Tuesday, July 25, 2023

HYDROS: H1 Unlimited Roars onto Backstretch of 2023 Season

As Hopefully, the final two races won’t be as Wild ‘N Wooly as the first two!


It’s really Hard for me to discern if the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane series is still a popular event or just treading water these days? As how many of Y’all know that the 2023 season is already halfway done?


Since just mere days before the start of the season in Alabama. The series publicly responded to San Diego’s postponement of this year’s Bayfair regatta due to incurring steep increases in production costs. With the organizers of the long running event featuring the Bill Muncey Cup claiming they planned to return next year.


And although the series was hopeful of eight Unlimited Hydroplane boats showing up for the Lake Guntersville Southern Cup on June 25th, only seven Hydros made the trek to Alabama.


And whilst the series has a new Broadcast partner, being available on Speed Sports One Motorsports Network, whatever that is? I prefer just “watching”, Err listening to the final Heat via H1 Unlimited’s Youtube channel.


Yet unbeknownst to Mwah, this year’s Southern Cup Final Heat was cancelled due to inclement weather. Yet the Final began before the impending Thunderstorm arrived. But due to one of the competitors Flipping! The race was cancelled since Thunder ‘N Lightning would arrive shortly afterwares.  With the day’s winner being awarded on overall weekend points.


Next, with the Madison regatta just a week later, two Hydros’ failed to show due to damage that couldn’t be repaired in time to at least one of the participants. Meaning only five Big Boyz’ Hydroplane’s showed up at Madison’s Ohio river for the July 2nd event.


And then I “Rinsed, lathered and Repeated”. When a week later, Lightning struck twice! Since once again, I searched Youtube repeatedly in vain! As the Madison Governor’s cup final was also scratched due to inclement weather after another Blowover incident during the final Heat, before more bad weather was expected to arrive again…


And with that, the Unlimiteds roar down the Backstretch to the final two races in my former Home state of Washington, with Seattle’s Seafair race hosting this year’s APBA Gold cup event August 6th.


Hopefully the entire field of a promising nine Hulls will make the drive over to Eastern Warshington’ for the upcoming Tri-Cities Columbia  Cup on July 30th.  Since several teams are located in the Seattle Metropolitan area.


With the U-1 Miss HomeStreet, U-3 Miss Griggs Hardware, U-8 Beacon Electric, U-9 Beacon Plumbing, U-11 Legend Yacht Transport, U-21 Lakeridge Paving, U-40 Bucket List Racing, U-91 Miss Goodman Real Estate and U-440 Boitano Homes All being listed as possible season entries upon the series official website.


Yeah, I know it’s been the HAPO Columbia Cup for a longtime now, but I prefer to think of the event in it’s more appropriate name of the Atomic Cup instead! With the race known by this moniker from it’s inception in 1966 thru 1972, due to it’s proximity of some place called Hanford. Where weapons grade Plutonium was made for the Manhattan project during World War II and thru the Cold War.


As the prestigious APBA Gold Cup event has been held at Tri-cities five times overall. With such luminaries as Dean Chenoweth, George Henley, Bill Muncey, Chip Hanauer and Jimmy Shane having won on the Mighty Columbia.


Meanwhile, Seattle has hosted the APBA Gold cup 14 times by my reckoning, the second most Post War following the Cup’s spiritual home of Detroit. Until either the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, since I cannot find an exact date when regulations changed.


As the Gold Cup race was then held at the previous year’s winner’s choice, ergo Home course. Seeing Seattle host the Gold Cup for five straight years between 1951-55, after Ted Jones and His revolutionary Miss Slo-Mo-Shun IV shocked the Boating world upon winning the 1950 event in Detroit With the Slo-Mo-Shun IV and V Hydroplanes capturing the next four Gold Cups!.


After returning to Detroit for 1956, Seattle held the event from 1957 to 1959. Then the race migrated to Las Vegas on Lake Mead, with no race being contested due to high winds.


Then firmly known as The “Jet City”, due to some ‘lil Aeroplane concern called Boeing. Seattle held the race in 1962, 1965 and 1967. Seven years later, and sandwiched between it’s Eastern neighbors Tri-Cities two events, the Gold Cup was back in Seattle for 1974.


The Gold Cup didn’t return to the shores of Lake Washington until 1981, and then hosted it’s penultimate race some Gory 38 years ago in 1985, Eureka!


Whilst Ye legendous’ Gold Cup didn’t return to Washington State overall for another three decades, before being held on the Columbia River at Tri-cities in 2015. Being the first time held in Eastern Washington since Gory 1984


As can my favourite Unlimited driver Andrew Tate add His name for a second time to match His father Mark’s two Gold Cup triumphs this August?


Or will Cory Peabody claim His second Gold Cup victory in-a-row? With teammate J. Michael Kelly saying not so fast Cory. I’m planning to win my second Gold Cup this year!


As these three Skipper’s are the only current Gold Cup winners in this year’s field. With three rookies looking to make the finals. Whilst I Don’t even want to contemplate what the “Over/Under” on how many Blowovers occur is?


While Don’t forget those fabulous Blue Angels precision Air show! When hopefully “The Bluest Skies You’ve ever Seen are in Seattle” won’t be obscured by Hazy Smoke from Forest Fires…