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Big news for Huntington race future . . .
Big news for Huntington race future . . .

TUESDAY, February 17, 2015 - It isn't often when the sport of boat racing can boast that it has found a place to race for many years to come.  We all thought Kankakee would last forever, and Pittsburgh's long history of hosting tunnel boat racing may be coming to an end in 2015, not to mention Detroit's Gold Cup planned departure.  So when a city announces big plans to take it's riverfront opportunities to the next level it is music to the ears to race fans.

During today's State of the City address by Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, the mayor announced that the city is undertaking a major 6-10 year redevelopment of Harris Riverfront Park which will include a new 260-slip marina, riverside restaurants and retails shops, an RV campground, and an expanded skate and spray park for the kids.  You can view the mayor's State of the City address here:

Visitors to Harris Park since the Huntington Classic Regatta was revived in 2011 can see annual updates each summer.  A new walking and excercise trail in 2012, a new playground in 2013, a new skate park and free WiFi in 2014.  Each summer brings new growth and new excitement to the park and the events that call the park home.

Our local regatta committee is doing it's part to ensure that tunnel boat racing brings it's best to Huntington each summer as well.  This year the APBA has awarded Huntington with the North American Championship titles for our two classes of boats which will compete in Huntington.  Our goal is to continue to do more and more each year to draw more fans, more activities, and more racers to our event.

If you haven't visited the event website lately you should take a look.  New information for 2015 is being added as contracts with music acts and entertainment groups are booked.  You can view the website at

The proposed public-private venture to upgrade the eastern end of the park which the mayor announced today will make the foreground of the attached photo look very different in just a few short years.  If conversations with our mayor and the commitment of our regatta committee are indications, then I believe championship tunnel boat racing will be back in Huntington for many years to come!

Dana Tomes

Burrrr . . .
Burrrr . . .

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 - Winter has definitely set in here at Herd Racing.  The shop is covered in snow, nighttime lows are dipping to single digits, and progress toward preparing for 2015 has slowed dramatically.

Our F1 boat is still under the knife.  Apparently, our fuel injection system wiring harness needs replaced so that is next up on list at Book Brothers Marine in an attempt to get our Seebold ready for the water.  After the engine work is done it is off to Downard Marine to have the airbag system installed, before returning to our shop for a seat, seatbelts and paint work.  Our F2 boat is still in need of hull repairs before it can hit the water again, but thankfully it's next scheduled race isn't until the Huntington Classic Regatta returns in late July.

Believe it or not, racing kicked off for tunnel boats last weekend in Bradenton, FL.  Both SST-120s and SST-200s participated in the APR Superleague event where they ran both classes together to make up an eight or nine boat final.  About 10 or 11 boats participated in the event, but at least two were knocked out of the final during an early day accident.  The boats really drew the fans.  Thousands and thousands lined the banks of the Manatee River and local bridges to watch the first ever Bradenton regatta.  Organizers have announced a return is planned for 2016 so that is good news for everyone involved.

Next up for tunnel boat racers are the regional APBA spring meetings.  Region 6 which is made up of Ohio, PA and a few other states will host it's meeting this weekend in Perrysburg, OH to hash out it's 2015 plans.  Racers from most other regions will be meeting in their respective areas in the coming weeks as well.

Oh, by the way, Happy Valentine's Day.  Saturday is the big day!

Dana Tomes

2015 season is underway . . .
2015 season is underway . . .

TUESDAY, February 03, 2015 - Believe it or not, the 2015 tunnel boat racing season begins this coming weekend.  Formula 2 teams from throughout the south will be gathering in Bradenton, FL to kick off the APR Superleague season.  The start of race season usually coincides with the month of May, but early February in Florida is as good as May or June in our neck of the woods when it comes to the weather.  I expect 9-10 boats from SST-120 and SST-200 classes to combine to create a Formula 2 field, including one racer from our area of the country, John Ludwig of Ohio.  The rest of the boats will likely hail from Florida, Georgia and the surrounding states as most boats in this part of the country are still behind close doors for at least couple more months.  Good luck to all who participate this weekend!

Our former show boat, the Seebold Mod U boat that was once raced by Buck Thornton, has been delivered to it's new home.  The Buckeye Outboard Association bought the boat this winter and will use it as a show boat for the club, as well as capsule training for pilots and rescue training for the club's dive team.  It was deliverd to Downard Marine in Portsmouth, OH last Friday where it will now reside.

Not a whole lot more to report.  We placed our annual t-shirt and hat order this week to re-stock our hauler with giveaways but it's still too cold and snowy to tackle anything in the shop.  That four-legged critter in Pennsylvania said earlier this week that we have six more weeks of it!

Dana Tomes

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