GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – The Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau announced hydroplane boat racing will return to Lake Guntersville in 2018.
In a partnership between H1 Unlimited and the MCCVB, Guntersville will host the Unlimited Series for three days of racing June 21-24, 2018. The event brings the tradition of powerboat racing back to the lake.
“Boat racing was one of the very first sporting events held on Lake Guntersville following the building of the dam,” said Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau President Katy Norton. “It was a tradition in our county, one that we are pleased will continue through our new partnership with H1 Unlimited. We hope that the race in 2018 begins a new era of water events held on Lake Guntersville.”
Boat racing has been part of Lake Guntersville since the 1940s, running until the 1980s.
Norton says the three-day event will boast various attractions for visitors. “We are going to have an event venue,” Norton said. “There will be lots of activities, music, vendors, all kinds of things to do, and you’ll be able to buy a wrist band and you’ll have prime seating with your wrist band.”
The state-of-the-art hydroplanes race on a two-mile oval course and maintain speeds of 130 mph to upwards of 200 mph on the straightaways. The race at Lake Guntersville will take place in Spring Creek. The levee will offer the best view of the races.
Tourism officials hope to make the event an annual one, and say the county and surrounding areas will feel a tourism impact. “The estimated attendance is anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 coming in,” Norton explained. “That’s not counting our local population.”
This series adds to a growing list of events that are bringing in thousands of people and dollars to Marshall County. “We really wanted to do some other things with our waterway, so this is a great example of how we can kind of stretch ourselves a little bit, bring something back that has a history here, but that also brings quite a bit of tourism revenue, retail dollars to our community,” Norton said.
The race at Lake Guntersville will kick off the 2018 season for H1. This year’s race sites include Madison, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan; Kennewick, Washington; Seattle, Washington; and San Diego, California.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for volunteers to work the three-day event. If you’re interested, you’re asked to call the office at (256) 582-7015.