Limited Hydroplane Action
GP World series
kicks off season in Madison
The series has grown to include eight race sites in 2017
(June 23, 2017) – Madison Regatta race fans are in store for some exciting boat racing action on the Ohio River this year when the Grand Prix World boat series returns to Madison, Ind., to compete for the Midwest Tube Mills Championship after a one-year hiatus.
The Madison Regatta Committee has a full slat of racing planned for the GPW boats, in addition to an exhibition racing schedule featuring four Unlimited hydroplanes from the larger H1 Unlimited Series over the weekend of June 30 – July 2. The Grand Prix World plans to bring in 11 boats that will run on a mile and a quarter course at Madison as opposed to two miles for the Unlimiteds. There will be eight GP World class boats and three Grand National class boats, said GP World series chairman Sam Cole.
Photo provided by
Grand Prix World Series
The Grand Prix World automotive engine-powered boats are known for bringing the “roar on the shore.” The also are known as the fastest limited race boats.
“We are very excited to be coming to Madison to kick off our season,” said Cole by telephone from his home in Sacramento, Calif. “It will be great to bring the roar on the shore to Madison with these exciting automotive-powered race boats.”
“We are also eager to return this year to race in Evansville, Ind., over Labor Day weekend. This series hasn’t raced there since 2009. So now we will cover both ends of the Ohio River in Indiana.”
Cole is a Madison, Ind., native and brother to Regatta president Dan Cole.
The GPW series is growing to include more race sites and, as a result, announced a series name change in March from the Grand Prix West to the Grand Prix World series. In addition, the series announced three new events and return appearances at five other sites.
Broadening the scope of its racing sphere from the West Coast to national and someday international, Grand Prix West has officially become Grand Prix World and websites, logos, social media sites, decals and signage will soon bear the new GPW logo, according to Larry Linn, GPW series president.
“As people will see with the expansion of our racing schedule this year, the time has come to move beyond the West and it’s appropriate to change the series name,” said Linn. “This is the beginning but our first priority remains bringing a fast, competitive field of boats to all of our events this summer and fall.”
The 2017 GPW series’ season begins at the Madison Regatta and ends at a new event scheduled for Oct. 7-8 at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix.
In between are new events in Evansville, Ind., and Oak Harbor, Wash., along with a return to race sites in Tri-Cities, Wash., Seattle, Manson, Wash., and a race yet to be determined in San Diego.
The GPW series boasts of being the world’s fastest automotive-powered race boats. They resemble the larger Unlimiteds in appearance, only smaller.
“It has been an exciting process to get to this point,” said Cole. “We are working hard to establish Grand Prix racing in its own right and seek new venues that permit us to race on smaller bodies of water, allowing us to “bring our roar to the shore.
“Everyone in our organization is looking forward to renewing old friendships and making new ones,” Cole added. “While racing is the primary objective, building relationships with sponsors, media, promoters and fans is equally as important.”
Capable of speeds in excess of 175 mph, GPW teams will compete for the inaugural series championship with their 26-foot long, supercharged hydroplanes. The boats will compete on oval race courses ranging from one mile, 1.25 mile, 1.50 mile and 1.66 mile.
Additionally, new qualifying and racing formats will be introduced throughout the season at different venues.
Eight GPW teams and several independent GP teams from throughout the country will participate in the series, GPW officials said. GPW is an affiliated club with the American Power Boat Association.
Cole said it costs up to $12,000 per team to travel to Madison, but in addition to tow fees, costs are covered by sponsorships and local merchants. “We are happy that Midwest Tube Mills and owner Rick Russell have stepped up to sponsor our championship race in Madison,” Cole said.
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