If H1 Unlimited could return to any race site that once held an event, which one would you like to see added to the 2024 schedule?
Craig Fjarlie (Unlimited News Journal Writer & H1 Unlimited Volunteer)
In a lifetime of watching Unlimited hydroplane racing, I have seen regattas at a number of places. Some were good sites and I wish races were still held there. Other sites were questionable, and their disappearance from the circuit was probably for the better.
First, I will say that I believe the cancellation of San Diego this year is an anomaly, and I anticipate it will return to the schedule in 2024. Given the long history of racing in Detroit, I hope that site also will return in 2024. Detroit has a long and rich involvement with Unlimited racing, plus it is a large metropolitan area with dedicated fans and a potential source for new sponsors. If Detroit cannot return in 2024, I think a return to Evansville, Indiana, could be a positive move, if suitable pit facilities and spectator viewing areas can be assured.
Brad Luce (H1 Unlimited PA Announcer)
Hands down, Detroit. Much like Seattle, the history of our sport is tied so very deeply to the Detroit River and the historic Detroit Yacht Club. We need to return.
Beyond Detroit, I have always thought about a return to Washington DC., and the Potomac River. So many great races in the past with our nation’s capital as a backdrop, and the race winner being invited to the White House for a trophy presentation. Hey, you said ANY race site!
Jeff Morrow (Former Sports Editor of the Tri-City Herald)
If you’re giving one choice it has to be Detroit.
There’s too much history of the sport involved there, and it needs to be back on the schedule again.
I wish Coeur d’Alene would have worked out, for selfish reasons because it’s close to where I live. But I doubt that one will ever come back.
The other one is Evansville.
Derrell Strong told me last month he’d like to see a four-race East Coast swing, and that would be by adding Detroit and Evansville.
But again, I believe Detroit has to come back first.
Andy Muntz (Unlimited News Journal Editor & H1 Unlimited Board Member)
Detroit has a long tradition in the sport that goes back more than 100 years and needs to get back on the schedule. It stands every chance of finally happening in 2024. The organizers there have signed a Letter of Intent and have paid a deposit to hold a date for next summer. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll be able to get enough support from sponsors and the local authorities to actually make it happen.
San Diego is another race site that we’d love to get back on the schedule next year and we also have promising efforts underway in a couple of other places. Here’s a tip for fans about one of those possibilities for 2024: Get your passport in order. If things go as well as they appear right now, we should definitely have a good season next year.
Beyond the realistic possibilities for next season, if I’m allowed to dream a little and put complicating factors such as money, logistics, and practicality aside, among the race sites I’d like to see returning to the sport would be Las Vegas, Honolulu, Miami, Washington, DC, and Lake George, New York.
David Newton (Publisher of Roostertail Talk Podcast)
Fans are anxious to hear of any new stops on the H1 tour next year. There are many returning sites that would be great additions for the 2024 race season; Evansville, Miami Marine Stadium, Syracuse Lake, Clear Lake Texas, Kelowna BC and Pearl Harbor to name a few. But there is one race site that needs to be added before all others, Detroit.
Detroit has a huge history in the sport. Detroit first held an official race back in 1916 when they hosted the APBA Gold Cup. Detroit has hosted the APBA Gold Cup 53 times since then, claiming itself as the home of the Gold Cup. Also, when you think Detroit and H1 Unlimited history many names come to mind. Schoenith, Cantrell, D’Eath, Muncey, Schafer, Simon, Wood, and Tate to name a few. All of these Detroit natives have claimed their own fame and glory in the sport.
Detroit is a fan favorite for many reasons. Over 100 years of racing on the river has created a large fan base in the Detroit area. To say the racecourse is unique is an understatement. The oval track is 2.5 miles with two unsymmetrical corners. One is extremely wide and fast, then goes to the extreme opposite hair pin “Roostertail Turn”. This creates a challenging course for drivers and an exciting one for fans to watch. The river can at times be calm and extremely fast or can change without moment’s notice to be near ocean like conditions. As Bill Muncey said, “you don’t beat the Detroit River, you survive it”.
It is time for H1 Unlimited to return to Detroit.