Columns & Blogs

It’s never too early to think about hydroplanes

A couple tidbits this week about hydroplanes:

This is the week Steve David is inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions in Seattle.

David, 55, won two unlimited driver championships, but has 250 limited victories in his career.

-- The H-1 Unlimited owners will meet all day Saturday to discuss the upcoming season. The question is, will the teams go back to Qatar this year, and will there be more races outside the United States? The annual meetings are still set in Las Vegas on March 5-6.

-- Notice that it's not called the American Boat Racing Association anymore. Now it's H1 Unlimited to reflect the boats don't just race in North America. One thing that has happened is the Gold Cup dates, normally in the middle of July, have been moved to June 25-27 this year.

--. Our race in the Tri-Cities, the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup, is set for the final weekend of July (like it always is), July 23-25.

-- Billy and Jane Shumacher, the owners of the U-37 unlimited hydroplane, have parted ways with driver Jean Theoret -- although through their press release they stress it was amicable. Theoret flipped the boat last year in Madison and almost drowned, and you could see how it had shaken his confidence later in the season and possibly his drive to want to be in an unlimited. He did finish the season in the boat. The Schumachers are looking for a new driver. J.W. Myers drove the U-37 last year when Theoret did not.

-- A memorial service for former Pay N Pak driver George Henley will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday at Emerald Downs in Auburn. Henley passed away last month after suffering a heart attack.