Jul. 27, 2018
- Jul. 29, 2018
The 2018 HAPO Columbia Cup will mark the 53rd time Unlimited Hydroplanes have raced on the Columbia River. This year’s event, like the inaugural in 1966, will most likely have 12 Unlimiteds in attendance. But the modern Unlimited Hydroplane has very little in common with those first boats that churned the waters of the Columbia River. The hydroplanes of today are almost more plane than hydro. They are thirty foot long; 7,000 pound wings that glide over the water with only the bare minimum of the boat making contact with the river. Powered by turbine engines capable of nearly 3,000hp, the boats can reach straightaway speeds close to 200 miles per hour. Qualifying lap averages in the mid 160mph range are common with the faster boats in the fleet. To put it in simpler terms, at speed, an Unlimited Hydroplane will travel more than the length of a football fields in the space of a second.