Sam Cole, chairman of the American Boat Racing Association, announced today that 11 boats will make the eastern swing for the 2008 ABRA season.
The Tri-City Water Follies Lamb Weston Columbia Cup is scheduled for July 25-27.
"It is really exciting to see that we will have 11 national boats running in 2008," Cole said in a news release. "We have seen increased participation in each of the ABRA's previous seasons and it is because of the strong support we get from this group of owners that Unlimited Hydroplane racing's resurgence continues.
"Their dedication to this sport is unparalleled and the caliber of professionalism and competition has not been seen for many years in boat racing."
Never miss a local story.
Among the boats racing the national circuit will be Greg O' Farrell's Go Fast Turn Left Racing Team that will campaign the U-50. Brian Perkins will drive the boat for O' Farrell and Jim Labrie will be the crew chief. A sponsor will be named soon.
Last year, he campaigned the Lakeridge Paving with David Williams driving. That boat will again compete on the West Coast.
"We are really proud of Greg's increased commitment to the sport and are excited that he will campaign a national boat this year with the U-50," Cole saidl.
This season, the Ellstrom team will wear the U-1 on the side of the boat for the 2007 Team High Point National title. Owner Sven Ellstrom also won the National Team High Point Championship in 2005.
Dave Villwock, the winningest active driver in the sport with 55 career wins, will return as the Elam driver. He is the defending national high point driver champion, which he has won nine times.
The six-race series begins in Evansville, Ind., starting June 26 with the final heat races Sunday, June 29. The next two East Swing races are in Madison, Ind., July 4-6, and then in Detroit for 100th running of the Gold Cup, July 11-13.
The Chevrolet Cup at Seafair is scheduled for Aug. 1-3. And the season ends Sept. 19-21 with the Thunderboat Regatta in San Diego.
All 11 boats are expected to run the entire ABRA national schedule.
U-1 Ellstrom's Elam Plus, driver Dave Villwock, owner Sven Ellstrom
U-3 Cooper Motorsports, driver Jimmy King, owner Ed Cooper
U-5 Formulaboats.com, driver Jeff Bernard, owner The Porter Family
U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, driver Steve David, owner The City of Madison
U-7 Formulaboats.com, driver Mike Allen, owner The Porter Family
U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals, driver David Bryant, owner Kim and Debbie Gregory
U-13 Graham Trucking/Spirit of Detroit, driver J. Michael Kelly, owner Dave Bartush
U-25 Miss Jarvis Construction, driver/owner Dr. Ken Muscatel
U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing, driver Jean Theoret, owners Billy and Jane Schumacher
U-50 Sponsor TBA, driver Brian Perkins, owner Greg O'Farrell
U-100 Mirageboats.com, driver Greg Hopp, owner Fred Leland