Wicks to Attempt One-Mile World Speed Record

Seattle, Washington (May 15, 2000) - Russ Wicks, driver of the U-25 Miss Freei hydroplane for the World Water Speed Record attempt, today announced that he will make his official run for a new 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.

"We had always planned on making the record attempt on Lake Washington," said Wicks, a Seattle-area native.  "Part of our goal is to bring the record back to the Northwest, and Lake Washington enjoys a rich history of record attempts as well as unlimited hydroplane races.  Seattle is certainly the hydroplane racing capitol of the world, so it's only natural that we make our attempt in the sport's hometown and give Seattle's hydroplane fans a chance to be a part of something truly special."

While the exact time of the attempt has not been determined, due to variables such as weather and traffic conditions, it is expected to occur in the morning, between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon.  In the event of inclement weather, alternate dates are Thursday, June 15, and Friday, June 16.  The public is welcome to attend, with access available at Sand Point Naval Station.

The record attempt will be officiated by the American Power Boat Association (APBA).  To set the one mile straight qualifying speed record for a propeller-driven boat, Wicks must make two runs on a one-mile straight course, in opposite directions, within a 20-minute period.  The official speed will be the average of the two runs.

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.