KHQ.COM - For the first time in 45 years, the heart-pounding hydroplane races are coming back to Lake Coeur D'Alene this weekend, with H1 unlimited boats racing at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. If you decide to go you are in for quite the show!
The Diamond Cup is the 7th stop on the H1 Hydroplane Circuit. Drivers and Teams from all over the Country will be battling for the National High Point Championship on one of the fastest race courses H1 has to offer.
The sanctioned race will be located along Coeur d'Alene's Lakeshore Drive in the Silver Beach area. The first year will look to draw over 50,000 spectators over that three day period.
Pit Passes are $10 per person and can be purchased at the race entrance. (If you already have a weekend pass or log boom package, you're good for access to the pits!)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: What are ‘limited services' for getting from the log boom back to shore (for potty breaks, pit tours, etc.)? Do they need to bring their dinghy? A: A dinghy will not work. There is limited taxi service . You need to plan for your own potty requirements.
Q: If you are coming from the Boardwalk Marina by boat to the log boom, where do they get their wristbands and placards for their boat? A: You need to bring your Log Boom ticket with you to the logbook. The water patrol boats will exchange the ticket for boat placard and wrist bands.
Q: What are the boats types we will see at The Diamond Cup? A: While there are many different racing boats, from hydros to flat bottomed boats, there will be three boat types seen racing at The Diamond Cup: • H1 Unlimited (unlimited) • Grand Prix West Racing (1,500HP inboard big blocks) • Vintage (unlimited and limited 7 Litre Class)
Q: How fast do the Unlimited boats go? A: Unlimited Hydroplanes, probably the best-known racing powerboats, are the fastest in the world. For sheer speed and spectacle, Unlimited racing is unmatched. Unlimited boats have very few engine limits and can travel at top speeds in excess of 200mph (330kph) on the straights and average lap speeds of 130-165mph. These rockets on water use 2500 horsepower turbine engines - the same engines used in Chinook helicopters! The vintage boats are slower, but make up for their lack of muscle with their charm. Learn more here.
Q: How much spray do these boats kick up? A: So glad you asked! The amount of water hanging in the air behind an unlimited hydroplane could fill an entire Olympic sized swimming pool!
Q: Is this the first hydroplane race on Lake CdA? A: No, hydroplanes have raced on the lake many times in the last several years, but these have been smaller races with limited boats or demonstrations. The last Diamond Cup was held in CdA 45 years ago, and now in 2013 we are able to once again host a sanctioned H1 Unlimited race back on our beautiful lake!
Q: How big is the track? A: The Diamond Cup boasts the widest track on the H1 Unlimited Circuit, allowing for 7 boats to fun side by side! The course length (1 lap) is 2 miles, which is standard for all H1 Unlimited races.
Q: How many boats race at a time? A: Typically 8 boats race in each heat.
Q: How can I better understand how the races are judged? A: You can find out more by clicking here and learning how to watch a race.
Q: Can I park nearby and walk - or have someone drop me off instead of using the parking at the Fairgrounds? A: If absolutely necessary, yes, but be advised that traffic in and around the entire race area will be extremely congested and some streets will be closed. The shuttle is your best option for quick access in and out.
Q: Can I drive down CdA Lake Drive during the race? A: One lane will still be open for access to local traffic only, but will be regulated by a temporary stoplight to allow for one direction traffic at a time on a single lane. We highly suggest avoiding this road if at all possible.
Q: Anything I need to know about being in the pit areas? A: The #1 rule is - Absolutely NO SMOKING in the pit areas! This is a NO TOLERANCE rule, as Jet-A and methanol fuels are stored here. Other than that, please be respectful of the boats and just have fun!
Q: What else is there to do besides watch the race? A: The Diamond Cup is so much more than just a race. It's a weekend of fun for the whole family. The race boasts a large number of street vendors with enticing food, merchants selling race memorabilia, and other exciting attractions to keep you busy for the entire weekend.
Q: Is it a good event for young kids? A: Absolutely! Besides the excitement of the race, we expect to have bouncy inflatables, games, face painting and more for younger children. In addition, the race area is well covered by security to make this a perfectly fun day for all ages.
Q: Can I bring in my own food or drink? A: No. Food and drinks are available on site from food & beverage vendors. In addition, there are two beer gardens for alcoholic beverages.
Q: Can I bring in bags, a cooler or a stroller? A: Bags and strollers are allowed and will be searched upon entry. Any type of cooler is prohibited. A "Cool Bag" is allowed but must be no larger than 15"x15"x15" and will be searched upon entry. Strollers must be collapsible (folding).
Q: What about food and drinks on the Logboom? A: Your own food and drinks are allowed on your boat while on the logboom.
Q: What about lawnchairs or blankets? A: Blankets are allowed. Hard lawn chairs are not allowed, but folding canvas "camp style" chairs (similar to that pictured at right) are allowed.
Q: And pets? A: Due to the large number of attendees, pets are not allowed except for service animals as defined by the ADA.
Q: Where are the best places to watch the race? A: Click here to see the event map. There are two sections of grandstands: The Grand Prix Seating and the Diamond Cup Seating. Each section has it's own ticket prices. Of the two, the Diamond Cup seating will offer a better view of the race. However, because the shoreline parallels the race course most areas will have good views of the races.
Q: Can't I just watch from somewhere down the shore without paying for a ticket? A: If you can find a spot outside of the designated ticket areas, sure! But be advised that the viewing will be very limited. At this distance, the only part of the race that is typically viewable is the spray from the boat above the water.
Q: What are the Corporate Hospitality Cabanas? A: These are private tents with a premium view of the action and room to entertain your guests. See our ticket page for more info.
Q: Are there areas for those with special needs? A: Yes. Arrangements have been made so that those with special needs will have ample space and viewing opportunities.
Q: So... what's this Logboom thing? A: The Logboom is a row of chained, floating logs with places for boats to anchor tie up to. This unique viewing opportunity allows those with boats to have a comfortable and excellent view of the action. Be aware that due to the depth of the water under the log boom, boats will need an anchor line of at least 150 feet to secure their boat. Learn more here.
Q: Can't I just drive my boat up near the Logboom and watch the race? A: Due to safety regulations that the Diamond Cup is obliged to follow, boats are prohibited from coming within 1/2 mile of the race course, except for the boats that have purchased space on the log boom and are securely tied behind the boom during the race. Kootenai County Sheriff marine deputies will be maintaining this perimeter.
Q: How early can I arrive at the Logboom? A: Boats can arrive Friday morning and must depart by noon on Monday.
Q: Can I use my own shuttle boat to transport my guests back and forth from the shore? A: No, however a water taxi will be provided by the Diamond Cup.
Q: Will I have the same spot on the Logboom if I leave in the evening and come back the next morning? A: There are no specific spaces reserved on the Logboom. If a boat leaves at any time, it risks losing the spot in which it was tied. The spaces on the Logboom are given out on a first come, first serve basis.
Q: Will I be able to move my boat from the Logboom at any time during the day? A: All boats tied to the logboom will be prohibited from moving during testing, race heats, and exhibitions each day.
Notice To Boaters: Special restrictions and local regulations have been established in order to promote safety of these events for both performers and spectators alike. These boating restriction and local regulations will be enforced by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.