FAQ

WHAT IS A HYDROPLANE?

  • It’s a watercraft composed of a single-seat hull with two pontoon sponsons and a cockpit.
  • A hydroplane is pushed out of the water by a propeller, which is driven by a powerful engine.
  • Characteristics of hydroplanes and hydroplane racing include: Mandatory left turns, frequent skidding, high risk of collision, close to no visibility, and no braking system.
  • Here’s why some describe a hydroplane as, “A plane without wings”: As speed picks up, air infiltrates the empty space located between the two pontoons – the tunnel – and lifts the boat up.
  • The goal is to keep as little of the boat in contact with the water as possible—ideally, only the propeller, the rudder, the skidfin, and the end of both sponsons touch the water.

HOW FAST DOES A HYDROPLANE GO?

It depends on the size and class of the hydroplane. For the smallest class, the top speed is 100+ mph, and the Grand Prix class is 170+ mph.

WHERE IS THE EVANSVILLE HYDROFEST™ RACING SITE?

The Evansville HydroFest™ takes place on the Ohio River at Dress Plaza in Downtown Evansville, Indiana USA.

Entrance Gates are located on Riverside Drive at:
Court Street, Main Street, Walnut Street, and Cherry Street. They will open at 8:00 am CDT, Saturday and Sunday August 17th and 18th, 2019.
Riverside Drive in beautiful downtown Evansville will be CLOSED to all traffic beginning at 9:00 am CDT Monday, August 12th from Court Street (next to Tropicana Hotel Casino) to Cherry Street (across from the Evansville Museum) to enable us to set up all of the facilities needed for this world-class event. Riverside Drive will re-open Monday at 9:00 am, August 19th. Please schedule your travel plans accordingly.

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF ADMISSION?

FREE ADMISSION:
HRL Hydroplane Racing
Tri-State Vin Moto Vintage Motorcycle Show
Southern Indiana Car Enthusiasts Custom Car & Hot Rod Show
Riverside Food Truck Festival

TICKETED ADMISSION:
Kansas City Barbecue Society Challenge
Riverfront Concerts

WHERE IS THE BEST SPOT TO WATCH THE RACES?

Evansville has the most ideal racecourse on the hydroplane circuit where you see every race in its entirety—no spectator blind spots. The spectator sections are along the banks of the Ohio River on Riverside Drive. There will also be designated areas for spectators in pleasure boats at each end of the racecourse.

  1. In the Bleachers, Blankets and Chairs ARE allowed, but NO Tents/Umbrellas.
  2. On Riverside Drive sidewalk, overlooking the Pits and Racecourse, Blankets, Chairs, and Tents ARE allowed. There will be some corporate tents here.
  3. On the Greenway, from the 4 Freedoms Monument to the Evansville Museum’s parking lot, Blankets, Chairs, and Tents ARE allowed.
  4. On the Ohio River from a pleasure boat. See below for details.

FOR PLEASURE BOATERS

Boaters, per the United States Coast Guard, the Ohio River will be closed to all traffic from 11:00 am CDT to 6:00 pm CDT on Friday August 16th, and from 8:00 am CDT to 6:00 pm CDT Saturday August 17th, and Sunday August 18th. Please plan accordingly.

Pleasure boats WILL be able to enjoy the non-stop racing action from 2 locations. Upriver from the racecourse, and downriver from the racecourse. There will be a clearly visible line with buoys. This area will be patrolled to keep everyone safe and at the proper distance.

ARE THE PITS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?

Because of the high number of race boats, the “hot” pits are not open to the public during race activity.

SHOULD I ARRIVE EARLY?

If you can, you should get to the site early to secure your seat in the bleachers or in the open, grassy area. There is plenty of room for everyone!

CAN I BRING MY COOLER ON THE SITE?

No. A wide variety of refreshments and food are available on site at very reasonable prices.

CAN I BRING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ON THE SITE?

No. Our permit with the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission prohibits alcohol from being brought into, or taken out of, the venue which is marked by the fence.

WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED?

Here is a list of things you CANNOT bring to the Evansville HydroFest™:
Pets – Skateboards – Bicycles – Scooters – Drones – Fireworks. Thank you for helping keep everyone SAFE.

HEALTH TIP

Always keep bottles of sunscreen and water nearby. Be sure to wear a hat/cap, and sunglasses. First aid teams will be on-site throughout the event.

WHAT ABOUT LODGING?

Evansville HydroFest™ has many area hotels who are providing discounted rates to race teams and fans. Please see the Hotels & Lodging page here for more information.

WHERE ARE THE NEAREST CAMPSITES?

Click here for information about campgrounds and RV accommodations.

WHAT ARE THE POPULAR ATTRACTIONS OF THE REGION?

Plan your stay by visiting visitevansville.com.