Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The Hydros’ are Back!

Can Andrew Tate topple J. Michael Kelly from His Championship perch?


Once again, it’s time to spool up the Turbines. And even better yet, H1 Unlimited has announced a robust six race schedule.


This year’s calendar sees the “Fastest Boats on H2O” commencing with this weekend’s Guntersville Lake Hydrofest in Alabama. (June 30) Followed by stops at Madison, Indiana (July 7) Tri-Cities, Washington, (July 28) Seattle, (August 4)APBA Gold Cup – Detroit, Michigan  (August 25) and San Diego. (September 15)


2024 Preliminary line-up

U-1 Miss Beacon electric, J. Micael Kelly

U-6 Miss Madison, Dylan Runn

U-9 Beacon Plumbing, Corey Peabody

U-11 Mercury Coffee, Jamie Milsen

U-12 Graham Trucking Racing, R-Bobby King

U-27 Miss Apollo, Dave Villwock

U-40 Flag-R-Pac, Dustin Echols

U-60 The Beast Unleashed, Gunnar O’Farrell

U-91 Miss Goodman Real Estate, Andrew Tate


As not sure of how many of these nine Hulls will show up for the season opening Guntersville Hydrofest?


Interestingly, bobby King, whom I believe is an Unlimited rookie, is the son of Jerry King, who mans the tiller of the U-3 Miss Griggs. The lone, remaining piston powered raceboat on the Unlimited circuit.


With no word on which races the U-3 Ace Hardware presents Miss Griggs will attend…


While apparently the sports winningest driver Dave Villwock simply cannot stay away from behind the keyboard of an Unlimited Hydroplane. As the elder statesman climbs aboard the Miss Apollo, run by Charlie Wiggins of Alabama. Although I cannot tell if this brand new fully composite Hull will campaign the entire season or not? Since you’d think they’d want to participate in their Home race. Even though the press release implies they won’t break cover until the two Washington races of Tri-cities and Seattle.


Meanwhile the remainder of the fleet returns intact with last year’s driver line-ups unchanged. With just some of the boats names changing due to sponsorship changes., most notably the U-11.


On June 23rd, just five days before the 2024 H1 Unlimited season begins, the APBA announced that the storied 114th Gold Cup race would be held at San Diego’s Bayfair 2.5-mile course on September 15th, celebrating it’s 60th Anniversary.


As the event had been scheduled tentatively in Detroit for August 25th, subject to approval, which obviously didn’t happen.


Therefore, this year’s 2024 H1 Unlimited season shrinks to a total of five races, with a six weeks layoff between Seattle’s Seafair and San Diego’s season finale gold Cup event.


Whilst I still have no idea how many Unlimited Hydroplanes will contest this week’s Lake Guntersville Hydrofest…