For reference, our 2001 schedule was as follows:
February 7, 2001
An agreement has been reached between the Grand National Hydroplane (GNH) and Grand Prix (GP) classes to run several combination races in the 2001 race season. The GNH class currently permits two engines; the one with the least restrictions is a maximum of 468 cubic inches with the only major restriction, a 600 cfm carburetor. The Grand Prix (GP) class permits an engine with the maximum displacement of 511 cubic inches, runs on either gasoline or alcohol and allows a blower. There are certain hull restrictions in terms of weight and length, depending on the year the particular hull was built.
The general format of these races is that each GNH and GP will run the first heat as a time trial with each boat running alone. The second heat will involve 3 GNH's running in the inside 3 lanes and 3 GP's running in the 3 outside lanes. The lane choices for both GNH's and GP's will be determined by the first heat elapsed times, with the GNH times being compared only to the other GNH's, and the GP's, like-wise. The final heat for the GNH's will be run against the other GNH's and similarly, the GP's will run their final against the other GP's.
It should be readily apparent that this will increase the number of heats that both the GNH's and GP's run, and that is the intent. I have been advised that four (4) races currently have sponsorship backing and negotiations are ongoing in a fifth venue. In addition, a major part of the package is that each of the venues mentioned will be televised and aired on SPEEDVISION. As noted on the schedule located on the home page of this site, the races locked in for this format are: Lake Hopatcong (Spring), Tonawanda, Valleyfield and Lake Hopatcong (Fall). The fifth venue currently in negotiations is Rising Sun. For tentative dates, please refer to the schedule.
February 18, 2001
Good News for the Unlimited Lights (UL) fans! The UL's have been given a choice to run as a separate series race at Valleyfield or to run with the GNH/GP combination race as a GP. This decision will most likely be based on the number on teams available to travel to Valleyfield. If they chose to run in the GNH/GP race, they will compete in the format described above as a GP; with their final heat competing against the GP's.
The UL's are also in negotiation to participate at the sites already confirmed as GNH/GP races. This would take place under the same conditions; they would participate as GP's . This currently includes two Lake Hopatcong, NJ races and one race at Tonawanda in NY. However, it should be noted that there is some flexibility; a UL can run (and compete for national points) as a GNH if they choose to run with the 468 cubic inch engine. Should the UL's decided to participate in any of the confirmed GNH/GP races, they will either have the choice to compete with the GNH's (if they run the 468 cubic inch engine) and run for national points, or they can compete as a GP with any of their current engine configurations.
March 1, 2001
I received a call from Ken Brodie at work this morning and he advised me that he had sent an e-mail to my home which he requested that I place on the site under the "News" section. He wanted to discuss the situation, get my input as well as notify other members of the class. We had a very long discussion concerning the immediate future of the GNH class as well as our long range goals. I have placed excerpts from this and discussions with other individuals (edited) in the "Driver's Corner" section of the web site. The unedited e-mail is as follows:
On a slightly different note, I sent Bob Larimore my congratulations and wishes for a safe and successful attempt at the GNH kilo record that Bob will be attempting later on this month in the Pegasus (UL/GNH 23). As everyone probably is aware, Bob has weathered at least one horrific crash personally, so here's to two safe and successful runs (have to have an "up and back" to get the record). More details can be found on his site.
March 15, 2001
A bit of depressing news-- Ken Brodie has just advised that the season's opener, the Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey race scheduled for May 5 and 6 has been cancelled due to lack of funding. The delay in getting the news out was due to last ditch efforts to get Ford/Coors to sponsor the event. Unfortunately a commitment could not be obtained so the race had to be scratched. The fall Lake Hopatcong race, scheduled for September 15 and 16, 2001 is still on.
March 25, 2001
The Region 4 capsule training took place in Ocean City, Maryland on March 25th. The Rescue Staff was superb as usual, and at least 20 drivers got certified. While the capsule certification is only required once every two years, I certify at every opportunity as I feel that you can never get enough training in a matter as important as this. A quick note about the Rescue Staff; they are the best in APBA. They are thorough and professional. They volunteer their time and expertise and (like an organization I used to belong to) are "the first in, and the last out." They spend long hours preparing for their mission, and, after watching them countless number times deploy and successfully accomplish their mission, I know I am not alone in my opinion. There are pictures of the training on the site, courtesy (once again!) of Ray Downes.
May 23, 2001
On April 28-29,2001 the annual testing session took place at Kent Narrows, Maryland. Two GNH's from region IV made the trip; GNH 3 Rambunctious,,
owned and driven by Dan Ramsey and GNH/UL 333 Demon Chaser. Everyone present was in agreement that the testing session was an unqualified success. There was plenty of water time for everyone and the Rescue Crew (as usual) did a superb job of keeping an eye on things.
As I write this, it is the night before we leave for Decatur, Illinois; our season's opener. Unfortunately, Dan will not be making the trip as the testing session revealed some flaws in his boat that badly needed repair. Steve Lewis and Scott Liddycoat worked hard and fast but simply ran out of time. The problem with the Dan's boat was extensive; both sponsons have been completely redone. This includes the frames and battens as well as the bottoms. The shaft log and bearing system failed during the test session and needs to be completely re-engineered. We are confident that Dan will be ready for New Martinsville. For comments on the test session, click on the Driver's Corner.
June 5, 2001
Note: Apologies for the late reporting of the news. During the race season, I am afraid this will be the "norm" rather than the exception as my focus will be on preparing and maintaining the Demon Chaser. As things get more manageable I hope to report events in a timely fashion.
The first race of the 2001 season, kicked off in Decatur, Illinois on May 26th, 27th and 28th. Eight GNH's registered: GNH 1 (Deel Me In), GNH 2 (Wiener and Co, LLC), GNH 44 (Ken Brodie), GNH 83 (Tony Stalder), GNH 183 (Doug Benning), GNH 317 (The Irishman), GNH 333 (Demon Chaser) and the Miss Decatur (I don't have the number). Unfortunately for the driver of the Miss Decatur, he was unable to participate as he did not have a current capsule training certification. Saturday's competition did not take place due to the uncooperative weather, but for the fans the wait was worth it, as the weather for the rest of the holiday (Sunday and Monday), was absolutely beautiful. As Saturday's heat was cancelled, Sunday's first run was the "Final" for the first race. The second heat held on Sunday was the qualifier for the Final held on Monday. The results are listed below:
For a personal account of the race, please go to the Driver's Corner.
June 26, 2001
Tonawanda was the first race of the season to implement the GNH/GP agreement to run combined qualification heats and separate finals. In addition, the UL's were present to run a series race with their own qualifications and finals. Initially, the UL's were going to run separately, however to make the show more exciting and showcase the big blocks present, the program was modified to run 3 qualifying heats of combined GNH/UL/GP boats, with each class/series mixed in together. There were two "finals," one for the GNH's and one for the UL/GP combined. Total boat count broke down as follows: 7 GNH's (GNH 3, GNH 8, GNH 44, GNH 83, GNH 114, GNH 711 and GNH 333), 4 UL's (UL 13, UL 23, UL 72 and UL 110) and 4 GP's (GP 7, GP 55, GP 101 and GP 154).
The owner/drivers of GNH 333 Demon Chaser (David Coes) and GNH 3 Rambunctious (Dan Ramsey) were both "restricted" drivers as they were doing their heats to qualify as GNH drivers. As a current driver (but qualifying GNH driver) Coes was restricted from leading into the first turn in the qualifying heats. In the final heat, he was a qualified driver and given the "go-ahead" to race. As a new driver, Ramsey was restricted to starting behind and outside of the pack for the qualifying heats. These restrictions on qualifying and on new drivers is simply a "common sense" safety rule to make sure the drivers get a little "seat time" in the big boats prior to racing in the middle of the pack.
The normal attrition took it's toll on GNH 8, GNH 114 and GNH 44 and the final lineup was GNH 3, GNH 83, GNH 333 and GNH 711. The final heat results are as follows:
July 23, 2001
Some preliminary results for Saturday's GNH final at Cambridge:
Sunday's GNH Final
July 28, 2001
Results from Waterford, MI
Saturday's GNH Final:
Sunday's GNH Final:
August 6, 2001
Results from Kent Island, MD
Saturday's GNH Final
Sunday's GNH Final
Results from Hampton, VA
The World Championships at Hampton, Virginia immediately went from a competition to a war of attrition. For the first time in as long as one can remember, there were two qualifying heats with 10 boats registered as GNH's. On Friday there was a heat of 5 boats and a heat of 4. (GNH 114 arrived too late to compete on Friday). By the end of the qualifying heats on Saturday, there was only one boat still running. On Sunday, 5 boat were craned in, two did not start and only one boat was running at the end of the race. It was a depressing end to a competition which started out so promising. For a personal account of the race, please go to the Driver's Corner.
September 3, 2001
Bush River, MD
GNH 3, and GNH 4, (Glen Mustillo's new boat, the former Steeler) and GNH 333 participated. Please go to Driver's Corner for commentary.
Rising Sun, IN
Because the following information was culled from different sources, the order after 4th place on both days may be in error. If it is in error and the correct order is known, please contact Ray Downes to have the error corrected. Update 2001/9/30 - Thanks to Jeff Ayler, Race Announcer, we have the balance of the finish order. Please go to Driver's Corner for commentary.
September 15/16, 2001
Rocky Fork, OH
Saturday's heat race:
Sunday's heat race:
September 15/16, 2001
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Saturday's heat race / final: