Team Blog [Archives]

Hoping for some sun . . .
2014-12-14
Hoping for some sun . . .

SUNDAY, December 14, 2014 - We are hoping to string together a couple of dry days sometime this week so that we can finish up the excavation work around the race shop.  Every time the past two weeks that we have thought it might be almost dry enough it seemed to rain or snow again and start the waiting game all over again.  We need about two good days of work on the excavator, roller and dozer to get our pad for the building addition done and get the proper grade and ditching done around the building.  We'll see what this week brings.

I will be heading south Friday to pick up our two SST-120 powerheads from the builder.  I will make the two-day swing through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina Friday and Saturday.  In addition to picking up our engines, I have two meetings with potential sponsors and an auction to hit up on Saturday before heading back.

Our F1 boat is on the operating table the next couple weeks getting fitted with our 2.4 EFI powerhead for F1 racing.  The boat will likely be out a couple weeks before heading out again to have the airbag system installed.

And, thanks to RMG Sports for selling us a couple HD GoPro camera kits this past week to transition our video footage to all HD in 2015.  Jarred Romesburg is updating his equipment during the off-season and has quite a bit of GoPro HD stuff available for sale if anyone is interested.

Dana Tomes


Rigging hull for F1 . . .
2014-12-07
Rigging hull for F1 . . .

SUNDAY, December 07, 2014 - Another week of the off-season is in the books with very little progress at our shop to show for it.  We were rained out on our excavating work all last week and the dozer, excavator and roller sat idle all week as more than two inches of rain fell.  But, we got a few things done, like dry cleaning our race suits and uniforms so they can be stored away in the hauler in preparation for next season.

Speaking of next season, our two SST-120 powerheads are done and ready to be picked up from the builder.  We hope to be able to do that before the Christmas holiday if at all possible.  The preventive maintenance on our toterhome is done as well, all but a check engine light issue that needs diagnosed.  Next up will be tires and allignment before we dig into the interior to make the updates we want before packing it for 2015.

Our Formula 1 Seebold hull will begin being rigged on Tuesday.  We have the mid-section and trim pumps hung and wired up, but we still need to put in a larger fuel tank, new fuel pump, regulator and high pressure lines to handle the fuel injected 2.4 liter engines we'll be running before mounting the powerhead.  We have three 2.4's ready for 2015, along with three SST-120s that are fresh and ready to race.  Both engine will use #6 Speedmaster gearcases which will allow us to share our three good ones amongst both our F1 and F2 boats.

I am hoping for a day in the office toward the end of the week this week to get all of our calendar orders filled and in the mail before week's end.  Time is passing fast.  It will be the new year before you know it and a handful of teams will be kcking off their 2015 racing in Bradenton, FL in just seven weeks from now!

Dana Tomes


2015 news starting to trickle out . . .
2014-11-30
2015 news starting to trickle out . . .

SUNDAY, November 30, 2014 - News about what might be coming in 2015 started to trickle out this past week.  The 24 Hours of Rouen group announced that the annual 24-hour marathon race will take place on the same dates as last year, May 1 and 2.  The race will add two more hours of racing at night on Friday night in an attempt to bring the fans what they have been asking for.  The race went away from night racing a few years back due to a fatal accident, but after running two years of all day racing the committee added two hours of night racing to the slate in 2014 and will add two more this coming spring.  I'm not likely to return to Rouen for the third consecutive year this coming spring, but that final decision is still a couple months away so plenty of time remains for a change of heart should the opportunity to return present itself.

It was announced Friday that America's biggest unlimited hydroplane race event, the Detroit Gold Cup, will cut the world's largest and fastest race boats in 2015 for a schedule of more cost effective racing.  Citing falling budgets and dwindling crowds, organizers say the 2015 event will move to later in the summer and will include tunnel boats.  No word has been leaked yet as to what racing promoter or league may be involved but some hints that the races will feature 15 and 20 lap heats printed in the Detroit News newspaper this weekend indicate it will likely be a smaller class of SST hulls and not F1s, which typically run much longer races.  We'll see as time passes who steps up to announce their involvement in this historic event.  A sad note for the Unlimiteds, but possibly a great opportunity for tunnel boats should it all shake out as hinted.

No official announcement has been made at Marietta, OH yet either, but the fact that the official decision is dragging out month after month indicates there is most likely change coming.  The organizing committee had originally stated they would announce 2015 race plans in late September.  We're entering December tomorrow with nothing being stated publicly yet.  I expect some changes of some sort, either in who conducts the race, or what classes of boats are raced there.  I've talked to a couple people who have been involved in the planning at Marietta for years and they say there has been some turnover on the planning committee and everything is on the table for 2015.  Regardless, it won't likely have a direct impact on our team as we plan to race the Formula 1 event in Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada the second weekend in July if that race shows up again on the F1 national tour schedule, which we anticipate it will.

As some of these race events become official we will begin piecing our 2015 race schedule together and officially announcing our plans for next summer.  We would love to share with you now where we'll be in 2015 and when those races will take place, but as is the norm in boat racing, scheduling is something that takes a back seat until the current racing year comes to close.  That means no one began working on 2015 until a month or two ago.  That leaves a couple more months of limbo on the race calendar for most of us waiting to plan our next season.

Dana Tomes


Preparing for the future . . .
2014-11-23
Preparing for the future . . .

SUNDAY, November 23, 2014 - Work continued this weekend expanding the grounds around our current race shop so we can grow our program.  Our current 40-foot by 80-foot shop is overflowing and we have plans to double the shop's floor space within the next year.  We want our own engine rebuild center inhouse as well as a water tank where we can dyno engines and break in powerheads without leaving the shop.  The new addition, which we hope to begin sometime next summer, will hopefully be in place and allow this planned growth to take place within the next year or so.

We have our F1 boat, our F1 backup boat, our F2 boat, our Mod U boat which we use for public appearances, and our B Hydro packed in there, along with our pontoon and v-hull rescue boat and our 53-foot hauler trailer.  Add in a growing hoarding problem I tend to have and that results in the RV and toterhome being destined for outdoor storage this winter.

The good news is we are excavating enough land around the old shop to have plenty of room for any future plans.  Our shop building looks like a pea on a dinner plate after digging this weekend.  Amazing, considering a few weeks ago none of the land around the shop was considered usable land.

We are hoping to spend a few hours in the shop early this week working on the boats since the temperatures have rebounded to the 50s.  Will be sending off two hulls for repairs this week and should be able to begin putting everything back together by Christmas.

Our 2015 calendars have arrived.  Anyone who has placed an order will receive their copies in the mail in the next week or two as we will package and begin mailing them out this week.  Talks with potential sponsors for 2015 continue.  Hoping to land a national company seeking exposure nationwide as we try to fund our F1 plans that may take the team to cities around the U.S. and Canada that we have not raced in before.

Dana Tomes


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