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Tri-City, Washington Awarded H1 Unlimited Hydroplane “Champion’s Gala”
A Celebration full of high-fives, handshakes, and acknowledgments
SEATTLE (December 27, 2017) – H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series and the Tri-City Water Follies are excited to announce the 53rd annual H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series “Champion’s Gala” will be held Saturday, February 10, 2018, at the Red Lion Hotel at the Columbia Center. The annual “Champion’s Gala” celebrates and commemorates the 2017 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series season and will include the presentation of the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series national championship trophy, the Gar Wood Award, the President’s Cup, Gold Cup and much more. The event marks the first time it will be held in the Tri-City, Washington region since the sport’s inaugural awards presentation in 1964.
The 2018 H1 Unlimited hydroplanes “Champion’s Gala” allow attendees a once in a lifetime chance to mingle and dine with many of their favorite drivers and participants in a vibrant atmosphere. The cost is $75 per person which includes a sit-down meal prepared by the chefs at Red Lion Hotel’s Nomad Kitchen. The dinner will include 90% of the ingredients sourced from the Pacific Northwest and over half of that is sourced within 100 miles of Tri-City. Tickets are available for purchase at www.H1Unlimited.com or at the Tri-City Water Follies office located at 621 North Gum, Suite A, Kennewick, Washington during regular business hours.
Fans will have a chance to mingle with the world’s fastest drivers during a cocktail hour prior to the event. J. Michael Kelly who will be in attendance and in July won the HAPO Columbia Cup driving the U-12 “Graham Trucking” hydroplane said “the awards evening is a time when our entire industry, along with our passionate fan base, come together to formally crown a champion and celebrate a memorable season. We are all excited the ‘Champion’s Gala’ will be held in the Tri-Cities and in a way, by holding it in Tri-City, it’s our trophy to the fans in the region.”
Ironically, the 53rd Annual Champion’s Gala is also an unofficial kick-off to next year’s 53rd Annual HAPO Columbia Cup weekend held in July. Kathy Powell, Director of the Water Follies, who was instrumental in securing the event said “the Tri-Cities is especially excited to welcome the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane world for this year’s ‘Champion’s Gala.’ We have had a long and successful partnership with H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes and look forward to having fans join us for the unique celebration.”
Dan Hoover, two-time H1 Unlimited National Champion hydroplane crew chief of the U-1 “Miss HomeStreet,” raised in Tri-City and attended Richland High School said he can’t wait to celebrate his team’s eighth national championship with his hometown friends and fans. “The ‘Champion’s Gala’ will give me a chance to take time to meet and talk to my hometown fans, something I can’t do much of when we are here racing in the summer.”
Charlie Grooms, Vice Chairman of the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series said, “ the Tri-Cities has consistently set the stage for a vibrant, exciting Columbia Cup race weekend and when the sport looks back on the season and toasts its newest H1 Unlimited Hydroplane champion, we felt there is no better place than the Tri-Cities to hold the sport’s annual awards.”
The prestige of the sport’s awards grows each year and that trend promises to continue at this year’s February event.