FAQ

WHAT IS A HYDROPLANE?

  • It’s a watercraft composed of a single-seat hull with two pontoons 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 and the end of both pontoons 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.

Admission Gates are located on Riverside Drive at:
Court Street, Main Street, Cherry Street, and Waterworks Road. They will open at 8:00 am CDT Friday, Saturday, and Sunday September 1, 2, 3. Admission Wristbands will be available for $10 at all gates.

Riverside Drive in beautiful downtown Evansville will be CLOSED to all traffic beginning at 9:00 am CDT this coming Monday, August 28th 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 Tuesday at 9:00 am, September 5th. Please schedule your travel plans accordingly.

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF ADMISSION?

It’s just $10 for 3 days of non-stop hydroplane racing, plus children 12 and under are FREE. Evansville HydroFest™ admission wristbands are on sale now! Buy wristbands at at SWIRCA, Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science, Evansville Visitors Center at the Pagoda, and all 6-area Schnucks stores.

All United States Armed Forces Veterans will be admitted to Evansville HydroFest FREE! Just show your valid Military ID at one of the 4 Admission Gates. We thank you for protecting our freedom, so we can enjoy this event.

WHERE IS THE BEST SPOT TO WATCH THE RACES?

Evansville has the most ideal racecourse in the 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 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 and Chairs ARE allowed , but NO Tents/Umbrellas. There will be some corporate tents here.
  3. On the Greenway, from the 4 Freedoms Monument to Waterworks Road Blankets and Chairs ARE allowed, but NO Tents/Umbrellas.
  4. On the Ohio River from a pleasure boat. See below for details.

For Boaters

Boaters, per the United States Coast Guard, the Ohio River will be closed to all traffic from 7:30 am CDT to 5:30 pm CDT on Friday September 1st, Saturday September 2nd, and Sunday September 3rd. 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.

Boaters, you are not required to, but we’d certainly appreciate your purchasing a $10 Admission Wristband for everyone 13 and over on your craft. This helps defray the cost of a world-class event. Remember, your wristband also gets you in to the live concerts on Friday and Saturday at Tropicana’s Outdoor Events Plaza, so it’s a great value! We appreciate your consideration.

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. Lawn chairs are permitted in the grassy area.

CAN I BRING MY COOLER AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ON THE SITE?

You may bring a cooler to the site. Coolers are not to exceed 12″ x 12″ x 12″. Alcohol is permitted. No glass is allowed. The Security Team reserves the right to deny entry to anyone carrying a substance or material judged dangerous to spectators and participants. Anheuser Busch products will be available for sale at very fair prices on the Riverfront at several locations!

WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED?

Here is a list of things you CANNOT bring to the Evansville HydroFest:
Guns – Pets – Skateboards – Bicycles – Scooters – Drones – Fireworks – Tents – Umbrellas 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 14 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.