It’s no secret that we love racing here in Alabama. Whether it's on the dirt track, in a stock car, on bicycles or just old fashion foot racing, we have a deep appreciation for the competition. Now a sport, once loved in our state, is looking to make a return.
Hydroplane racing fills the summer months with speed, power and style along the waters across the nation… Just like in NASCAR there are different divisions for each kind of boat. The top level is H1 Unlimited where the machines fly across the water in excess of 200 miles per hour. Right now there is only one hydroplane racing team in the entire southeast and they are based in Rainbow City. Charley Wiggins and his father Milton Wiggins head up the U-27 Unlimited Hydroplane team. They have a work facility and crew in Etowah County who we met with today. The Wiggins family ties to the sport run deep both in and out of the boat.
The Wiggins team hit a little setback last weekend in the first race of the season. Veteran driver Cal Phipps was in the cockpit as the boat when it flipped at a very high rate of speed. The wrecked caused a lot of damage to the boat, but thankfully the driver is okay. Despite the damage to the boat, the Wiggins U-27 team has a very bright future. This is just their second season on the premier level. The family had a stellar rookie season in 2015. They finished 3rd in points and won both team and of the year awards. They now hope the sport will catch on here in Alabama once again.
Lake Guntersville is set to host a hydroplane race event in 2018. For more information on the Wiggins Team visit: www.u27hydro.com.