The organizers of the annual Bayfair event in San Diego announced this morning that due to steep increases in production costs, the nonprofit group will not host an H1 Unlimited Racing Series event this season. The Bayfair officials said they are planning to hold a race on Mission Bay in 2024.
“This is very unfortunate news,” said Tim Austin, chair of the H1 Unlimited Board of Directors, “especially coming at this late date when our race teams are already on the road headed to Guntersville, Alabama, for the season’s first event. I’m also thinking about our fans who might have already put deposits down on hotel rooms in San Diego or purchased airplane tickets.”
Austin said San Diego has been an important part of H1 Unlimited for nearly six decades. “The city has been an ideal venue for unlimited hydroplane racing,” he said. “The annual race in San Diego will be greatly missed.”
San Diego has hosted races on Mission Bay since 1964 and in recent years has awarded its winner the Bill Muncey Cup, named for one the sport’s greatest champions who was a San Diego–area resident. The Mission Bay racecourse has also proven to be among the fastest in boat racing. The standing all-time world records for qualifying speed and for a competition heat average speed were both set in San Diego.
“H1 Unlimited will be committed to making sure that San Diego will host the world’s fastest race boats again as soon as possible,” Austin said. “We’d like to offer any help that we can to the event organizers at Bayfair because it’s important that we be back again next year and celebrate the 60th anniversary of unlimited hydroplane racing on Mission Bay.”