By Daniel Cherrin. This year marks the 101st race along the Detroit River, one of the Motor City’s longest-standing sports traditions and the longest continuously running hydroplane race on the H1 Unlimited circuit. The 2017 Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers HydroFest kicks off with FREE Friday on Aug. 25th and runs through Sun., Aug. 27. This year, the race will feature an updated format this year with two sets of preliminary heats on Aug. 26 and a winner-take-all final for the President’s Cup, followed by three sets of preliminary heats on Aug. 27 with a winner-take-all final for the prestigious APBA Gold Cup, the oldest active trophy in all of the motorsports.
This year’s race is significant because it marks the return of the President’s Cup to racing, after it has been in storage at The Pentagon since the 1990s. The President’s Cup was one of the premier trophies in boat racing. Similar to the tradition of the Super Bowl (NFL) champions the winner of the unlimited hydroplane race would visit The White House where the President of the United States would present the winner with the President’s Cup. At the time, most races were held on the Potomac River in Washington DC.
Unlimited hydroplanes competed for the President’s Cup between 1926 and 1977 with a brief hiatus during World War II (1941-1945). After 1977, the sponsoring President’s Cup Regatta Association disbanded and the President’s Cup became a limited event for several years.
A number of Detroiters won the President’s Cup over its history, beginning with Horace Dodge, Jr., in 1927 and ending with Bill Muncey in 1997.
Officials within the American Power Boat Association (APBA) wanted to restore the prestigious President’s Cup as one of the top awards in racing and successfully lobbied Congress for its return to the river.
This weekend two of the most venerable and sought-after trophies in motor sports, the President’s Cup trophy along with the APBA Gold Cup will be up for grabs along Detroit’s waterfront.
The President’s Cub, with the official seal of the Office of President and the past winners inscribed on the trophy, will be on display at the 2017 Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers HydroFest.
To purchase tickets or to find out more information on the event, visit www.detroitboatraces.com.