After the conclusion of the 2013 Oryx Cup/UIM World Championship the focus is now on getting the H1 fleet home, a very short off-season maintenance program, and some serious repair work for a couple of teams, along with getting some drivers healthy. All this in preparation for and focusing on the next race, the Big Wake Weekend at Folsom Lake, California May 31-June 2.
The H1 fleet is awaiting its departure from Qatar. The fleet and equipment is scheduled to load in Mesaieed, Qatar
(30 km. south of Doha) on 3/2/2013 and arrive in Houston on 4/3/2013. The vessel transporting the fleet is the Bahri Abha V.1., new Ro/ro specialized container carrier. Photo courtesy of Steve Mandarino/Peters & May.
Teams with major damage to deal with after the two Doha races include: U-11. Peters & May suffered the most extensive damage, losing the right sponson, after a dramatic flip and roll up and over the U-21 Snoqualmie Casino. U-21. The Snoqualmie Casino boat suffered damage to the deck, cockpit, cowling, wings, and left
sponson area when struck by the U-11. 96. In the first race at Doha the 96 Spirit of Qatar was dealt major structural and systems damage as a result of impacting several rollers, then breaking motor mounts, fuel lines, resulting in a major onboard fire to the rear of the boat.
Specific plans for each of the teams vary on how they are planning on dealing with these setbacks. The U-17 Our Gang Racing hull served as replacement for the 96 Spirit of Qatar in the second Doha race, carrying the number 95 Spirit of Qatar name. There has been talk of using team back-up boats, leasing replacement hulls, re-building, and new boats as possibilities for the coming U.S. races. As we learn more from each team we will keep you updated.
U-22. Work continues on the U-22 Webster Racing hull rebuild. Be sure and check back to their facebook page for updates. U-100. There are new developments on the Leland Unlimited team. The team has recently re-claimed one of their hulls that had been serving display duty for the last two seasons.
Fred Leland’s #0010, which in 2010 last raced as a replacement U-37 Peters & May, then was the back-up hull and Degree Men display. The hull was built in 2000 and is the newest of all Leland’s race boats. It raced under a variety of names, Znetix, Fox-Hills Chrysler Jeep, Al Deeby, Beacon Plumbing, Re/Max, MirageBoats, and others. This hull is now expected to be the primary race hull for the 2013 domestic races. It recently returned
to the Northwest, as seen here in the photo taken mid-February at the Leland shop getting retrofitted with running gear and systems.
The black/maroon hull #9899 that ran the past several seasons, once it returns from Doha, will be stripped down, gone through, re-decked for possible future use.
There were also a couple changes on the team; Ryan Mallow is now serving as team representative, as well as driver, and Kevin Peterson is no longer with the U-100 team.
Racing News. There have been informal announcements of a newly created team, Spirit of Kitsap Racing, based in the Kitsap, WA area. They have promoted the concept of automotive power returning to the unlimiteds. We do know that the hull that Fred Leland was planning on converting to auto-power (former U-60 Miss Thriftway #9810), is no longer in the Leland camp and the Spirit of Kitsap group has made note they have or are acquiring a former Leland hull.
It appears that the Air National Guard is not the 2013 season series sponsor. Although H1 has not formally acknowledged it in a press release, the ANG logo has been removed from the H1 Unlimited website and it appears well-known throughout the sport that ANG is gone. Potential budget cuts at the ANG appear to be the rumored reason for non-renewal. Steve David has posted on the Internet that a new series sponsor will be announced, but the UNJ has not been able to confirm that.
The Diamond Cup group, promoters of the scheduled race in Coeur d’Alene, ID over Labor Day weekend continues to move forward with announcements on funding, volunteer meetings, and sponsorship. For more information see the link here to the Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup
At the conclusion of the 2013 Oryx Cup, Sheikh Hassan, QMSF, and H1 Chairman Sam Cole signed a new 5 year agreement (seen in photo at right), extending the annual event through 2018. According to the agreement, the event will be held in November each year.
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