Wicks Races Jones' 5 Liter Hydroplane

Seattle, WA (Sept. 10, 2000)- World Water Speed Record holder for a propeller driven boat, Russ Wicks, drove his mandatory heats in a limited hydroplane this weekend at Lake Lawrence.  This hurdle clears the way for Wicks to be eligible to qualify in an Unlimited Hydroplane in the HYDROS-PROP series at the San Diego Bayfair hydroplane race Sept. 15-17.

Wicks, teamed up Saturday with boat owner Mike Jones, driving Jones' 5-liter hydroplane 'Ragged Edge' on the race course near Yelm, Wash.  He put in over 40 laps but more importantly was certified by American Power Boat Association (APBA) Chief referee, Jim Codling for competing in "at least four heats in a 5 liter, 6 liter, Grand National or Unlimited Light hydroplane."

"Our goal was not to go out and bang decks, spit parts out of Mike's motor or be the first to take the checkered flag," Wicks said.  "We needed to go out and get the required heats of racing in so that I can go to San Diego next week one step closer to becoming a qualified unlimited hydroplane driver."

The 'Ragged Edge' was not set up to set any new world records on the fast Lake Lawrence.  However, Wicks recently received word from the APBA that his world record speed of 205.494 mph in the U-25 Miss Freei in mid-June was officially recorded in the record book.

After testing the U-25 Miss Freei unlimited hydroplane in Evansville, Ind., Kennewick, Wash. and Seattle's Seafair, Wicks' still needs to complete a couple additional laps in an Unlimited Hydroplane in order to become qualified to compete in the fastest race boats in the world.  Those speeds need to be of 130 mph or above to be allowed to compete in the HYDROS-PROP series, according to their 2001 rule addendum.  Once he completes his laps he will be eligible to compete in an outside lane in the HYDROS-PROP series.

A happy Wicks said, "this is great, it allowed me to become more familiar with competing against other boats and especially against the clock."