VIDEO: WEHT-TV Reports on Thunder on the Ohio details

Thunder on the Ohio ~ Follow-ups

Ken Muscatel: “Essentially they had one bad year. That did not seem to be enough to give up on it. I finally sat down with (consultants) Ken Deans and Bart Leland and (race director) Tom Sawyer and there are so many assets and so many inherit strengths that it would essentially be crazy to let it go."

Thunder officials in the forecast >>

The American Boat Racing Association calls it "Nascar H20" and it's coming to Evansville this summer.

Thunder On The Ohio Race, Full Speed Ahead >>

ABRA assets will help put on the race

Ken Muscatel: "The old organization had some lingering debts from last year's events. Some of that was owed to local vendors - that's been satisfied."

"There was $50,000 owed to ABRA. That money has been secured by some of the docks and some of the equipment that was owed by the Freedom Festival. ABRA is assisting us in putting this event together. We have the docks and security from last year's race."

ABRA is allowing the Thunder group to use the docks and securities to put on the races.

Charitable partner for Evansville

"We are going to have a charitable partner - or partners," said Muscatel. "It's a community event that represents what is the heart of Evansville. We are going to have at least one charitable partner to benefit and participate in this event. We're in negotiations."

"Thunder on the Ohio is a non-profit organization based in Evansville," he said.

ABRA on Thunder on the Ohio

"The ABRA isn't technically a partner in the event. They are a sanctioning body without its own financial resources," said Ken Muscatel. "ABRA is lending support." Ken Muscatel, who is an ABRA VP, has been putting in his own resources.

Any profit from event would create a rainy day fund for future year's races. Ticket prices should be similar to past years.

Tom Sawyer: "It's a little premature to say this is the budget. But it will be in the neighborhood og 50-60% of the Freedom Festival budget." The Freedom Festival budget was $600,000-$700,000 last year.

"We're gonna run a tight ship," said Muscatel. "We want to be able to weather the storm." Last year's Evansville event was besieged by rain and stormy weather.

Muscatel heading to Qatar shortly

"The heart of our sport remains in the United States. We need to strong and healthy venue... that's why Evansville is so important." said Ken Muscatel.

He's heading to Qatar with ABRA's Sam Cole to finalize the Qatar races and then discuss other international venues.

Dave Villwock on Evansville

"If there's anything I can do to help promote your end," said Dave Villwock; "Evansville's really important to me."

Thunder on the Ohio: Close to announcing sponsors

Ken Deans, Event and Marketing Consultant: "(Sponsorship) is coming along great. It looks like we're going to have several new ones. The only thing we're waiting to announce is ink on the paper."

"I'm trying to bring in an outside team to bring in sponsorships to create an event... things that are for the race fan, interest the race fan," said Ken Muscatel. "I'm trying to be the link to tie all these things together.

"Everything's lined up now and all speed ahead," he said. "We've talked to a number of our sponsors from last year... we haven't heard from anybody that isn't on board."

"We have a core group of racing fans who love Unlimited Hydroplane racing who will be coming to Evansville."

Ken Muscatel on Washingon DC, San Diego, Qatar

Ken Muscatel: Still trying to get the President's Cup in Washington DC and still trying to piece the San Diego event back together.

Muscatel is heading to Qatar to join ABRA's Sam Cole to finalize deal for racing there as well as explore other international venues.

ABRA announcement regarding Thunder on the Ohio

Ken Muscatel: "Unlimited Hydroplane racing has been under some pressure because of the economic situation."

"We've formed a new organization called Thunder on the Ohio," said Muscatel. "It's a racing event, not a large community festival with racing as a piece of it. It's centerpiece is Unlimited racing."

We are expecting to start ticket sales on July 6th. We expect to have a full fleet of hydroplanes. "It will be the last race before the fleet gets on the boat and heads to Qatar." Muscatel said that all the boats that are heading to Qatar will take part in Evansville.

ABRA announcement regarding Thunder on the Ohio

ABRA putting together an entire event, not just boat racing. Also coordinating national BBQ and Rib competitions at the event as well as car cruise and car show. available shortly to highlight the event.

ABRA announcement regarding Thunder on the Ohio

August 21-23 in Evansville

Sam Cole, ABRA, made this statement: "We are truly excited about today's announcement. It would have been sad to see this go away."

Ken Muscatel takes us behind-the-scenes on what happened in San Diego

San Diego hasn’t been able to pay the full race fee on its own for the past three years, since 2005.

Q&A with Ken Muscatel about San Diego >>

Thunder on the Ohio announcement

From ABRA: Dr. Muscatel will be making a major announcement regarding Thunder On The Ohio’s new race dates and details for Evansville, Indiana today (Tuesday).