Wicks Readies for World Speed Record Run

Pasco, Washington (June 1, 2000) — Testing for the attempt at the World Water Speed Record for a propeller-driven boat begins today for driver Russ Wicks.  Wicks will test the U-25 Miss Freei unlimited hydroplane on the Columbia River in the mile trial configuration.

"The Miss Freei team is ready to simulate the mile run in Pasco," Wicks said.  "We are using taller gears and a new propeller built by legendary hydroplane crew chief Jim Lucero."  Wicks continued, "We love the ability to test for the entire day," referring to the ideal water conditions on the Columbia River.  "The data we gain from testing will give us a tremendous bench mark for the record attempt."

The test day leads up to the attempt at a one-mile speed record for a propeller-driven boat on Wednesday, June 14, off of Lake Washington's Sand Point, near Seattle.

As the longest-standing major speed record in history, the current one-mile World Water Speed Record for a propeller-driven boat has not been broken in nearly four decades.  The current world record of 200.419 miles per hour was set in 1962 by Roy Duby in the Miss U.S., at Lake Guntersville, Alabama.

The first official speed record set on Lake Washington was by Stanley Sayres, along with his riding mechanic Ted Jones, in the Slo-Mo-Shun IV with a speed of 160.323 mph off of Sand Point in 1950. Sayres set another record on Lake Washington's East Channel in 1952, again in the Slo-Mo-Shun IV, with a speed of 178.497 mph.  In 1957, Jack Regas in the Hawaii Kai III set a new world record of 187.627 mph off of Sand Point.  Unlimited Hydroplane racing legend Bill Muncey set a record speed of 192.001 mph on the East Channel in his 1960 run in the Miss Thriftway.

The last official record attempt on Lake Washington was over 20 years ago in October, 1979, when Dean Chenoweth was on a record run until a catastrophic propeller failure sent the Miss Budweiser flipping through the air, virtually destroying it upon impact.

About the Miss Freei Hydroplane

Miss Freei is a regulation propeller-driven unlimited hydroplane featuring a jet-fueled Lycoming L-7C turbine engine (out of a military Chinook helicopter), producing 3,000 horsepower at 10,000 revolutions per minute (rpm).  The boat is 28 feet in length, weighs 6,600 pounds and features a safety canopy from an F-16 fighter jet.  At speed, Miss Freei throws over a ton of water into the air, creating a 200-foot rooster tail shooting up to 40 feet high.

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