Silverdale Hydro races set for mid-August

Unlimited light hydroplane races are set to make a big splash in Silverdale come August.

Plans are well under way for the Aug. 13-14 races in Dyes Inlet which organizers from the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce are calling the quicksilver Hydroplane Racing and Water Sports Festival. The August weekend races are apart of the Unlimited Light Hydroplane Racing Association’s national circuit. The chamber’s executive director, Sam Granato, says those dates were chosen for a number of reasons.

“We had to take in consideration of the tides, it was an equidistant time between Whaling Days and the Fair and it was an open day for the Unlimited Light Hydroplane Racing Association,” he said.

Recently there has been some controversy in the community because the planned date for the festival falls between two large community events -— Whaling Days and the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede.

“I am working with the Silverdale Chamber and the Whaling Days committee so that we can see how this transition can come in and be smooth and successful for all concerned,” said Commissioner Patty Lent.

As of press time on Monday, there was a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 1, for Lent to meet with the parties involved to work on finding a solution.

Organizers of the festival have budgeted $70,000 for the weekend event, $35,000 is being funded by Kitsap County’s hotel/motel tax. The remaining $35,000 is expected to come from business sponsorships which some opponents believe will cut into Whaling Days’ and the Fair’s revenues.

The unlimited light series differs a little from the unlimited series. The unlimiteds have a jet engine with the lights one step down, according to Granato. The unlimited lights have a 7-liter automobile engine in them. Currently organizers expect there to be about 14 to 15 boats involved in the race, but that number could change.

“There may even be more boats,” Granato said. “We were taken by surprise by how many (unlimited light hydroplane) owners and drivers there are in the Kitsap and Mason County areas. It’s surprising to

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