Seattle, Washington (May 3, 2000) - Freeinternet.com, the nation's leading free and anonymous internet service provider, will attempt to set a new World Water Speed Record in the Miss Freei hydroplane with driver Russ Wicks and the Superior Racing unlimited hydroplane team.
As the longest-standing major speed record in history, the current World Water Speed Record for a propeller-driven boat has not been broken in nearly four decades. It was set in 1962 by Roy Duby. The current world record is 200.419 miles per hour at Lake Gutersville, Alabama, in the Miss U.S.
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, the driver must make two runs on a one-mile straight course, in opposite directions, within a 20-minute period. The official time will be the average of the two runs.
"This is exactly the type of cutting-edge, innovative and exciting event that freei enjoys participating in," said Lori Stutsman, vice president of marketing and customer relations of freeinternet.com. "By offering free internet access in more than 1,500 cities across North America, we know that we're setting a new industry standard. Now we're out to set another standard - in the form of a new World Water Speed Record with the U-25 Miss Freei."
At the helm of Miss Freei's world record run is Seattle native Russ Wicks. Wicks, 34, has competed in more than 700 races, beginning with Motocross at age ten and progressing through Supercross, Formula 2000, Super Vee, and most recently, testing for the Indianapolis 500. While his history is full of wheel-to-wheel action on dirt and asphalt, his record run on the water presents an all-new challenge for this Pacific Northwest racer.
"We've actually been preparing for this for quite some time," said Wicks. "The boat has proven in competition that it can break the 200 mile-per-hour mark, and I've been training extensively for the past year. We're delighted that freei decided to join us in our pursuit of the world record and look forward to setting a new benchmark with the Miss Freei."
Miss Freei is a regulation propeller-driven unlimited hydroplane featuring a jet-fueled Lycoming L-7 turbine engine (out of a military Chinook helicopter), producing 3,000 horsepower at 10,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). The boat is 30 feet in length, weighs 6,000 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.
Stan Sayres, who set a speed record of 160.323 in the famed Slo-mo-shun, set the first official World Water Speed Record for modern-era boats in 1950 on Lake Washington, near Seattle. Ten years later, in 1960, Bill Muncey raised and set the record to 192.001 mph in the Miss Thriftway, again on Lake Washington, which held until Duby broke it in 1962. The last attempt was in 1979 by Dean Chenoweth in the Miss Budweiser, also on Lake Washington.
In addition, freei sponsors the TeamXtreme Indy Racing Northern Light Series entries of Davey Hamilton #16 and Airton Dare' #88, who will compete in the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, 2000.
Further information regarding the speed record run, time and place will be announced in the coming weeks. The U-25 Miss Freei also will compete in the 2000 Ralph's Unlimited Hydroplane Tour with veteran hydro driver Dr. Ken Muscatel, beginning with the Empire Power Systems Presents the Second Annual Mojave Unlimited Hydrofest - River Palms Casino Cup Challenge, May 19-21, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.