HydroFest Qualifying Rescheduled Due to Weather

Drivers and resue crews took a tour of the Lake Guntersville race course in one of the rescue boats late Friday morning and declared it unsafe to race.

Posted: Jun. 22, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Jun. 22, 2018 5:57 PM

Drivers and resue crews took a tour of the Lake Guntersville race course in one of the rescue boats late Friday morning and declared it unsafe to race.  When the boat returned, just about everybody on board was soaked.  Dustin Echols, driver of the 440 Bucket List Racing boat said "Way too rough to put boats on the water."

"It's too hazardous," said Jimmy Shane, driver of the defending national champion U-1 HomeStreet Banks hydroplane.

At 2:30 pm Friday, H1 Unlimited chief referee Doug Shelton made the decision to postpone qualify until Saturday, June 23rd after studying weather forecasts for the remainder of the day.  Shortly thereafter, the winds kicked up further, knocking over entrance gates and team tents right before the heavy rains came through the area.

Qualifying for the Southern Cup has been rescheduled for Saturday between 11:00 am-noon on the 2-1/2 mile Lake Guntersville race course .

“It is unfortunate that Mother Nature did not cooperate today,” Shelton said. We apologize to all the thousands of fans that came out today but we have to consider the safety of our drivers,” Shelton said.

The large white cap waves did not allow the H1 Unlimited hydroplane race teams to even put their race boats into the water.  In addition to white caps, there were also issues with the course markers breaking away from their moorage.

“It looked like a bunch of beach balls at a Jimmy Buffett concert when those course marks broke loose and drifted across the lake,” said Cal Phipps, driver of the U-27 Greater Gadsden presents Chase Building Group based out of Rainbow City, Ala. The U-27 team is the only race team based in the South.

Even though there was no racing today, drivers remain amped for the inaugural race.

Tom Thompson, driver of the U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s said, “It doesn’t add to my pressure tomorrow because every driver is in the same predicament. But we would have been more prepared for racing on Saturday and Sunday had we run today.”

2017 national champion Jimmy Shane, driver of the U-1 Miss HomeStreet said, “I’m bummed that we couldn’t get the boats on the water today, buy I am looking forward to getting the race boats on the water tomorrow and putting on a great show for all the fans in Guntersville.”

Saturday’s preliminary heat races will remain at the scheduled 2:30 pm (CT) for heat 1A and 3:00 pm for heat 1B.

Saturday’s Revised Schedule
8:00 am Gates Open
8:30-9:45 am H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
12:15-1:30 pm H1 Unlimited Drivers Autograph Session
2:30-3:00 pm H1 Unlimited Preliminary Heat 1A
3:00-3:30 pm H1 Unlimited Preliminary Heat 1B

Sunday’s Schedule
8:00 am HydroFest Gates Open
9:30 am–10:30 am H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Testing IV
10:30 am–11:15 am Hot Pit Media Access to H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Drivers, Crew Chiefs, Teams.
1:30 pm–2:00 pm H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Preliminary Heat 2A
2:00 pm-2:30 pm H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Preliminary Heat 2B
2:35 pm–2:45 pm Media Press Conference-First place winners of Preliminary Heat 2A, 2B
3:00 pm–3:30 pm H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Preliminary Heat 3A
3:30 pm–4:00 pm H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Preliminary Heat 3B
4:05 pm–4:15 pm Media Press Conference-First place winners of Preliminary Heat 3A, 3B
5:00 pm–5:30 pm Southern Cup Championship Final
5:35 pm Media Press Conference, Podium Finishers (1-3)

2018 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series Schedule
June 1: Preseason Testing • Kennewick, Wash. • Columbia River
June 22-24: Southern Cup • Guntersville, Ala. • Guntersville Lake
July 6-8: Midwest Tube Mills Indiana Governors Cup • Madison, Ind. • Ohio River
July 27-29: HAPO Columbia Cup • Kennewick, Wash. • Columbia River
August 3-5: Albert Lee Appliance Cup • Seattle • Lake Washington
August 24-26: Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Gold Cup • Detroit • Detroit River
September 14-16: HomeStreet Bank Bill Muncey Cup • San Diego • Mission Bay

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