Experiences In The D | The Blog for Visit Detroit
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200-Plus MPH Speeds Ahead at Spirit of Detroit HydroFest
It’s fast. It’s loud. And it’s happening on the beautiful Detroit River. Boat racing in Detroit is back with the UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest Aug. 22-23 featuring the H1 Unlimited hydroplane series.
The H1 Unlimited hydroplane series, the city’s longest-running community sporting event, is your chance to see the fastest and most powerful closed-course racing boats in the world. And why are they called hydroplanes? Because they go so fast that the entire boat flies over the water, reaching speeds above 200 mph.
Racing classes include Unlimited hydroplanes, Grand Prix hydroplanes and Formula 2 powerboats. The Formula 2 boats are able to turn almost instantaneously, incurring more g-forces than any racing machine.
The Detroit River is made for this race. The course separates the men from the boys from a driving standpoint. It’s a 2.5-mile course with the largest turn and the tightest turn on the circuit that really makes for an exciting race, according to pilots. And the international waterway offers gorgeous views of the Detroit and Windsor skylines.
Boat racing has a long, proud tradition in Detroit. The first sanctioned hydroplane race took place on the Detroit River in 1916, only taking a hiatus during World War II.
Catch some great bands during race weekend. Detroit’s premiere classic rock band Bedrock will keep the crowd moving on Aug. 22. Detroit native and Nashville country music recording artist the Matt Austin Band will entertain on Aug. 23.
Best of all, this year because of the UAW-GM sponsorship, all general admission parks along Jefferson Avenue between the Roostertail restaurant and the Belle Isle Bridge are free! Bring your blanket and cooler and enjoy an exciting day on the Detroit River. Grandstand seating starts at $45.
By: Michelle Fusco
Photo Credit: Detroit Boat Races Facebook page