Notice something different? Our Unlimited NewsJournal website has an all-new look.
We’ve changed the layout to make your visit to the site a little more enjoyable. We hope the changes will make the website easier for you to read and easier to navigate. We’ve simplified the links at the top, for example, and the online content of the website will now focus on the current issue of the NewsJournal.
Past issues of the NewsJournal will be available as pdf files that will be easy for you to print. No only that, we are working to expand the collection of past issues that will be available to you. Our hope is to eventually make available every past issue back to 1969. We’re working on a way to index them, too.
We hope you appreciate the change. If you have any comments or suggestions to make the website or our publication even better, please don’t hesitate to click on the “Contact” link at the top.
allow boats to achieve much higher speeds.
The three-point boats like Phantom and Slomoshun used sponsons on either side of the bow to lift the hull to the surface of the water. But, while the front of a three-point boat skimmed across the waves, the rear
still plowed through the water. So, Jones took the idea one step further. He felt the boats would go much faster if aerodynamics lifted the aft portion of the hull as well so that the propeller would operate on the surface, called “prop riding.” But, he faced a problem. He couldn’t find a person willing to finance the building of a boat that would test the idea. Continued ... >> click here
U-18 Bucket List Racing
Kelly Stocklin and the U-18 crew continue with upgrades and new paint in the Bucket List shop, prepping for the 2017 season. They found some corrosion in an aftplane shoe area and made some repairs to that. Next up is new paint for the Bucket List racing hull.
experience, and hopefully minimize the opportunity for controversy. However, we
will operate within our budgetary
means and we may not be able to
accomplish everything that we want to as quickly as we would like. The H1 directors, race sites, and owners are committed to putting together a solid, realistic business plan, but be aware that it will be developed and executed over time.
Fortunately, there are lots
of people who have reached and
expressed their willingness to help. With everyone’s cooperation and support, we will be able to set a course for continued improvement. Please feel free to contribute your ideas. I’m always open to innovation.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Chairman’s Comments by Doug Bernstein
Remembering the man who saved the UNJ.
The story of the Slo-mo boats.
HydroFile by Lon Erickson
forthcoming. That is correct. The reason is that we want to release information when it is absolutely correct, rather than having to backtrack from that which was previously announced. Rest assured that there are many things in the works, which hopefully will be rolled out in the near future.
I’m aware that there are many who doubt the health or continued viability of the sport; like most motorsports, H1 is not without its challenges. While we will work to solve the issues which we face, I also see this as an opportunity to reinvent the sport. As a result, you may see some changes from time to time at our events. We will undoubtedly try some things that will be unpopular and/or unsuccessful, but my hope and
expectation is that these will be few and far between.
Among the items on our radar is the use of improved technology, which would result in a much more fan-friendly
U-11 Unlimited Racing Group
The U-11 shop has been a busy place this off season with extensive work being done on completing repairs to the original URG U-11 hull (#9302) that was heavily damaged in the 2013 Doha event.
SPECIAL SLO-MO-SHUN ISSUE
A conversation with Don Ibsen
Last surviving member of Slo-mo team.
“My mom wanted me to be a white-collar worker and my gut would say I’m a blue-collar worker. I love fixing things,” he explains. “Because I was one foot in college and one foot in blue collar, I had to find my own legs through my life experiences.”
Ibsen spent his youth working in hardware stores, marine supply places, a plumbing company as a buyer, and worked for a year at the Boeing Company. “I was getting a broad experience. I didn’t know at the time what it would lead to, but I was basically finding my way.” Later, he was employed by Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurants, doing maintenance work on refrigeration, gas, and electronic equipment, and fans. “I had 10 restaurants I rotated around in one week.” He later worked for another restaurant chain before going into business for himself. He performed maintenance and repair work for restaurants and property management firms.
Unlimited NewsJournal editor emeritus, Michael Prophet, 70, passed away February 24, 2017, after a dignified and hard-fought
six-year battle with colon cancer. Prophet, a retired steelworker, was a long-time member of the UNJ leadership team; at one point or another, he was an Unlimiteds Unanimous member attending
monthly meetings, the UNJ’s text editor, our longest serving editor, and the UNJ editor emeritus. The UNJ has lost a good friend and we extend our sincere sympathy to his two daughters and his partner, Sharon.
Prophet started attending the monthly Unlimited Unanimous monthly meetings in the 1990s. He especially had an interest in the
history of unlimited hydroplane racing. In December 1999, Prophet became the UNJ’s text editor, receiving and maintaining our inventory of potential stories for publication.
the winter of 1948 and the spring and summer of 1949, master shipwright Anchor Jensen built a race boat there that revolutionized the sport of hydroplane racing.
The project was financed by a soft-spoken Seattle car dealer named Stanley Sayres, who became enamored by boat racing in 1926 when he owned a Maxwell automobile dealership in Pendleton, Oregon. Later, he was given an opportunity to assume ownership of a Chrysler dealership in Seattle and, for a time, was too busy to race boats. But, then he began to drive an inboard craft named Seaflow and, in 1937, purchased the record-holding 225-cubic-inch boat Tops II from Pops Cooper. His wife, Madeliene, remarked one day that he was so fast that the other boats seemed to be going in slow motion, so the craft soon had the name Slomoshun painted on its side.
The Grand Old Lady of Seattle
(and her younger sister).
The problem with the Madison Regatta is the time of the year they have the regatta. When the race was in the fall (Labor Day weekend) they never had bad weather. Now that they have it in the spring they have had bad weather eight out of ten years. The weather in the spring is still unstable and the rains upstream (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana) are still flooding and putting trash in the Ohio River. it ’s simple ... the weather isn’t stable in the spring and it is stable in late summer or late fall.
I read your comments and see that you truly “get” the problem that the unlimiteds are facing today. The one statement that I have made for a couple of years now is that racing is not about the competition, it is about being
entertained and if H1 or race sites do not treat it as such, they will disappear.
Here are my ideas on the sport and I write this only as a person of similar interest that you might see agreement with.
Since people come to the beach to be entertained they consider:
1. A blowover or two crashes as a positive thing. (I didn’t say I do since I know what that can mean.) People want to think they have just seen something of importance.
2. Attention span is short so four hours is the limit for holding that attention, but they want to be mesmerized
during the entire time.
3. They expect to pay for that entertainment so price is not the problem, the entertainment is. If they are seeing record-setting attempts made, they see it as a positive.
4. The younger generation grew up taking their cars somewhere to be worked on, so are not fascinated by the mechanical miracles of a jet engine. Just look at Monster Jam and its success. The kids are fascinated by the noise, big jumps, and wreck recovery.
In summary, I simply repeat what you have said in your article. We have to change our way of looking at things and think way outside the envelope to any water-sport out there that can be combined with the racing to attract others, especially if the costs are minimal.
We love to hear from our readers.
I have come to the conclusion that the world is upside down. On February 18, I was playing golf in the Detroit area, in 69-degree weather. Could the beginning of the H1 season be far behind?
Sadly, after a week of 60-plus degree weather, reality set in. Soon, Southeastern Michigan sustained over 650,000 power outages, resulting from sustained winds for about 12 hours of over 40 mph, with gusts recorded of up to 69 mph, on a perfectly clear day. Needless to say, the Detroit River was not race ready, as the breeze was against the current. As I write
this column, the predicted low is about 15 degrees.
Instead, the dedicated H1
personnel, including owners,
drivers, crew, directors and race site representatives, continue to get ready for the 2017 season. Many have complained that more information regarding the season has not been
U-27 Wiggins Racing
After getting their boat back on the water for the final event of the 2016 season in San Diego, the Wiggins Racing team now has the U-27 upside down in its Gadsden, Alabama, shop to go through the hull and make upgrades. The Wiggins team has also had their GP class hydro on display recently promoting the 2018 Guntersville Lake Hydrofest.
by Andy Muntz
Nestled between modern glass office buildings on the northwest shore of Portage Bay in Seattle is an old wooden structure with crystal windows and high cathedral ceilings that is steeped with the
smell of sawdust and varnish. It remains the home of one of Seattle’s oldest boat builders: the Jensen Motor Boat Company. The old building is a site of considerable historical significance for many Seattle residents because, through
Sayres raced the little hydroplane throughout the Pacific Northwest for four years until it burned and sank. To replace it, he bought another boat from Cooper in 1942 named Tops III, but the thing arrived with one of its
sponsons damaged. To make the repair, Sayres turned to a fellow boat racer named Ted Jones.
Jones was born in Seattle as the son of a cabinetmaker and at a very young age showed a skill for working with wood. He also became enamored with speedboats and, at the age of 19 years old, ordered plans for a race boat that he saw advertised on a can of glue. Some years later he began to experiment with the idea of a three-point hydroplane and eventually produced a boat named Wasp, which he drove to limited-class
titles in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. By 1938 he was campaigning a 225-cubic-inch boat named Phantom in the same events as Sayres and his Slomoshun, but also had begun to develop an idea that he thought would
Don G. Ibsen is the last-known surviving crewmember from the Slo-mo team. He worked on the crew as a teenager, from 1952 until Slo-mo-shun IV crashed just before the 1956 Gold Cup. He then transferred to the crew of Hawaii Ka’i III, followed by a year with Miss Bardahl. Ibsen was born in Seattle in 1935. He attended Bellevue High School and transferred to Seattle Prep, from which he graduated. He took college courses from Seattle University, but left school before graduating.
The man who saved the UNJ passes away.
EDITOR: Andy Muntz
ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Craig Fjarlie, Chris Tracy, Dick Sanders
HYDROFILE EDITOR/WEBMASTER: Lon Erickson HISTORIAN: Bob Greenhow
EDITORIAL BOARD: Clint Newman II, Bob Senior
Unlimited NewsJournal, established in 1973, is published by Unlimiteds Unanimous,
an enthusiast club interested in promoting and documenting the sport of unlimited hydroplane racing.
Copyright © 2017, Unlimited NewsJournal. Reproduction or transmission in whole or part
is not permitted without written approval of the Unlimited NewsJournal.
EDITOR: Unlimited NewsJournal, 14313 Beverly Edmonds Road, Edmonds, WA 98026.
Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
In those days, articles were sometimes submitted to the UNJ typed while others were sent in a long email. Michael archived the articles that were submitted, word processed and keyboarded typed articles, or formatted emailed articles into word-processed documents. He would then start collecting photos for stories he had “in the can.”
Michael had a love affair with hydroplane photos. He’s spent many days each year at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum locating and scanning photos that might be used with UNJ stories. He received photos from UNJ photographers and saved almost all of them electronically.
In 2004, our longtime UNJ layout editor expressed a desire to leave the volunteer job. Our chief story editor and fact checker had passed away and his good friend, our lead proofreader, decided to quit shortly after his story editor friend passed away.
The UNJ was still a print publication. Putting each issue together required many skills and it was time consuming. It was published using
PageMaker technology—relatively complicated in its day—a few black and white photos were included in each issue, plus each issue had to be formatted around our budget and the ever changing post office mailing and cost restraints. And, the editor also had to work with our printer.
No one in the UNJ leadership group wanted the layout editor job. I pleaded for someone to take on the job on an interim basis. The UNJ was in near crisis and teetering on the possibility of ceasing publication. Then Michael Prophet stepped up and saved the publication.
He admitted that English composition and grammar skills were not his strength, but he thought he could learn how to use PageMaker. So, he assumed both text editor and layout editor
Continued ... >> click here
U-5/U-7 Porter Racing
While rumors and speculation is rampant, we are still awaiting official word on the status and 2017 plans for the boats from Porter Racing.
U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank
HomeStreet Bank colors were back on the boat in mid-March and systems were soon to be installed. Upgrades to the hull were done with carbon fiber, which brings strength, durability, and is lighter. Plus, if repairs are needed, they are easier to make with carbon fiber. The target goal is to have the boat done by mid-April and they plan to test it in June at Tri-Cities and at Lake Guntersville.
Ibsen, now 81, worked until he was 70. He and his wife, Marie, live in Anacortes, north of Seattle. His relationship with boat racing goes back to a great uncle, Ferd Ibsen, who competed in the 1914 and 1915 Gold Cup races. His father, Don S. Ibsen, was a neighbor of Stan Sayres. Before long, Don G. was learning about unlimited hydroplanes.
The following interview was conducted on October 7, 2016, by Craig Fjarlie and Bob Senior.