I knew I had my work cut out for me.

“We have two boats for one team but when it comes to that last heat, it is every man for himself.”

Gotta feel bad for Ed Cooper's U-3 team...

They had the finals won with a comfortable lead in lap three of the five lap final. Their problem all season has been engines, but this time it was a prop. The boat was unable to finish.

U-5 Jeff Bernard wins Evansville - Final Results

Final Results

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com - Jeff Bernard
  2. U-7 Graham Trucking - J. Michael Kelly
  3. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David
  4. U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp
  5. U-25 Mr. Home Loan - Ken Muscatel
  6. U-16 Elam (U-17 running as U-16) - Nate Brown
    STARTED AS TRAILER

    DNF. U-3 Master Tire -Jimmy King

Provisional Heat

1. U-16 Elam (U-17 running as U-16) - Nate Brown
2. U-48 Albert Lee - Brian Perkins

U-16/Nate Brown will be the trailer in the finals.

Heat 3B Results

Heat 3B Results

  1. U-3 Master Tire
    Jimmy King
  2. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto
    Steve David
  3. U-100 Mirageboats.com
    Greg Hopp
  4. U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus
    (U-17 running as U-16 with Nate Brown driving)

    Nate Brown
  5. U-22 Matrix Systems Automotive Finishes
    Mike Webster

U-17 will drive as U-16 for rest of weekend

Erik Ellstrom has purchased the U17 Our Gang Racing as his back up hull. Nate Brown will be the driver for the Elam Plus. Motors have been transfered to the U16 back-up hull.

Heat 3A Results

Heat 3A Results

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com
    Jeff Bernard
  2. U-7 Graham Trucking
    J. Michael Kelly
  3. U-37 Renton Coil Spring
    Jean Theoret
  4. U-25 Mister Home Loan
    Ken Muscatel
  5. U-48 Whirlpool Presents Albert Lee
    Brian Perkins

Heat 2B Results

Heat 2B Results

1. U-5 Formulaboats.com - Jeff Bernard
2. U-3 Master Tire - Jimmy King
3. U-37 Renton Coil Springs - Jean Theoret
4. U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp
DNS. U-17 Seal Shield/ActiVwater -Kip Brown

Elam team has flipped and won before

The U-16 Elam was brought back to shore after the flip in Heat 1A, but was unable to make the start for Heat 2A. The Elam team withdrew for the heat, but has not withdrawn for the weekend while they assess the damage to the boat. You may remember that Dave Villwock and the Elam team managed to win a race in the Tri-Cities after flipping and putting the boat back together in 2006.

Villwock's 2006 Flip and win in Tri-CIties: Story, Photos, Video >>

PHOTO: U-16 Elam flip


PHOTO: Dean Edwards

Heat 2A Results

Heat 2A Results

1. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David
2. U-7 Graham Trucking - J. Michael Kelly
3. U-25 Mr Home Loan - Ken Muscatel
4. U-48 Albert Lee - Brian Perkins
5. U-22 Airbag Services - Mike Webster

DNS. U-16 Elam - Dave Villwock

Heat 1B Results

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com
    Jeff Bernard
    135.636
  2. U-100 Mirageboats.com
    Greg Hopp
    133.116
  3. U-17 Seal Shield
    Kip Brown
    128.485
  4. U-25 Mister Home Loan
    Ken Muscatel
    125.868
  5. U-22 Matrix Systems Automotive Finishes

Heat 1A Results

  1. U-3 Master Tire
    Jimmy King
    142.326
  2. U-7 Graham Trucking
    J. Michael Kelly
    136.451
  3. U-37 Renton Coil Spring
    Jean Theoret
    128.054
  4. U-48 Whirlpool Presents Albert Lee
    Brian Perkins
    121.837

    DNF - Flipped: Watch video >>
    U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus
    Dave Villwock

    DSQ
    U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto
    Steve David

URGENT! U-16 Elam flips in Heat 1A, U-1 DSQ

Going into the final turn on the final lap of Heat 1A, U-1 Steve David was ahead with U-16 Dave Villwock closing. Villwock went up and over and landed upside down. He was able to get out of the boat and is back in the pits.

Afetr review, David was disqualified and the U-3 was declared the winner of Heat 1A.

Watch video of flip >>
Go3Racing.com

Sunday race times for Evansville

Heat start times
Evansville Time/CDT

1A 11:05 am
1B 11:25 am

2A 1:05 pm
2B 1:25 pm

3A 2:35 pm
3B 2:55 pm

Consolation 3;50 pm
Final 4:45 pm

Heat draws for 1A, 1B

Draw for Heat 1-A

  1. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David
  2. U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus Dave Villwock
  3. U-3 Master Tire Jimmy King
  4. U-7 Graham Trucking J Michael Kelly
  5. U-37 Renton Coil Spring Jean Theoret
  6. U-48 Whirpool/Albert Lee Brian Perkins

Draw for Heat 1-B

  1. U-5 Formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
  2. U-17 Seal Shield Kip Brown
  3. U-100 Mirageboats.com Greg Hopp
  4. U-25 Mister Home Loan Ken Muscatel
  5. U-22 Matrix Systems Mike Webster

U1 team using Ellstrom prop

The prop the U1 team was running was manufactured by the Ellstrom race team. "A lot of times your competitors are known to keep their best equipment and not sell it but in the case of Erick and the Ellstrom team they definitely sell their best props and we couldn't have been top qualifier without their help," David said.

Steve David, U-1 is the top qualifier at Evansville

1. Steve David U1 155.215
2. Dave Villwock U16 154.748
3. Jeff Bernard U5 152.581.

Villwock had a faster time but it was wiped out due to a N2 violation.

'Big Red Turbinator' will roar

"It ran at Seattle the way it's supposed to," Cooper said. "We had the opportunity to get the inside lane and in our business, if you get the inside lane, you have a good chance to win."


'Big Red Turbinator' will roar >>
EVANSVILLE COURIER-PRESS

A truly scary video

Posted on Hydropage by Lon...

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Evansville live streams, results

For the first time in 8 years, I have a conflict during a boat race weekend that will take me out of the reporting mix at HydroInsider.com. You should be well covered with ABRA's stepped up website race weekend reporting, WORX radio's live audio, and Go3Racing's live streams.

Latest news and race results
ABRA >>

Live audio stream
WORX >>

Live video stream
GO3Racing >>

I will have wraps up stories posted Sunday night or Monday morning.

Teams arriving in Evansville; U-17 has travel problems

Five of the eleven teams expected for Thunder on the Ohio were in the pit area on the Evansville riverfront by Thursday evening. The rest are expected Friday. Nate Brown's U-17 encountered transporter problems in Montana, and may not arrive until Saturday.


Unlimited Teams Arriving In Evansville >>
ABRA

Schedule for racing, WORX broadcasts

WORX Broadcast Schedule
All Times are list asEastern Daylight Time

Friday August 21
5pm...Hydro Report

Saturday August 22
7pm-7:30pm...Qualifing Update

Sunday August 23
Unlimited Heats 1A-1B
11:50am-12:30pm

Unlimited Heats 2A-2B
1:50pm-2:30pm

Unlimited Heats 3A-3B
3:20pm-4:00pm

Provisional Heat
4:45pm-5:00pm

Unlimited Final Heat Coverage
5:25pm

Listen live on the internet >>

Evansville Courier Press: Freedom Festival drops boat racing entirely -

The Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville announced today that next year’s Freedom Festival will not include boat racing and also will be more condensed.GAGE officials cited the cost of bringing the smaller ChampBoats to Evansville ($100,000 plus associated expenses) and the lack of public support for them at this year's festival June 18-21.

Freedom Festival dropping boat racing >>
EVANVILLE COURIER PRESS

EDITOR'S NOTE: ChampBoats costs $100,000+?!? Seems if they were willing to pay that much for a series that won't draw like the Unlimiteds will, it doesn't make sense they'd pay a little more and bring in the big draw. Hmm.

Villwock back 'home' again to race at Thunder

"I really like the race course and the people around it. It's in a town center. They are really fun people to be around. I guess I'm in a good mood when I'm there and that hasn't hurt the racing." - Dave Villwock, U-16


Villwock back 'home' again to race at Thunder >>
EVANVILLE COURIER-PRESS

PHOTO: Brian Perkins wins ULHRA at Silverdale


PHOTO: Julie Sparrowgrove

VIDEO: FOX7 Evansville report on Thunder on the Ohio

NASCAR Driver Hits Coyote At 190 MPH


Brad Coleman, a driver for Joe Gibbs racing was traveling at 190 mph when he saw a coyote a mere 100 feet away. With no possible way of slowing down to save the creature, the driver ran it over. To his suprise he couldn't figure our where it went. He describes the incident, “It just started smoking like crazy. And it smelled terrible. I didn’t see anything in the mirror, so I was like, ‘I wonder where it went?’"
TOTALPROSPORTS.COM

PHOTO: U-5 gets some air in Seattle


PHOTO: Rod Smith

U-3 prepares to race in its hometown

Winning a heat and winding up with a second place finish in Seattle gives the team momentum going into Evansville, the U-3's home port.

"We have had our share of mechanical problems throughout the year," said U-3 driver Jimmy King. "I am really proud of the way this team has worked to keep us competitive. It is easy to give up but these guys have worked their butts off to get us ready for each event this year."

Nate Brown may drive U-17 in Qatar

U-17 driver Kip Brown cannot make the trek to Doha, Qatar for the season finale in November and Nate Brown could pilot the boat overseas. Before he does that, Nate wants to get a few laps back in the boat so you may see him racing in Evansville.

SOURCE: ABRA

PHOTO: Brian vs. Kayleigh at Silverdale


PHOTO: Walt Ottenad
The photo I originally used in the story was an archive photo of the UL-11... but Brian was driving Bob Schellhase's boat which was re-numbered UL-11 this weekend. Kayleigh's on the inside in the UL-72 (red). Brian's in the UL-11 (yellow) on the outside. Thanks for the photo and pointing out my error.

Steve David on U-1 ready for Evansville after damage in Seatle

"Wasn't as bad as I thought," said Steve David. It was nothing more than (a part in the ) activator - a bellows - about a$250 part. #1 engine is ready to go, gear set is ready. We're 100% ready."

"Went to 148% N2, did some minor damage to the thing, couldn't keep it together. The exhaust gas went from 600 to 900. At 900, you're burning $1,000 dollar bills. At 900, you worry about blowing the hot section and $100,000 worth of damage. It was all I could do to limp across."

Villwock and David on the battle for High Points at Evansville

"In the points battle that we're in, it really makes Evansville one of the most important races on the circuit. It's the last fresh water race before we go to Qatar and who knows what happen's there with the salt water," said Steve David. "The pressure's really on to win this thing."

"We're in just as big of a points battle now as we were at the beginning of the year. We were dead even then, and we're about dead even now," said Dave Villwock.

Villwock on lane assignments, controversy

"The actual racing is far better. The controversy is far less," said Villwock. "I think it's better for the sport, not having a bunch of people angry at the end. If we have a bunch of controversy at the end of every race every week, it's no fun for the fans."

"In terms of giving the fans a better product, what we're doing now is working better than how it's worked in the past."

Steve David on fighting for lanes vs. assigned lanes

"Some people compare us to NASCAR. I've never seen NASCAR fight for lanes," said U-1's Steve David.

Villwock on penalties

"Steve David and I have more penalties for trying to take care of each other and get around the race course than all other penalties combined," said Dave Villwock. "Good competition. Good clean racing."

Villwock has won 10 of last 13 at Evansville

Dave Villwock has won 10 of the last 13 races at Evansville. He did not race there last year. "He's master of the course," said Steve David about Villwock.

Big weekend for Jeff Bernard @ Summer Nationals

5 Litre Summer Nationals - Final Results

  1. Jeff Bernard, E-55
  2. Jim Martin, E-43
  3. Tom Thompson, E-81

National Mod Summer Nationals - Final Results

  1. Chuck Miller, NM-200
  2. Jeff Bernard, NM-33
  3. Amy Brockson, NM-370

2.5 Litre Stock Summer Nationals - Final Results

  1. Bobby Kennedy, S-88

Jeff Bernard, S-12 finished first, but the boat failed inspection. Jimmy Shane, S-14 finished second, but the boat failed inspection. Bobby Kennedy finished 3rd, but was declared the winner.

Hydroplane racing returns to Evansville

Thunder is trying to avoid the pitfalls that caused the Freedom Festival, run by
Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville (GAGE) in June, to lose $290,000. "The biggest mistake they made was not bringing in the unlimiteds," Sawyer said. "I believe that. They also totally avoided the use of any experienced volunteers."

Thunder hopes to roar again - Hydroplane racing returns >>
EVANVILLE COURIER-PRESS

VIDEO: History Channel piece on Hydroplane racing, featured U-16/Dave Villwock

Faces Around The Sport - 2009 Season

Some of the faces of the 2009 Season

VIDEO: UL-56 at Seafair loses prop, caught on camera by on-board camera

VIDEO: Walt Ottenad


From Walt Ottenad: In Heat 1A of Unlimited Lights action at Seafair, the outout shaft on the UL-56 broke at the prop, sending it into the right side tail, hitting the GoPro camera that was mounted there! This slowed down footage clearly shows the propellor as it bounced off the tail.

VIDEO: U-10 driver Dave Bryant wins Long Beach Sprint Nationals

2009 Long Beach Sprint Nationals - K Boat final - Tony Scarlata K 69 vs. Dave Bryant K 50 Ghost of Coldfire (Green Boat) classic duel

PHOTO: Feel the heat (U-1)


Evansville: Qualifying on Saturday, Racing on Sunday

Go3 Racing has learned that all racing for the 31st Thunder on the Ohio will be held on Sunday August 23. Pit setup will take place on Thursday with Friday being hull inspection as well as an open pits for fans with admission buttons to visit the unlimiteds up close free of charge.


Read more >>
GO3RACING.COM

Full schedule >>
THUNDERONTHEOHIO.NET

VIDEO: U-3 from first 4 races

Go3 Racing highlights from the first for races of the 2009 ABRA Tour. Special thanks to James Crisp, Jim Simpson, Chris Denslow, Brad Drake, Lon Erickson for use of their pictures
Watch video >>
GO3RACING.COM

So the Food Network guy at Seafair was an imposter?


You be the judge: left - the guy at Seafair. right - Guy Fieri from the Food Network. Same guy? Different guy?

"Tremendous response" to ABRA in Qatar

Meanwhile Qatar’s ambitions plans to host the last leg of the American Boat Racing Association (ABRA)’s Unlimited Hydroplane race in November this year will
go ahead. “We are looking forward to it and are getting tremendous response from the US media and the fans there. People are calling up asking for travel-related details. We will be in talks soon, with travel agencies here in Doha to work out some package deals,” said Sheikh Hassan.

“With countries like UAE and China showing interest in hosting the event, this will be a big boost for us and ABRA.”


Qatar slams world body, pulls out of event >>
GULF TIMES

VIDEO: Camera pointed at J.W. Myers in U-37 at Seafair Heat 2B

VIDEO: On-board camera on UL-9 during Heat 1A at Seafair

Unlimited Lights in Silverdale next weekend

With speedometers rattling well into triple digits, hydroplanes will roar and roostertail through Dyes Inlet next weekend.


Hydros splashing toward Dyes Inlet >>
PNWNEWSLOCAL.COM

VIDEO: Another view of U-7 flip in Tri-Cities

This video was posted on LiveLeak.com by beck64. If you're the person that shot and posted the video, can you email me contact info. It might be worth your while....

Oryx Cup date changed

American Boat Racing Association Chairman Sam Cole announced today that the Qatar Marine Sport Federation and the ABRA have agreed to move the dates for the Oryx Cup to one week later than originally set to accommodate scheduling and logistical issues for both parties. New dates for the event will be November 19-21, 2009.

The Oryx Cup will mark the first ever appearance by American unlimited hydroplanes in the Eastern hemisphere, and will involve transporting ten race boats and support equipment across the Atlantic.

His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani returned to Doha, Qatar following a visit to Seattle, Washington where he viewed the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair and signed the historic agreement that will take the world’s fastest race boats to Doha for the inaugural Oryx Cup.

Cole commented, “Sheikh Hassan contacted me Wednesday night and asked if it was possible to move the Oryx Cup to dates one week later than the dates we had originally been given by the QMSF. I responded that the extra week would actually benefit us as well, as we make preparations to take on the biggest project in the history of the ABRA.”

ABRA race teams will prepare for transport to the Middle East following Thunder on the Ohio in Evansville, Indiana August 21-23. The Oryx Cup will mark the final stop on the 2009 ABRA season, and the National High Point Champion will be crowned in ceremonies following the event in Doha.

VIDEO: Inside Jimmy Shane's cockpit during GP crash in Syracuse

Three views from new angles:

1. Real Time
2. Slow-Mo
3. Inside the cockpit

Jimmy Shane, Pierre Maheu hospitalized after Grand Prix hydroplane crash in Syracuse >>
HYDROINSIDER.COM ARCHIVES: Story, Photo, Another Video viewpoint

VIDEO: Inside the U-17 during a spinout, going through roostertail in Seattle

Video from on board cameras of U-17 USNW Express unlimited hydroplane racing at the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair. July 31-Aug 2, 2009. Includes footage from spin out and going through a roostertail.

Bayfair @ San Diego: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Unless something drastic happens in the next three weeks, San Diego's Unlimited Hydroplane races will go off Sept. 18-20 without the Unlimited Hydroplanes. And as much as I personally have disagreed with the direction and viability of the Unlimited tour over the years, not having the Thunderboats as part of the World Series of Power Boat Racing is quite a blow to the event.

What is the sound of one hand clapping?



Hydroplane race could be missing key ingredient >>
SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE

Seafair Celebrity sighting





Guy Fieri from the Food Network's Diners, Drive In's and Dives took in the action at the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair this past weekend.

Grand Prix boats to bring thunder back to Thunder

Grand Prix unlimited hydroplanes will bring the thunder back to Thunder on the Ohio on Aug. 21-23, it was announced Wednesday.

“We are supercharged 468 ccs and we’ll bring all kinds of noise,” said Graham Trucking Grand Prix driver and former unlimited driver Jerry Hopp. “Our top speeds are 160 to 165 mph. We’ll bring seven boats to Evansville and run on a 1 2/3 mile course. Our boats are 24 to 26 feet long and generate 1,300 horsepower. They are supercharged alcohol and most are Chevy motors.”


Grand Prix boats to bring thunder back to Thunder >>
EVANSVILLE COURIER PRESS

VIDEO: ON board multiple cameras of U-37 during Seafair Heat 1A with Jean Theoret

Jean Theoret and Jeff Bernard battled deck to deck for three laps before Jeff barely nudged ahead at the finish. This unique split screen view used GoPro Motorsports Hero cameras mounted on the front and rear of the cowl.

VIDEO: On board cameras on U-37 during Seafair Final

The final at Seafair from a different perspective: looking backwards from the engine cowling.



From Walt Ottenad.

VIDEOS: All Seattle heats, races for Unlimiteds and Unlimited Lights

KIRO-TV VIDEOS: UNLIMITEDS

KIRO-TV VIDEOS: ULHRA

PHOTOS: ABRA's Sam Cole, Qatar's Sheikh Hassan sign deal to bring Unlimiteds to Doha, Qatar



PHOTOS: Chris Denslow

PHOTO: U-16 Elam gets some big air under its right sponson

PHOTO: Chris Denslow

PHOTOS: U-37, U-3, U-16, U-100, U-5, U-9





PHOTOS: Chris Denslow

PHOTOS: Greg Hopp, U-17, U-25, U-100, U-3





PHOTO: Chris Denslow

PHOTO: Past and Future - U-77 Miss Wahoo and Miss Boeing U-787 run side by side


PHOTO: Chris Denslow

PHOTOS: U-16 team gets Chevrolet Cup trophy






PHOTOS: Chris Denslow

PHOTO: U-3, Jimmy King take second at Seafair



PHOTOS: Chris Denslow

PHOTOS: Kayleigh Perkins gets win, trophy in Seattle



PHOTOS: Chris Denslow

Doha, Qatar's Gulf Times newspaper article on ABRA racing

Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor al-Thani and AmericanBoat Racing Association (ABRA) chairman Sam Cole havesigned a contract that will bring 10 unlimited hydroplanes – the fastest boats in the world – to Qatar in November.

FASCINATING VIDEO: On-board U-37 at Columbia Cup Heat 3B

Cool video. Shows camera out front with inset looking back at driver J.W. Myers.

VIDEO: On-Board cameras of U-22 at Seafair

Sheikh Hassan pulls Spirit of Qatat team out of 2009 Class 1 World Powerboat Championship over dispute

IOTA has put an end to any lingering speculation about the continued participation of the Spirit of Qatar Team in the 2009 Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, confirming HE Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani's decision to withdraw the team with immediate effect.

IOTA General Secretary, Marco Sala, said that 'efforts to try to resolve the situation had proved unsuccessful'.

Sheikh Hassan's decision to withdraw the team was sparked by an incident at the start of last month's Norwegian Grand Prix and what he describes as 'the misconduct of teams during the start' and that 'officials were too slow to respond to the matter and the action required to be taken during the race'.

Original Article >>
POWER BOAT WORLD

Official News Release: ABRA to race in Qatar


His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani tries out the cockpit of the
U-16 Unlimited Hydroplane. PHOTO: Ned Dawson.



His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and American Boat Racing Association (ABRA) chairman Sam Cole have signing a contract that will bring 10 unlimited hydroplanes – the fastest boats in the world – to Qatar in November.

Sheikh Hassan and Qatari racing colleague Abdullah Al-Sulaiti have been in Seattle over the last few days to witness the action at the Seattle Seafair Chevrolet Cup ABRA Unlimited Hydroplane race.

On Sunday, during the race, Sheikh Hassan signed an agreement on behalf of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) to host the final round of the 2009 series in Doha on November 12th-14th. The meeting will be known as the Oryx Cup World Championship.

“Sam Cole from the ABRA racing series visited our Class One race in Doha in April and we discussed the possibility and logistics of bringing this exciting form of power boat racing to the Middle East,” enthused Sheikh Hassan.

“I have been over in Washington State this week to meet the people involved in the championship. I was also given a ride in one of the boats that are used to gain an idea of how they compare with our Class One boats. It was a fantastic experience. This is a sport which we are looking forward to bringing back to Doha in November.”

Sheikh Hassan joined Larry Fuller from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum and also had a ride in Miss Wahoo - a legendary U-77 hydroplane race hull – on Lake Washington during the Seattle Seafair round of the series on Saturday.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for our sport,” said Cole. “Being able to bring the fastest racing boats in the world to Doha is an honour. We truly appreciate Sheikh Hassan's confidence in our sport and look forward to a magnificent World Championship event this November. It is our goal to make Qatar the international capital of unlimited hydroplane racing as we journey abroad."

Unlimited hydroplanes have fewer restrictions than limited hydroplanes. The 28-foot, 6,000lb boats run primarily with a T-55 L7 turbine, which has been used in military helicopter design for many years. Hydroplanes of this nature use around 4.1 gallons of fuel per minute, develop approximately 2,500 horse power and reach speeds in excess of 200mph.

Hydroplane racing is sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association (APBA) and the UIM. Six of the existing race sites in the United States have hosted hydroplane racing for more than 30 years, although the inclusion of the Qatar race for the first time is a major step forward for championship organisers, who are planning to expand the series across Asia and the Middle East in the future.

PHOTOS: U-37, U-17, U-25, U-16, U-100 Racing







PHOTOS: Todd Tamayao