Hydroplane Racing Returns to Detroit River with New Multi-year Partnership


UAW-GM and Detroit Riverfront Events Inc. have announced a multi-year partnership to host Detroit’s annual hydroplane racing event. This year’s race will be held on the weekend of August 22-23 along the Detroit River near Belle Isle.

“We will be bringing back the Grand Prix boats featuring the ACHA series, with the big block 1300 plus horsepower automotive engines with top speed of 170 miles per hour,” says Mark Weber, president of Detroit Riverfront Events. The annual race typically had been held in mid-July, but the races were initially canceled this year due to a lack of sponsorships and other challenges.

The 2015 UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest in August will feature H1 Unlimited hydroplanes that reach speeds of 200 miles per hour on the 2.5-mile course. Formula 2 tunnel boats will also be added to the race. The tunnel hull boats are powered by 200 horsepower engines, and race on a tighter course with one-pin left and right turns.

The first hydroplane event was held in Detroit in 1916 and  since 1946, at least one unlimited hydroplane racing event has been held on the Detroit River.

Free, general admission areas include Erma Henderson Park, Memorial Annex Park, and Owen Park. Tickets range from $45 for grandstand general seating to $175 in the Club Gold Cup area. For more information, visit DetroitBoatRaces.com.

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