New Season. New Direction. New Hope.

Anyone who pays any sort of attention knows the sport of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing is in a state of “flux.” We’ve had 2 Chairmen in 2 years; 3 in 3 years. Not the most stable stable.

When there is this much turmoil, it is difficult (nearly impossible) for any organization to keep its momentum – much less build it where none existed previously. Change takes effort. It takes efforts focused on achieving current goals but also on carving out the future it envisions.

New Season

There are many opportunities to enjoy times of renewal and a fresh look forward. The beginning of the year, starting a new school year, and even the current hockey preseason (sorry, I’m a fan!) are all opportunities for optimism and excitement.

For Unlimited Hydroplane Racing, the conclusion of the 2017 season by way of Bayfair (congratulations to Jimmy Shane and HomeStreet Bank!) marks the start of looking forward. The 2018 season is soon upon us, but conjuring up that optimism and excitement is very difficult with so many unknowns about the future health of our sport.

New Schedule

In the same spirit of a fresh look to the future, we recently took the opportunity to look ahead to the 2018 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Schedule. In that article, we took a look back to help us frame the look forward.

We asked our Damn Smart Fans how they would craft the perfect 2018 Schedule. Again, there was no surprise here: we got some great responses on Facebook!

These are great perspectives from great (and Damn Smart) fans. But more than a new schedule is needed – we really need a new direction.

New Direction

Last week, H1 Unlimited posted an announcement about the upcoming executive search being planned for a new Chairman.

The bad news is this is AGAIN necessary. The good news, however, is this is a positive indicator for a sport that needs a fresh perspective and of course, one that can take it in a new direction.

It would have been much easier to make the Chairman replacement decision in a bit of a “vacuum.” There could have been a selection made based on someone ready and willing, and who could do a decent job.

Personally, I’m happy to see a formal process being put in place to consciously make a selection with the future in mind and not just to again steer the boat.

Again, More is Needed

Thankfully, H1 Unlimited is taking yet an additional step.

On Monday, September 18, Mark Hooton, Marketing Manager for the HomeStreet Team posted the following on the HydroPage Forum – an open invitation asking fans for ideas to help improve the sport:

Hi, all – this invitation to meet with Charlie went out this morning;

“Are you passionate about H1 Unlimited hydroplane racing and have ideas to help the sport improve?

Charlie Grooms, the H1 Unlimited Vice Chairman will host an “Open Forum” for fans and H1 participants this Saturday, September 23rd from 1:00 – 3:00 PDT at the HomeStreet Racing shop.

Charlie is looking for improvements and suggestions to move H1 Unlimited hydroplane racing forward.

The in-person Open Forum will be conducted at 6440 S. 144th Street in Tukwila, Washington. Charlie and H1 are looking forward to meeting you and getting your input!”

H1 Unlimited’s Vice Chairman, Charlie Grooms, will be hosting an Open Forum to actively seek input from fans and Unlimited Hydroplane Racing participants. For any fan that can make it, let’s flood the event, offer our thoughtful suggestions, and be a part of shaping the future of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing!

New Hope

This move to seek ideas for improvements is a strong signal. It shows a renewed interest in righting the boat at a time when it is so desperately needed. Hopefully, it will give the eventual new Chairman some additional perspectives to use.

Seating a new Chairman with fresh perspectives toward the future is good.

Providing many varied perspectives from (Damn Smart) fans and participants in the sport is better.

Instilling a New Hope for the future of our sport of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing is the best news we’ve heard for quite some time.

UHR Dave


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One thought on “New Season. New Direction. New Hope.

  • October 26, 2017 at 1:29 PM
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    Growing up near Detroit I knew of the excitement of the “U” spectacle.

    When they visited Lake Mead near Las Vegas I joined the team as a Timing and Scoring Voulunteer.

    I have just rediscovered the magic of the sport and I plan to travel to and be a spectator once again.

    Best wishes for 2018

    MIKE SPYCHALA

    Reply

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