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what needs to be done to increase the fan base and popularity of unlimited hydroplane racing

I have tried to start a discussion about the "state of the sport" and what needs to be done to increase its fan base, which will result in greater sponsor interest, more media exposure, more races, TV covereage, etc., etc., etc.

I have already given my thoughts on the discussion tab of the H1 Unlimited website, but I would like to hear more input from more fans, and more input from H1 on their plans. Comments?

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Randall,

I think you are right-on with the idea of a one day event!  And with many of the race sites scrambling for funds, it seems like a no brainer to me. The races in Detroit were one day events for many years in the 1950s and 1960s, when the fields were larger and the rate of attrition much greater. 

Regarding the time between heats, I understand you comment about "breaking something and thrashing about to make the final", but shouldn't that be part of the endurance component of a race? Undoubtedly a tighter schedule would result in losing some potential contenders for the final heat, but that used to be part of the suspense of a boat race.  I can't even count the number of times that my favorite boat, Miss U.S. 1, lost a race because a mechanical problem caused a DNF.

It was all part of the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat"!  When we allow enough time for a top contender to leave the pits for a machine shop to make repairs and return in time for the next heat, as happened here  a year or two back, we have totally removed the endurance aspect of the race. George Simon would have loved it if his crew had been given enough time to pull the engine from U.S. V and put it in U.S. 1 in 1963 without missing the second heat!

We have many people that really have an interest in what the future of hydroplane racing holds.

I would like to see if Dave Williams would hold a forum of all people of this interest could hold a meeting at

the museum to hold an open discussion to share views and ideas to improve the success of hydroplane racing.

Maybe our forum will help with ideas that may not have been considered thus far.

I am all all in on this.Is everyone else.

Mark Baldwin

In the last couple of day we have seen more ideas coming in. Keep them coming, it is great to read what other people think about the sport. One day event for sure, but let people come down on Saturday for free to watch an exhibition of some kind, this could improve exposure to the the sport. Limited racing needs a bump too, as that is how many of us were first exposed to this great sport. I still have my program from the 1971 World Championship on Green lake. Buccaneer, Record 7, Tool Crib Special, Crazy Kanaka, what an event, Even had 200mph drag boats. Events like this will help the sport grow and get the young people back. 

  I think a forum with other fans is a great idea, but not sure if the Museum is the right sponsor, H1 needs to hear some of this and they need to listen. I am not interested not one bit in Turbines being the future of this sport. You can trace the down fall of this sport to the first all turbine heat of racing. Some may not think that is correct statement, but it is undeniable. I have been a fan for 50 years, and have attended races since 1967, this will be my last year to attend the TC, I am bored with it. Still enjoy the UL's and GP boats. 

Diversify! Open the doors. Embrace the masses. Reach out to minorities, youngsters, the military. Promote year 'round. Crossover w/ other motorsports markets. Recruit talented, imaginative, enthusiastic people who will recruit more of the same into the family. Pray.

Gerry, thanks for "reviving" my discussion about what needs to be done to increase our sport's fan base and popularity.  Maybe if we get enough people to participate H1 will start listening, and actually make some changes in the format.

I just renewed my tickets for the 2014 Gold Cup but was disappointed to learn that the schedule of events looks to be identical to last year.  For some unexplainable reason they just don't want to change anything, even though crowds get smaller and races disappear from the schedule.

Let's hope new faces will take over the sport and be more open to the wants and needs of the fans!  That is the ONLY way the sport will ever grow.

 God bless you Tim, for your passion and keen interest towards the greatest watersport ever! People don't know - what they don't know. Its up to us to introduce them to H1 and the sport in general. Only "blanket coverage and exposure" will work at this late stage in educating the masses and developing a larger/broader fan base. I agree with you 100%, regarding the lack of imagination and leadership over the years that allow the entire industry to diminish to a fraction of what it was when the Thunderboats ruled. Pretty sad. How about recording all the ideas that have already been suggested and add to the list all new ones that'll be coming in after people start reading your blog? Then share the list to all existing players, especially the ones w/ the authority to make progressive decisions on the premise things will get better. We need a commissioner that will unite the various entities that make up the body of hydroplane racing, making it stronger and smarter and easier to promote. 

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