100th running of the Gold Cup will be historic event - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

100th running of the Gold Cup will be historic event

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SOURCE:  PRNewswire

DETROIT, Mich. -- The Detroit River turns into the "Super Bowl" of powerboat racing with the 2008 Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup races July 11-13, 2008 featuring unlimited hydroplane boats with 3,000 horsepower engines hitting 200 miles-per-hour and covering a football field in less than a second.    

The 2008 event weekend marks a major historic milestone for the event with the 100th running of the APBA Gold Cup race. The 2008 race weekend lineup was announced today (Wednesday) by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, title sponsor Chrysler Jeep Superstores Advertising Association President, Jim Schebil and Detroit River Regatta Association (DRRA) President, Tom Bertolini.    

Catamaran-style offshore racing boats with piston and turbine engines up to 3,700 horsepower and running 39 to 44 feet in length add another dimension of excitement and fun. Fifteen Offshore Pro Series race boat entries have been added to this year's schedule, almost double the number that competed last year.    

New attractions and longer hours of operation increase the summertime fun. Friday, July 11, is "free Friday," with the racecourse open until 6:30 p.m. for racing fans. The races take place on the Detroit River racecourse near Belle Isle, recognized worldwide as the premier site for hydroplane boat racing.    

This year's entertainment and family attractions are equally as exciting as the competition on the river. The U.S. Navy's West Coast Super Hornet Demo Team will perform flight demonstrations of one of the U.S. Armed Forces' most impressive aircraft, the FA-18.    

The Navy also will present its high-tech "Accelerate Your Life Experience," a firsthand view of Navy life complete with interactive video games and the 180-degree "Immersa-Domes." The domes plunge participants into the real-world sights, sounds and smells of a Navy seaman through a thrilling virtual reality experience.    

The free "Camp Jeep" driving experience provides actual test demonstration rides on a special Jeep wilderness course in Henderson Park. And for sports fans of all ages, the Michigan Hall of Fame will present a wide array of sports challenges and inflatables, including a football obstacle course, a full-action video golf simulator, a pro-style Wiffle ball batting cage and hockey and lacrosse skill zones in the Family Fun Zone located in the Hydromart. A traveling museum commemorating Michigan's sports heroes will also be on site.    

A large picnic area, games, arts and crafts, free face painting, balloon artists and wandering stilt walkers are additional family attractions.    

"This year is the 100th running of the prestigious APBA Gold Cup. Chrysler Jeep Superstores are especially proud to be a part of this historic event, and to be a part of another great weekend in downtown Detroit as title sponsors," said Jim Schebil, president of the Chrysler Jeep Superstores Advertising Association and president of Fox Hills Chrysler Jeep in Plymouth. "It's great to support exciting and fun-filled family entertainment events in Detroit."    

The APBA Gold Cup - considered the crown jewel by powerboat racers, dating back to 1904 - is the oldest motor sports trophy in the world. The running of the Gold Cup was only interrupted by the Great Wars. The race, in its 100th running, continues to define the greatest unlimited hydroplane drivers in the sport.    

The three-day event features high-speed racing action as spectacular Unlimited Hydroplanes, as well as beautiful vintage race boats including three-point hydroplanes, Jersey Speed skiffs, fire-breathing Grand Prix hydros and Superlight Tunnels speed to the finish line. The Unlimited hydroplane boats have 3,000 horsepower engines that reach top speeds of more than 200 mph and cover the length of a football field in less than one second.    

"We're excited about the next 100 years of speed, power, and tradition in Detroit powerboat racing," said Tom Bertolini, president of the DRRA. "The Detroit River is the world epicenter of powerboat racing. It's the grandest stage for the fierce competitors vying for the oldest trophy in motor sports."    

The APBA Gold Cup began more than 100 years ago and came to Detroit the first time in 1916. Detroit became the permanent home of the Gold Cup race in 1990. The race location was determined in earlier years by the prior year's winner.    

Detroit's longstanding reputation as the host site continuously draws the biggest crowds, provides the best race facilities and has hosted the event the most times in the trophy's history.    

 The title sponsor is the Chrysler Jeep Superstores Advertising Association. The Chrysler Jeep Superstores Advertising Association is made up of the 39 independently owned Chrysler Jeep Superstores in Southeastern Michigan from Monroe to Fowlerville and from Clinton to Port Huron.    

Website: http://www.chryslerjeepsuperstores.com .    

For tickets or more information, log on to the DRRA's Web site, http://www.gold-cup.com .