More race sites are in the future for unlimited hydroplane racing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More race sites are in the future for unlimited hydroplane racing

The mission for the ABRA has been to be more aggressive about getting new race sites.  "In two years," U-1 Elam owner Erick Ellstrom said; "we went from 4 to 7 sites... and more next year."

Ellstrom says the ABRA is getting calls from cities saying they want hydro racing.  "They say ‘we don't care what it costs'"  However, not every city can pull it off.  It's not just the money; it's the water.  You have to have the right body of water close to the population base and not every city has it.

There are reasons to be optimistic about the future.

"We're seeing the rebirth of a sport that was tattered and torn for a few years," said U-1 driver Dave Villwock.  "We're seeing a resurgence."

Villwock says new ownership and investment in equipment means good competition.  "Good organization, good product, good boats will lead to more and bigger sponsors."

"The more races, the stronger the national circuit," said Dr. Ken Muscatel, driver and operator of the U2.25.  "The more you can attract national sponsors."  The key to success, Muscatel said, is more race sites.

"It's going to get better and better," said Fred Leland, owner of three boats (U-99, U-100 & U-60).  "Boats are such a big billboard.  It's a great sponsor value."

"We're looking at a new race site on the East Coast," said Ellstrom.

Muscatel was little more straightforward.  "We're going to be back in Nashville next year," said Muscatel.  "Hopefully, in Washington, D.C.  We're working on that now."
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