A Century Old Tradition: The Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers’ Hydrofest Returns

By: Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers | August 21, 2019

Photo Courtesy of the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Hydrofest.

1,350 horsepower. 160 miles per hour. 30-plus races. One weekend.

The 2019 Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Hydrofest roars back to the Motor City beginning on Saturday, August 24. The two-day event features the best hydroplane racers in the United States and Canada as they battle for the prestigious American Power Boat Association’s (APBA) President’s Cup. The Spirit of Detroit Silver Cup will also be awarded at the Detroit River as the races are now exclusively part of the Hydroplane Racing League (HRL).

There are plenty of Detroit-area natives participating in competitions this weekend, including 2017 President Cup champion Andrew Tate and multiple Silver Cup champion Jimmy King. King has lived all over Metro Detroit from Harper, to Chesterfield, and St. Clair Shores. The 58 year-old racer is excited to compete again where he grew up.

“The Detroit River has a mind of its own and is a special course to me. It’s one of my favorites and I think there are going to be plenty of exciting races this year,” King said.

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King has been racing for decades and has his name on both cups, but he said that it would be special to etch his name on this cup this late in his career. He’s been a boat fanatic for as long as he can remember and has competed in countless races over the decades, but hydroplane races are his true passion.

“It’s one of the most exciting things you can do in your life and nothing compares to it,” King said.

Races begin on Saturday, August 24 at noon and will feature a race every 15 minutes until 5 p.m., with the same schedule repeating on Sunday, August 25. The 1.25 mile course features the infamous Rooster Tail resulting in a spectacular wall of water (reminiscent of a rooster’s tail) just before the home stretch of the race.


Photo Courtesy of the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Hydrofest.

All of this can be viewed from the grandstands next to the Roostertail restaurant along the Detroit River. New this year will be a sensor-friendly tent for families with children to help take a break from all of the noise and intensity that might be too much for small children. 

Entertainment will also be on-hand as Bedrock will perform on Saturday and 10 Beach Drive on Sunday.

Exciting races, Detroit natives competing, live music, and family-fun will be on-hand at the 103rd Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Hydrofest. Tickets can be found on www.detroitraces.com or directly through Eventbrite. Be sure to check out the website and Facebook page for updates and further information.