UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest

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UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest
H1 Unlimited
Title sponsor United Auto Workers
General Motors
Dates August 22-23
Location Detroit River, Detroit, Michigan
Track length 2.5 mi (4 km)
First race 1916
Former names Challenge Cup, Gold Cup
Most recent winner U-6 Oberto Miss Madison
Jimmy Shane

The UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest is a H1 Unlimited hydroplane boat race held in August on the Detroit River in Detroit, Michigan. The race was formerly known as the Gold Cup, until it was moved to Tri-Cities for the 2015 season.


The first race ever held on the Detroit River was the Gold Cup, in 1916. The community-owned Miss Detroit won the Gold Cup in 1915 on Manhasset Bay, outside of New York City, and earned the right to defend it the following year on home waters. Miss Detroit was a single-step hydroplane, equipped with a 250-horsepower Sterling engine. The designer was the distinguished Christopher Columbus Smith of Chriscraft fame.

The race was run annually after being part of the Gold Cup, and later became known as the APBA Challenge Cup

Recently, after rotating locations based on the previous season's champion, the APBA decided to host the Gold Cup exclusively at Detroit each year. Following the 2014 season, the Detroit race was initially moved from July to August to allow other small hydro series to compete. Soon thereafter, however, the Detroit race was cancelled completely. As a result, the APBA moved its prestigious Gold Cup race to Tri-Cities, Washington for the 2015 season. However, on June 21, 2015, the Detroit Free Press revealed that hydroplanes would keep running in Detroit, with financial backing from locally based United Auto Workers and General Motors.[1]

For the 2016 season, the APBA's Gold Cup will be awarded again at the Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest.


  1. ^ "Hydroplane racing returning to Detroit River". Detroit Free Press. June 21, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 

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