KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Hydroplanes tested new technology on the Columbia River. Friday H1 Unlimited boats tested a new GPS unit. The U-11 Peters & May and U-88 Degree Men had first crack at the Columbia River. The GPS unit was in the boat and the base unit was on land for H1 officials. They use it to track the boats' speed. They want to keep the boats from driving up to the starting line slowly and waiting until the flag drops. The U-11 and Craig Kairis of GPS Flight helped to develop the new program.
"This is just a device that will transmit to the race officials what the speed of the boats are, the speed they're traveling at. There's been a trend developing where the boats are getting slower and slower as they jockey for position, which isn't really exciting for the fans. So with this device we're going to determine a minimum speed limit," U-11 driver JW Myers said.