Mike and Lori Jones, owners of the U-9 Jones Racing Unlimited Hydroplane Race Team are proud to announce the team will run the entire 2016 H1 Unlimited series. The team’s primary sponsors’, Les Schwab Tires, RedDot Corporation, and Sound Propeller Services Inc. once again will return with one major change. New to the cockpit of the U-9 for 2016 is 26-year-old Michigan native, Andrew Tate.
As a fourth-generation boat racer, Andrew Tate was born to drive hydroplanes. The Tate legacy began in 1930’s with hydroplane pioneer Joe Tate, Sr., who built and raced his own boats. The desire to go fast on water was passed on to his son, Joe Tate, Jr., who drove Grand National (7-litre) hydroplanes until he was 70 years old. The Tate name was etched into boat racing history by Andrew’s father, Mark, who was inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions four times, winning the APBA Gold Cup twice. Mark married California native and champion 145c.i. driver Sandy Wray, creating a family embedded in a world of high speed on the water.
Driving his first hydro at 9 years old, Andrew honed his skills at the beginning of his career by piloting various types of kneel-down outboard hydroplanes. Since 2006, Andrew won nearly 100 races in various APBA outboard hydroplane categories, including nine national titles, and has been inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions twice (2010 and 2016).
The well-known Tate name and Andrew’s early success in the smaller hydros caught the attention of boat owner and family friend, Randy English. In 2011, the English family hired Andrew to drive one of their 2.5-litre modified inboard hydroplanes. Winning a slew of races and the 2013 APBA National High Point Championship, success has been constant for both the English family and Andrew.
A rich history followed Andrew to a prestigious class of boat racing when in 2015 the English’s invested in a two-boat Grand Prix Hydroplane team, giving Andrew the honor of piloting the GP-101, Fat Chance Too. By the end of the team’s 2015 rookie campaign, Andrew had silenced any critics and gave his expanding fan base something to cheer about. He won his first ACHA race off of “rookie restriction” in Tonawanda, NY, and the APBA Grand Prix National Championships in Waterford, MI.