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Hydroplane national event coming to Roseville area in 2013

H1 Unlimited race will be first on Folsom Lake since 1967
By: Penne Usher/Gold Country News Service
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Officials announced Monday that Folsom Lake was chosen to host H1 Unlimited Hydroplane races in 2013.

?We?re excited to bring the fastest boats in the world and the thrill of the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Air National Guard Series back to Northern California and the capital city,? H1 Unlimited President Sam Cole said.

Hydroplanes haven?t raced on Folsom Lake since 1967, when they were known as ?Ms. Budweiser Boats.?

The newest venue on the H1 Unlimited Air National Guard Series, Granite Bay at Folsom Lake SRA will be host to races from May 31-June 2, 2013, as part of the Big Wake Weekend at Folsom Lake.

The series features the fastest boats on water, and a four-team exhibition was held last September in an effort to generate interest in gaining a national event. Based in Pasco, Wash., H1 Unlimited has more than a dozen teams with turbine-powered hydroplanes.

H1 boats are capable of reaching more than 200 mph in straightaways and 150 in corners.

Drivers are subjected to G-forces of six Gs in turns. By comparison, race car drivers on Daytona?s superspeedway face up to five Gs in turns.

Spokesman Bob Richards said H1 has been working on a race at the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area since 2012.

?This event will have a positive impact to the area,? Richards aid. ?Because of our following, we have people from all over the globe. This is just incredible. We are super excited to be back.?

Local establishments, including those in Roseville, Folsom and El Dorado Hills, will benefit financially from the races, Richards said.

?This is absolutely a great deal,? he said. ?In smaller towns, the races have generated in excess of $4 million. We can do a really good thing in the area.?

Roseville Mayor Pauline Roccucci said the area hosts numerous outdoor sports events and the H1 races are a natural fit.

?This is great for our area,? she said. ?We like outdoor sports, and Folsom Lake has been actively used for that purpose.?

Roccucci said bringing additional revenue to hotels and restaurants is a plus.

?This will bring an economic boost for us and will be a great event,? she said.

UNLIMITED HYDROPLANES BY THE NUMBERS

Average length: 30 feet
Width: 13 feet
Weight: 6,500 pounds
Power: T-44/L-7 Turbine
Top speed: 200 mph plus
Lap speed record: 173 mph on a 2.5-mile course
World record: 220.505 mph on a mile straightaway
Information: www.h1unlimited.com
Information provided by H1 Unlimited.

HYDROPLANE FACTS

* Hydroplanes are the fastest racing boats in the world.
* More than 12 teams compete on the H1 Unlimited circuit.
* Drivers compete in a series of preliminary heats with those who earn the most points qualifying for a winner-take-all final heat.
* Race courses range from 1.6 to 2.5 miles.
* A start clock that counts down to zero is used to begin a race.