For a series that has spent the last few years limping along today’s announcement stating that the series will not run at one of its premier venues is a massive death blow to an already struggling category. Today’s bombshell press release shutters any hope of upgrading the series from critical to stable for 2019. To date, we have not seen an official race calendar for 2019 which consisted of 6 races in 2018. If there is not a replacement venue for this event the series could be looking at a 4 to 5 race calendar for 2019 pending on which of the remaining venues are confirmed.
The press release is posted below:
Noon PST February 28, 2019 Statement of the Board of Directors of the American Boat Racing Association / H1 Unlimited Following the successful and competitive completion of the 2018 H1 Racing Season, H1 Unlimited (H1) and Detroit Riverfront Events, Inc. (DREI) entered into discussions – beginning in December — regarding the sanctioning of an Unlimited Hydroplane race on the Detroit River during the third week of August 2019. Unfortunately, progress in the negotiations has not been to the level that the H1 Board of Directors had anticipated, and the parties are at a contractual impasse. H1 believes that the parties cannot come to an agreement that would assure a quality competition in Detroit for this coming season, and as such, H1 will not be sanctioning a race in Detroit in 2019. Further, H1 has determined that it is in the best interest of the sport of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing (including the other Race Sites and the H1 teams) for H1 to focus its financial, competitive and human resources (including its many volunteers) on those races and race sites that remain part of the 2019 H1 Racing Series. H1 looks forward to the opportunity to expand its racing series into new locations, including a possible return to Detroit during H1’s 2020 racing season.