Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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Hydroplane Museum's News (126)

The Jack Regas Story

By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

Jack Regas, Mike Welsh, 1958 Gold Cup win.

Most Unlimited hydroplane drivers start in the Limited classes and work their way up. Jack Regas started at the very top.

The Livermore, California, resident was an employee of Kaiser Industries in the 1950s and worked as a welder. His bosses--Henry…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 31, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Hallowed Hydros

The roars and risks, the heroes and heat of the race - a band of fans would revive the thrill of it all

By Richard Seven

Reprinted from Pacific Northwest magazine, July 22, 2001

Dust smothers the ankle-high black racing boots Bill Muncey used to wear.

In fact, the museum itself is off to the side in a South Park industrial complex of connecting warehouses full of airplane parts and electrical supplies. Even the sport, for…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 19, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

The History of Hydroplanes and Folsom Lake

By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

Unlimited hydroplane racing returned to Folsom Lake this May 31 - June 2 2013 as part of “Big Wake Weekend” at Granite Bay in Sacramento, California. The world’s largest and fastest racing boats last appeared on Folsom Lake in 1966 and 1967. The event was known as the Sacramento Cup in those days.

The fleet of boats that showed up for those early Folsom Lake races had almost nothing in common with their modern…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 19, 2013 at 8:42am — 1 Comment

Remembering Danny Foster

Unlimited hydroplane racing has lost another of its all-time greats. ”The Old Pro” Danny Foster of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, passed away on November 2, 2013. He was 95.

By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

A two-time Gold Cup winner, Foster was to the 1940s and ’50s what Bill Muncey was to the 1960s and…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on November 25, 2013 at 5:22pm — No Comments

At Hydroplane Museum, Vintage Boats Tell Tales of Sport's Heyday

By Gary Crawford

Reprinted from http://www.kplu.org

In the years before the Mariners, the Sonics, the Seahawks and the Sounders came to the Pacific Northwest, there was just one big time spectator sport in the region. And it came every summer to the shores of Lake Washington.

For generations of us…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on August 7, 2013 at 8:43am — No Comments

Seven Who Shaped Seafair

By Danny O'Neil

Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 8, 1999

What Ted Jones lacked in formal education, he compensated for with an unwavering belief he could build the world's fastest boat.

He showed his son, Ron, the blueprints.

"If something happens to me," he told Ron, "this can take care of the family."

Instead, the boat took care of a whole city.

Anchor Jensen built the Slo-mo-shun IV, and Stan Sayres owned it. But Jones designed it…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on August 1, 2013 at 6:08pm — No Comments

The Champion Fog Cutter of the World

By Georg N. Meyers

Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 6, 1973

It was the greatest unlimited-hydroplane race nobody ever saw.

If it had been a baseball game, you would have gone home with a raincheck.

It looked like a scene from a Hitchcock movie — eerie shapes snorting out of a drifting fog.

A visitor from another planet,…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 29, 2013 at 7:43pm — No Comments

Unlimited Hydroplane Racing - Tri-Cities Style

By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

For 47 years, the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington have played host to "Water Racing's Greatest Show," the Unlimited hydroplanes--the Thunderboats of the racing world.

Since 1966, the mighty Unlimiteds have occupied center stage as the headline event for the annual Tri-City Water Follies celebration. The race was called the Atomic Cup in the early days but was renamed the Columbia Cup in 1976. It is now the Atomic Cup again as a…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 24, 2013 at 3:58pm — No Comments

First Unlimited Hydroplane Race at Tri-Cities

On July 24, 1966, the first Unlimited Hydroplane Race occurs on the Columbia River at the Tri-Cities. Bill Brow in the Miss Budweiser wins the race. On this warm and windy day, Miss Budweiser wins both of her qualifying heats and qualifies for the final race. At four o'clock this afternoon, Miss Budweiser rips through the water and beats out her competition with an average speed of 92.402 miles per hour.

Crowds Line the Columbia



Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 15, 2013 at 8:37pm — No Comments

Latest Blue Blaster Pics

If you have not been to the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum lately, then you've missed out on all of the progress made on our 1977 Atlas Van Lines restoration project. Here are the latest shop photos of the Blue Blaster looking, well, white.…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on June 10, 2013 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Miss Athletic Round Table

I have seen a picture of the 1958 Miss Round Table on the Unlimiteds Detroit web site. They know nothing of a Byron Lang the photographer. It was just added in April. Does this boat have a history? What were the colors?

It is my understanding that the only appearance of the Miss Athletic Round Table was made at the 1958 Diamond Cup in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Miss Athletic Round…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on June 3, 2013 at 8:26am — No Comments

16th Annual Gala On Sale

Tickets to the Museum event of the year - the 16th Annual Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum Gala & Auction, are now on sale at the Museum Store.

Come and celebrate all things hydroplane, and help us raise money this year to…

Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 28, 2013 at 7:01pm — No Comments

Summer Reading

Now that the sun has finally make it's first official visit to Seattle in 2013, our thoughts turn ahead to long, lazy summer days spent at the beach, perhaps at our favorite H1 race sites. And with all that free time, what better to do than to brush on our reading. The Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum wants to help you while away the summer days with these great new…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 8, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Obertos long supporters of hydro racing

By Fred Farley

H1 Unlimited Historian

Between 1975 and 2010, the father-and-son team of Art and Larry Oberto has sponsored a total of 11 Unlimited hydroplanes under the banner of Oh Boy! Oberto.

With the retirement of the Miss Budweiser team in 2004, the Oberto family's Seattle-based meat products business became the oldest active corporate sponsor in Unlimited racing.

As of 2009, the family had eight race victories to its credit. The first two were in 1988 when…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 10, 2013 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Dorothy Oberto Remembered

Art and Dorothy.

Dorothy Oberto passed away peacefully on April 1st, 2013 in Seattle. Throughout life she loved to bring people together and always found creative ways to do it. Whether it was a three day family reunion, weekend Seafair extravaganzas, '50's toga parties, or a simple cup of tea with friends; Dorothy always added a personal touch. For her, hosting fifty…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 7, 2013 at 8:30pm — No Comments

The Risk Takers and Record Breakers

Stories of those that tried, and sometimes died, chasing the Absolute World Water Speed Record

Author: Doug Ford, Printed by 48HrBooks, copyright 2012 ISBN-13:978-0-9847589-1-3 ISBN-10:0984758917, Published by Doug Ford Engineering, LLC / Paperback. price $24.95 + tax.

Come to the Museum on Saturday, April 6th at 7 PM and…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 5, 2013 at 9:57am — 1 Comment

Two Rooster Tails Wash Out a Fifth Gold Cup

In his attempt to win still another racing trophy, defeated Champ Bill Muncey was frustrated by a wall of water and an oilman's boat.

By Hugh Whall

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, July 15, 1963

"Washing down" is an old tool in the lockers of most hydroplane racers. A tactical maneuver, now illegal under the racing rules, it consists of deliberately aiming the fierce fire-hose power of the towering rooster tail from the stern of your boat at a…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on March 20, 2013 at 12:50pm — No Comments

Ed Karelsen Question

By Fred Farley  -  H1 Unlimited Historian

What is the story behind the classic round-nosed Ed Karelsen hulls? How many of them were there and under which names did they compete?

The round-nosed Karelsen hulls pretty much defined the state-of-the-art in Unlimited hydroplane hull design in the late-1960s and early-1970s. They were generally wider and flatter than their contemporaries and resembled in outward appearance the Dan Arena hulls of the…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 30, 2013 at 9:14am — No Comments

David "Salt" Walther Remembered

By Fred Farley  -  H1 Unlimited Historian

Former Unlimited hydroplane driver David "Salt" Walther of Dayton, Ohio, passed away on December 27, 2012. He was 65.

Walther qualified as an Unlimited driver in 1970 as pilot of George Simon's MISS U.S. of Detroit. Between 1971 and 1976, he drove for the Dayton-based COUNTRY BOY team, owned by his father, industrialist George Walther, Jr.…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 8, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments

My Sweetie Question

By Fred Farley  -  H1 Unlimited Historian


Fred, do you know what Horace Dodge, Jr., did with the original MY SWEETIE?  -  Dick Degener


Regarding the original MY SWEETIE, the following story was told to me by Al D'Eath (father of Tom and Roger), who was an employee of Horace Dodge, Jr., in the early 1950s.

Horace never owned any of the boats that he raced; his mother (Anna Thompson Dodge) did. She controlled…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 16, 2012 at 9:25am — 1 Comment

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