U.S. Title Series stages hydroplane, runabout races in Constantine
CONSTANTINE — The U.S. Title Series Championship Racing Association hosted hydroplane and runabout races on July 19-21 at Constantine American Legion Post 223.
Todd Brinkman, president of the association, described the two types of boats in a written statement.
“The hydro is like an airplane wing upside-down, keeping the downforce in place to allow the hydro to skim over the water, while the runabout is a boat that travels through the water. A capsule boat is a variation of the hydroplane in which the driver sits strapped in an enclosed cockpit. Many of the drivers in the open hydro’s will be lying on their stomachs while the runabout drivers will be sitting on their knees, with the throttle in their left hand and the steering wheel in the right hand. Speeds reach well over 100 mph today; engines for the most part are built in Europe and have upwards of 200 HP in the larger classes,” he said.
Brinkman said the boats are good for ecology.
“We are environmentally-friendly as the fuel we use is methanol. It is a naturally occurring, biodegradable alcohol that is present in our environment and can even be found out in space. Aeration of the water caused by rooster tails adds more oxygen to the water, which is good for fish,” he said.
Eleven-year-old Cooper Thompson from Ft. Pierce, Fla. said he is a fifth generation hydro racer.