The 2022 H1 Unlimited Racing Series concludes this weekend in San Diego
SAN DIEGO — The fastest race boats in the world will wrap up the 2022 season when the H1 Unlimited Racing Series makes its final stop of the year this weekend on Mission Bay in San Diego. The boats will compete in a match-race Showdown event on Saturday and in the HomeStreet Bank Bayfair race on Sunday.
In addition to the two race victories, the race teams also will be competing to see who will be crowned the 2022 national champions. Jimmy Shane, 36, of San Antonio, Texas, has won three of the six races held so far this season and holds a significant lead in points for the driver’s championship. His defending champion Miss HomeStreet race team arrives in San Diego with a much narrower advantage for the team title, however.
Only 765 points behind in second place is the U-9 Miss Tri-Cities, which will be driven by J. Michael Kelly, 43, of Bonney Lake, Wash., the defending national driver’s champion and the winner of last year’s San Diego race. Kelly, who is driving for the Strong Racing Team in Auburn, Wash., also came away with the first-place trophy when the H1 Unlimited Racing Series made its stop in Seattle in early August.
A solid third in the standings is Jeff Bernard, 38, of Kent, Wash., who will be driving Miss Goodman Real Estate, which is campaigned by the same Miss Madison Racing Team of Madison, Indiana, as Shane’s Miss HomeStreet. Bernard has driven his boat to four second-place finishes so far this season.
Fourth in the standings is U-11 Legend Yacht Transport and its driver Jamie Nilsen, 37, of Gig Harbor, Wash. Nilsen, driving for the Unlimited Racing Group out of Cle Elum, Wash., has had three third-place finishes this year.
The fifth entry in the San Diego event will be the U-40 Miss Beacon Plumbing, which has shown tremendous speed this season but has been hampered by accidents that included an end-over-end flip during the race in the Tri-Cities, Wash. The boat, operated by the Bucket List Racing Team of Snohomish, Wash., will be driven by Dustin Echols, 42, of Monroe, Wash., who has driven for the team in five seasons but will be making his first appearance for 2022.
Nothing compares to the unique visual beauty of watching the spectacular H1 Unlimited hydroplanes careen across the water at speeds approaching 200 mph while throwing white spray high into the air. The racecourse on Mission Bay is also known as the fastest on the H1 Unlimited Racing Series circuit.
For those who want to watch the “Greatest Show on H-2-O” in person, tickets are still available at sandiegobayfair.org.
If you can’t be there to watch the race in person, the next best thing is to watch the live streaming broadcast, which boat racing fans around the world can catch on the H1 Unlimited YouTube Channel. To find a link to the broadcast, or to learn more about the hydroplanes, go to H1Unlimited.com.
UPDATED: September 13 to reflect change of driver for the U-40.