Grand Prix World Supercharged Hydroplanes returns to San Diego and is expected to field eight teams. The piston-powered hydroplanes are a smaller sibling to the H1 Unlimited hydroplanes but still top 150 mph on the water.
“We are excited to bring a competitive field of boats that promise to restore the roar on Mission Bay,” said Sam Cole, who leads the Grand Prix World tour. “We have excellent drivers, many who raced in the Unlimited ranks. Fans will be familiar with their names.”
Proving that age is just a number, 70-year-old grandfather Jerry Hopp will be racing his Happy Go Lucky hydroplane in San Diego. It’s a course he’s familiar with since his days competing against the late Bill Muncey, who pushed for the development of Mission Bay Park and founded San Diego Bayfair.
Rounding out the on-water entertainment will be several classes of amateur racing led by RPM Racing.
Other activities on land include beer gardens, a large vendor area open to the public on East Vacation Island and activities for the kids. San Diego Bayfair also offers RV spaces to rent on Mission Bay, one of the few opportunities to stay overnight in Mission Bay Park. RV Packages include four nights and five days, plus tickets to the event.
Testing and qualifying with limited racing takes place on Friday, September 15. Heat races and championship races take place Saturday and Sunday. The HomeStreet Bank Bill Muncey Cup for H1 Unlimited is tentatively set for 4:15 pm on Sunday, September 17.
All of the participating boats will be stationed on East Vacation Island/Ski Beach, the main event site for San Diego Bayfair. All spectators can tour the pit area at no additional charge, allowing fans to get up close and personal with the boats and teams.
“We’re grateful to HomeStreet Bank for returning as the title sponsor and the incredible support from the San Diego Tourism Marketing District,” Davies said. “Bayfair helps showcase San Diego as a world-class tourism destination.”
Single-day tickets start at $25 and a three-day Super Pass is available for $45. Children under age 12 are free.