Hydroplaning in the D: What You Need to Know About the 100th Hydrofest


The UAW-GM Hydrofest returns to Detroit for its 100th year of exciting boat races and plenty of late summer fun. The competition will take place this weekend, all culminating in the race for the Gold Cup on Sunday.

If you have never been to Hydrofest, don’t worry, we have compiled a list of what makes the Hydrofest so special for boat racing fans and for the city of Detroit.

The Gold Cup

The world’s oldest motor sports trophy in the world, the Gold Cup features the best Hydroplane racers in the country competing for the top spot. The races are truly thrilling, especially on the Detroit River where you can see the Detroit Skyline in the distance. The grand prix races begin on Saturday at 10 a.m. and are scheduled to finish by 5 p.m. There is scheduled to be a race every 20 minutes, guaranteeing non-stop action. Sunday races will start at the same time, all leading up to the final race scheduled for roughly 4 p.m.

Free Friday

The races begin Saturday morning, but testing and qualifying starts on Friday, which you can see for free. Not only can you sit in the grandstands, but for the first time ever attendees are allowed to go into the pit area.

Honoring the 100th Year

This year’s Hydrofest is special because it will be honoring the 100th year of the competition in Detroit. On Saturday, fans can see the evolution of Hydroplane racing as there will be a ‘Walk Through the Decades’ behind the grandstand. On Sunday drivers will be introduced before the races in woodcraft boats built in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.   

Classic Shore Dinner

Before all of the boat racing begins, Detroit’s award winning restaurants will host the Classic Shore Dinner at the Roostertail on Thursday, August 25. For $75, guests will receive dinner, a drink ticket, a raffle ticket for a chance to win a 2016 GM vehicle, and two Roostertail Pavilion Gold Cup Sunday Tickets. There will also be a Meet & Greet Party where attendees can meet the owners and drivers of the Hydroplane vehicles. More information can be found here.

2016 Invitational Car Show

Hydroplanes won’t be the only vehicles rocking the Hydrofest this year as the event will also host an Invitational Car Show. The car show will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Water Works Park on the Detroit River and will showcase 75 vehicles. If you are interested in reserving a spot for your classic vehicle, but sure to head here to find out more information.

This year’s 100 year celebration of the Hydrofest seems to be the perfect way to end the summer with countless exciting hydroplane races. Be sure to checkout the website to plan your weekend of Hydroplane racing action.