But how many Hydros' will show up down South, Y'all?
Once again it's Summertime, which invariably means it's time for the Unlimited Hydroplanes to spin up Thar Turbines 'N G-O Racing, by kicking off Thar season this weekend in "Sweet Home, Alabama..."
Yet once again, the sport seems to simply be treading water, with my very unofficial count of H1 Unlimited Hulls competing this season being in the Single digits for the first time in years I can remember. With a paltry nine Hulls currently listed upon the sport's Official H1 Unlimited website.
Although by my very unscientific count, I'm expecting only six boats to arrive in Guntersville, Alabama for this year's southern cup Lake Guntersville Hydrofest taking place June 28-30th. Since I'm unsure of two Hydro's status, Thee U-3 Go Fast Racing sponsored by Grig's Ace Hardware, the only remaining Piston powered Unlimited Hydroplane in the Fleet. Propelled by a twin-turbocharged Allison V-12 powerplant. along with the U-7 Spirit of Detroit; presumably as partial season competitors? While the newly anointed U-99.9 Miss Rock won't debut 'til Seafair.
Although it's great news learning that Rob Graham, owner of the U-12 Graham Trucking has stepped up financially, not only buying the old Miss Rock Hydroplane after its previous owner unexpectedly died! But will also campaign two Hydros' this season with the addition of his team's second entry, the U-98.
As hopefully the battle for this year's National High Points Championship will be a three boat race between the newly anointed U-1 Delta/REALTRAC, which I prefer knowing as the Northwest's Les Schwab Boat with my favourite Driver Andrew Tate at its controls, vs. Jimmy Shane and his U-6 Miss Home Street Bank and the aforementioned U-12 with perennial winner J. Michael Kelly at its tiller. Which naturally, this trio were at the top of the Testing Time Sheets.
Arguably, these three Hulls will run circles round the U-11 J&B's presents Reliable Diamond Tools, with Tommy Thompson at the controls, which has worked its way up to being the fourth fastest Boat.
Followed by the U-440 Bucket List Racing and the U-98 Graham Trucking American dream with the season's only Rookie Pilot Onboard, which is an unproven commodity at the moment.
As All of this uncertainty over Boat count is part of the reason that Detroit elected to forego holding the Sport's Holy Grail, the historic APBA Gold Cup this year, due to concerns over the lack of Hydroplanes contesting it's storied race.
While Detroit's annual Hydrofest will Host the lower tier Grand Prix Boats as Thar Headliner Act instead, which I guess Y'all could consider as the Indy Lights contingent of Hydroplanes, Eh?
Lastly, it seems odd that the State's only Hometown entity, the former U-27 Dalton Industries Hull driven by Cal Phipps, which last competed at Seafair last year, running as the U-1861 in commemoration of Seattle's longtime association with Fan favourite Jerky Boat' Oh boy Oberto. Is apparently not contesting it's Home race? Since I cannot find any information pertaining to either Wiggins Racing, Headquartered in Rainbow City, Al or Cal Phipps current status...
Just prior to publishing this story, I finally discerned via H1 Unlimiteds somewhat annoying for "My Gal" Lucy', my ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader to Navigate website, Hey! Just put All of the Freakin' News in the News section wills Yuh! but I digress...
Indeed as predicted, jus six Hulls are entered for this weekend's Season Opener, with the most glowing omission being the defending National High Points Champion U-1 of Andrew Tate, due to a scheduling conflict; WTF? As that's not a good way to start off your Championship Defense!
While Thee only KuhNuck' Boat Driver in the field, Bert, "Not Ernie!" Henderson and the U-7 Spirit of Detroit will make their H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes debut outside of Michigan...