Tate wins it all in Detroit.

Andrew Tate drove the U-9 Delta Realtrac to victory on the Detroit river.

Extreme speed on the water.

 October 2018

On Sunday, July 9, 1989, Craig Arfons was killed during an attempt to set the world straightaway speed record on Lake Jackson in Sebring, Florida. His surprisingly small boat, only 19-feet long and weighing only 2,600 pounds, was powered by a jet engine used in a T-38 Talon fighter jet that was capable of producing 5,000 pounds of thrust. Named the Rain X Challenger, the boat was speeding across Lake Jackson at over 350 mph, well above the record of 317.596 mph (a mark set in 1978 by Australian Ken Warby that still holds), when it suddenly veered to the right, bounced on its left sponson, went airborne, rolled and bounced on its right sponson, did a pinwheel spin in the air, and crashed in a huge explosion of spray. In the following article, Franklin Ratliff examines the ill-fated attempt by Craig Arfons, tries to find out why the effort failed, and introduces us to some of the technical challenges of traveling at extreme speeds on the water.

BY MAC CLOUSE


In this season’s first four races, there were issues with a low boat count, bad weather, and controversial and delayed officiating. This year’s Metro Detroit Chevy Dealer’s Gold Cup in Detroit had all of those issues. There were only six boats, 20 mph winds cancelled all of Saturday’s schedule, and many penalties were not communicated to the PA announcers, the media, and the fans until much later when they were posted on the H1 website and app.

     With the racing all on Sunday, fortunately the boats put on a pretty good show. After losing two head-to-head matches to Jimmy Shane in previous heats, Andrew Tate in the U-9 Delta Realtrac beat Shane in the

                                                      

The ill-fated Rain-X Challenger jet hydroplane.

final. Tate’s win also clinched the national high-points championship. Tate joined his father, Mark, as the only father-son duo to win the Gold Cup.  Mark Tate won in 1991and 1994.                                                                         Continued, click here...

BY FRANKLIN RATLIFF


Although not all of them were record setters, since 1946 a total of fifteen jet boats and one rocket boat have been built for attempts on the world water speed record. These are:

>  Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird K4 (1947, a conversion of
his prewar piston-engine boat).
>  The Hanning-Lee White Hawk jet hydrofoil (1952).
>  John Cobb’s Crusader jet reverse three-pointer (1952).
>  Donald Campbell’s Bluebird K7 jet (1955).
>  The two jet hydroplanes built by Les Staudacher (Tempo Alcoa and Miss Stars & Stripes II).
>  Lee Taylor’s Hustler jet (1965). Art Arfons’ Green Monster
                                                                Continued, click here...