|Category||Unlimited hydroplane racing|
|Engine suppliers||Lycoming Engines|
|Drivers' champion||Andrew Tate|
|Teams' champion||Jones Racing (U-9)|
H1 Unlimited is an American Unlimited Hydroplane racing league that is sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association (APBA). 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 July through September, consisting of five 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.
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."
The world's first sanctioned unlimited hydroplane race was held 118 years ago in 1903 in Ireland at Queenstown, and was very modest by later race standards. That race was won by Dorothy Levitt, driving an 11-meter (35 ft) boat, powered by a 56-kilowatt (75 hp) Napier engine, at an average speed of 31.4 km/h (19.5 mph).
The boats were initially restricted to engines of a maximum of 10.24 liters (625 cu in), later increased to 12.00 liters (732 cu in). Hulls with "steps" or "shingles" on the underside were prohibited.
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 113.317 km/h (70.412 mph) in the 48 km (30 mi) race over an 8 km (5 mi) 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.
In 1929, the 725 cu in (11.88 l) 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.
The turbine engine was first used in competition by the U-95 "Whiz-per" in 1974, which sank that August at Seattle. The next entrant with turbine power was the Pay 'n Pak in 1980 on the Columbia River at Tri-Cities, but it flipped 2½ times in a test run prior to the Sunday heats. It was the sole turbine again the following year, but through the 1980s, the turbine gradually displaced piston power.
The H1 Unlimited (prior to the 2009 Oryx Cup, known as ABRA Unlimited (American Boat Racing Association) since 2004) class is sanctioned by APBA, its governing body in North America and UIM, its international body.
Unlimited Hydroplanes are fast boats capable of more than 320 km/h (200 mph) on the straights and running average lap speeds of 209–266 km/h (130–165 mph). They are 8.5–9.1 m (28–30 ft) in length and weigh a minimum of 3,060 kg (6,750 lb).
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.
Past National High Point Champions
|1946||Tempo VI||Guy Lombardo||1|
|1947||Miss Peps V||Walt Dossin
|1948||Such Crust||Jack Schafer, Sr.||2|
|1949||My Sweetie||Ed Gregory
Horace Dodge, Jr.
|1950||My Sweetie||Horace Dodge, Jr.||2|
|1951||Miss Pepsi||Walt Dossin
|1952||Miss Pepsi||Walt Dossin
|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|
|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
|1970||Miss Budweiser||Rolls-Royce Merlin||Bernie Little
|1971||Miss Budweiser||Rolls-Royce Merlin||Bernie Little
|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
|1984||Miss Budweiser||Rolls-Royce Griffon||Bernie Little||6|
|1985||Miller American||Lycoming T55||Fran Muncey
|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|
|2014||Oberto Beef Jerky||Lycoming T55-L7C||City of Madison||2|
|2015||Oberto||Lycoming T55-L7C||City of Madison||3|
|2016||HomeStreet Bank||Lycoming T55-L7C||City of Madison||2|
|2017||HomeStreet Bank||Lycoming T55-L7C||City of Madison||1|
|2018||Jones Racing||Lycoming T55-L7C||Michael and Lori Jones||3|
|Bill Muncey Trophy[A]|
|1946||Guy Lombardo||Tempo VI||
|1947||Danny Foster||Miss Peps V||3|
|1948||Dan Arena||Such Crust||2|
|1949||Bill Stead||My Sweetie||4|
|1950||Danny Foster||Such Crust
|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||3|
|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|
|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
|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|
|2014||Jimmy Shane||Oh Boy! Oberto (Miss Madison)||Lycoming||2|
|2016||Jimmy Shane||HomeStreet Bank||Lycoming||2|
|2017||Jimmy Shane||HomeStreet Bank||Lycoming||1|
|2018||Andrew Tate||Jones Racing||Lycoming||3|
- H1 Unlimited renamed the drivers' trophy after the Unlimited legend in 2011.
- "The Gold Cup Class Revisited". Lesliefield.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
- "Thunderboats..the craft they call unlimited" Popular Mechanics, June 1976, pp. 61-63.
-  Archived July 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "It's A Wonder - Page 1". Vintageraceboatshop.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
- "Pak rates Gold Cup boat pick". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. August 4, 1974. p. 2, sports.
- "Pay 'n Pak wins rugged Gold Cup". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. August 5, 1974. p. 13.
- "Pay 'N Pak will sport experimental engine". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). July 25, 1980. p. 28.
- "Flip: Pay 'N Pak's 2½ somersaults electrify hydro race crowd". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). July 28, 1980. p. 17.
- "Race goes to Muncey; Pak flips". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. July 28, 1980. p. 22.
- "Chenoweth top qualifier in Miss Bud". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. July 25, 1981. p. 17.
- Blanchette, John (July 27, 1981). "Hanauer's the hydro champ". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 13.
- Lee, Greg (July 27, 1985). "Quietly riding wave of the future". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 15.
- Bunch, Jeff (July 25, 1987). "When you say Bud, you've said it all". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. B1.
- Bunch, Jeff (July 30, 1988). "Wet, wild and very dangerous". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. B1.
- "American Boat Racing Association changes its name to H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Unveils new international brand - Auburn Reporter". Pnwlocalnews.com. 2009-11-19. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
- H1 Unlimited- What Are Unlimited Hydroplanes?