H1 Unlimited

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H1 Unlimited
H1Unlim.PNG
Category Unlimited hydroplane racing
Country  United States
 Qatar
Inaugural season 1946
Drivers 15
Teams 12
Engine suppliers Lycoming Engines
Drivers' champion United States Jimmy Shane
Teams' champion United States #U-5 Graham Trucking
Official website www.h1unlimited.com
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

H1 Unlimited is an Unlimited Hydroplane racing league that is sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association (APBA), and Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). Until 2009, the series was known as ABRA Unlimited Hydroplane, in turn renamed from APBA Unlimited Hydroplane in 2004. The H1 Unlimited season typically runs from June through November, consisting of seven races.

A hydroplane (or hydro, or thunderboat) is a very specific type of motorboat used exclusively for racing. One of the unique characteristics about hydroplanes is that they only use the water they're on for propulsion and steering (not for flotation) - when going at full speed they are primarily held aloft by a principle of fluid dynamics known as "planing", with only a tiny fraction of their hull actually touching the water.

History[edit]

The unlimited hydroplane racing series was founded in 1946 when the unlimited class of boats was allowed to compete following World War II and the subsequent availability of surplus aircraft engines. It had been disbanded in 1922 in favor of the newly introduced "Gold Cup Class".[1]

The world's first sanctioned unlimited hydroplane race was held in 1903 at Queenstown, Ireland and was very modest by later race standards. That race was won by Dorothy Levitt, driving a 35 foot boat powered by a 75 hp Napier engine, totaling an average speed of 19.53 mph.[2]

The boats were initially restricted to engines of a maximum of 625 cubic inches, later increased to 732 cubic inches. Hulls with "steps" or "shingles" on the underside were prohibited.[1]

One reason for the rule change was to end the domination of its star driver, Gar Wood, who had won five consecutive Gold Cups from 1917. One win in 1920 in his twin Liberty L-12 powered Miss America, averaged 70.412 miles per hour in the 30-mile race over a 5-mile course and set a race record that stood until 1946. "King Gar" had entered fifteen Gold Cup heats during those pinnacle years. He finished first twelve times and second three times. Throughout the years, only two boats showed up to challenge Miss America; one of those was piloted by George Wood, Gar's younger brother, in Miss Chicago. Another reason for the rule change was to make racing more affordable.[1]

In 1929, the 725 Cubic Inch Class was introduced by the Mississippi Valley Power Boat Association (MVPBA). The majority of these boats were powered by Hispano-Suiza 8 aircraft engines or Curtiss OX-5s. These boats were popular in the Southern and Midwestern US, but did not attract the media attention that the expensive and exotic-looking Gold Cup Class counterparts had.[3]

In 1946 after the hiatus due to the war, the MVPBA was absorbed into the APBA,[4] and as a result the 725s and the Gold Cups merged to become the APBA Unlimited Class.[3]

Today[edit]

The H1 Unlimited (prior to the 2009 Oryx Cup, known as ABRA Unlimited (American Boat Racing Association) since 2004[5]) class is sanctioned by APBA, its governing body in North America and UIM, its international body.

Unlimited Hydroplanes are fast boats capable of 200+ MPH on the straightaways and running average lap speeds from 130-165 MPH. They are 28–30 feet in length and weigh a minimum of 6750 pounds (3062 kilograms).

The modern turbine-powered unlimited hydroplane is derived from the 3-point prop-riding hydroplanes of the 1950s. These were the first boats to ride on a cushion of air trapped between "sponsons" mounted on the sides of the front of the boat, and the bottom half of the propeller, which were all that touched the water.

They were called "Unlimited" because they were the only class of boat racing the APBA that had no restrictions on the displacement size of their piston engines. The designation Unlimited has stayed with the class in the turbine era, even though there are restrictions on the turbine engine and its fuel.

The Lycoming T55 L7C, originally used in Chinook helicopters, is not the only turbine engine currently allowed in the sport.[6]

Past National High Point Champions[edit]

Team Champions[edit]

Year Team Engine Owner Wins
1946 Tempo VI Guy Lombardo 1
1947 Miss Peps V Walt Dossin
Roy Dossin
Russell Dossin
3
1948 Such Crust Jack Schafer, Sr. 2
1949 My Sweetie Ed Gregory
Ed Schoenherr
Horace Dodge, Jr.
4
1950 My Sweetie Horace Dodge, Jr. 2
1951 Miss Pepsi Walt Dossin
Roy Dossin
4
1952 Miss Pepsi Walt Dossin
Roy Dossin
3
1953 Gale II Joe Schoenith 1
1954 Gale V Joe Schoenith 4
1955 Gale V Joe Schoenith 1
1956 Shanty I Bill Waggoner 3
1957 Hawaii Kai III Edgar Kaiser 5
1958 Miss Bardahl Ole Bardahl 3
1959 Maverick Bill Waggoner 5
1960 Miss Thriftway Willard Rhodes 4
1961 Miss Century 21 Willard Rhodes 4
1962 Miss Century 21 Willard Rhodes 5
1963 Miss Bardahl Ole Bardahl 3
1964 Miss Bardahl Ole Bardahl 4
1965 Miss Bardahl Ole Bardahl 4
1966 Tahoe Miss Bill Harrah 4
1967 Miss Bardahl Ole Bardahl 6
1968 Miss Bardahl Ole Bardahl 4
1969 Miss Budweiser Rolls Royce Merlin Bernie Little
Tom Friedkin
4
1970 Miss Budweiser Rolls Royce Merlin Bernie Little
Tom Friedkin
4
1971 Miss Budweiser Rolls Royce Merlin Bernie Little
Tom Friedkin
2
1972 Atlas Van Lines Joe Schoenith 6
1973 Pay 'n Pak Rolls Royce Merlin Dave Heerensperger 4
1974 Pay 'n Pak Rolls Royce Merlin Dave Heerensperger 7
1975 Pay 'n Pak Rolls Royce Merlin Dave Heerensperger 5
1976 Atlas Van Lines Rolls Royce Merlin Bill Muncey 5
1977 Miss Budweiser Rolls Royce Merlin Bernie Little 3
1978 Atlas Van Lines Rolls Royce Merlin Bill Muncey 6
1979 Atlas Van Lines Rolls Royce Merlin Bill Muncey 7
1980 Miss Budweiser Rolls Royce Griffon Bernie Little 5
1981 Miss Budweiser Rolls Royce Griffon Bernie Little 6
1982 Atlas Van Lines Rolls Royce Merlin Fran Muncey 5
1983 Atlas Van Lines Rolls Royce Merlin Fran Muncey
Jim Lucero
3
1984 Miss Budweiser Rolls Royce Griffon Bernie Little 6
1985 Miller American Lycoming T55 Fran Muncey
Jim Lucero
5
1986 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 3
1987 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 5
1988 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 4
1989 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 4
1990 Miss Circus Circus Lycoming T55 Bill Bennett 6
1991 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 4
1992 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 7
1993 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 7
1994 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 4
1995 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 5
1996 PICO American Dream Lycoming T55 Fred Leland 6
1997 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 6
1998 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 8
1999 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 8
2000 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55 Bernie Little 6
2001 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55-L7C Bernie Little 1
2002 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55-L7C Bernie Little 3
2003 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55-L7C Joe Little 2
2004 Miss Budweiser Lycoming T55-L7C Joe Little 5
2005 Miss Elam Plus Lycoming T55-L7C Erick Ellstrom 3
2006 Miss Formulaboats.com II Lycoming T55-L7C Ted Porter 1
2007 Miss Elam Plus Lycoming T55-L7C Erick Ellstrom
2008 Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming T55-L7C City of Madison
2009 Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming T55-L7C City of Madison 1
2010 Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming T55-L7C City of Madison 3
2011 U-96 Spirit of Qatar Lycoming T55-L7C Marine Technologies 3
2012 Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming T55-L7C City of Madison 3
2013 Graham Trucking Lycoming T55-L7C Team Porter Racing 4

Driver Champions[edit]

Year Driver Machine Engine Wins
1946 Guy Lombardo Tempo VI

1

1947 Danny Foster Miss Peps V 3
1948 Dan Arena Such Crust 2
1949 Bill Stead My Sweetie 4
1950 Danny Foster Such Crust
Delphine X
2
1951 Chuck Thompson Miss Pepsi 4
1952 Chuck Thompson Miss Pepsi 3
1953 Lee Schoenith Gale II 1
1954 Lee Schoenith Gale V 4
1955 Lee Schoenith Gale V 1
1956 Russ Schleeh Shanty I 3
1957 Jack Regas Hawaii Kai III 5
1958 Mira Slovak Miss Bardahl
Miss Burien
3
1959 Bill Stead Maverick 5
1960 Bill Muncey Miss Thriftway 4
1961 Bill Muncey Miss Century 21 4
1962 Bill Muncey Miss Century 21 5
1963 Bill Cantrell Gale V 0
1964 Ron Musson Miss Bardahl 4
1965 Ron Musson Miss Bardahl 4
1966 Mira Slovak Tahoe Miss 4
1967 Billy Schumacher Miss Bardahl 6
1968 Billy Schumacher Miss Bardahl 4
1969 Bill Sterett, Sr. Miss Budweiser 4
1970 Dean Chenoweth Miss Budweiser 4
1971 Dean Chenoweth Miss Budweiser 2
1972 Bill Muncey Atlas Van Lines 6
1973 Mickey Remund Pay 'n Pak 4
1974 George Henley Pay 'n Pak 7
1975 Billy Schumacher Weisfield's 2
1977 Mickey Remund Miss Budweiser 3
1976 Bill Muncey Atlas Van Lines 5
1978 Bill Muncey Atlas Van Lines 6
1979 Bill Muncey Atlas Van Lines 7
1980 Dean Chenoweth Miss Budweiser 5
1981 Dean Chenoweth Miss Budweiser 6
1982 Chip Hanauer Atlas Van Lines 5
1983 Chip Hanauer Atlas Van Lines 3
1984 Jim Kropfeld Miss Budweiser 6
1985 Chip Hanauer Miller American 5
1986 Jim Kropfeld Miss Budweiser 3
1987 Jim Kropfeld Miss Budweiser 5
1988 Tom D'Eath Miss Budweiser 4
1989 Chip Hanauer Miss Circus Circus 3
1990 Chip Hanauer Miss Circus Circus 6
1991 Mark Tate Winston Eagle
Oh Boy! Oberto
3
1992 Chip Hanauer Miss Budweiser 7
1993 Chip Hanauer Miss Budweiser 7
1994 Mark Tate Smokin' Joe's 2
1995 Mark Tate Smokin' Joe's 4
1996 Dave Villwock PICO American Dream 6
1997 Mark Tate Close Call 1
1998 Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser Lycoming 8
1999 Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser Lycoming 8
2000 Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser Lycoming 6
2001 Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser Lycoming 1
2002 Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser Lycoming 3
2003 Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser Lycoming 2
2004 Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser Lycoming 5
2005 Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming 1
2006 Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming 0
2007 Dave Villwock U-16 Ellstrom Elan Plus Lycoming 4
2008 Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming
2009 Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming 1
2010 Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming 3
2011 Dave Villwock U-96 Spirit of Qatar Lycoming 3
2012 Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison) Lycoming 3
2013 Jimmy Shane Graham Trucking Lycoming 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Gold Cup Class Revisited". Lesliefield.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  2. ^ "Thunderboats..the craft they call unlimited" Popular Mechanics, June 1976, pp. 61-63.
  3. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "It's A Wonder - Page 1". Vintageraceboatshop.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  5. ^ Nov 19, 2009 at 12:37PM (2009-11-19). "American Boat Racing Association changes its name to H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Unveils new international brand - Auburn Reporter". Pnwlocalnews.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  6. ^ H1 Unlimited- What Are Unlimited Hydroplanes?

External links[edit]