Hydro Racing

Cost of doing business getting tough for hydroplane owners


Herald sports editor Jeff Morrow here. Just got into the pits after checking the Allied Arts show out. I always do that every Friday morning of race weekend. Just walk through and let the art floooowwwwww over me.

Didn't get too far into the pits when I came across my good friend Ed Cooper, the retired teacher from Indiana, who doubles as the U-3 Todd Hoss Mortgage Too owner and crew chief.

He was complaining -- no, not Ed -- about the rising cost of fuel.

In fact, I'll be running a story in Saturday's Herald about the rising costs of everything.

Ed says it's gotten past the point of being a major problem.

"You saw it when Ellstrom didn't bring his boat to Indiana," he said. "And I'll guarantee you I can go up the beach and look at every owner and tell if they'll finish the entire season with a loss from anywhere from $300,000 to $800,000."

That's a pretty expensive hobby.

One of the biggest problems is that the prize money at every race site -- every race site -- has NOT increased since at least the early 1990s. The deal has usually been, the prize money is evenly divided at each race site among the boats that are there. those teams that race the entire circuit get a little more.

"Detroit used to give out $210,000 in prize money," Ed said. "But it's gone down to $170,000."

There is a real concern up and down the beach about the rising costs of not just fuel, but also hotels and food.

Stay tuned for more on this issue.

I'm going back up the beach to see what else I can find.