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Super Boats at Mission Bay: The San Diego Bayfair Hydroplane Races

Super Boats at Mission Bay: The San Diego Bayfair Hydroplane Races

A hop, skip, and a jump from the Sofia Hotel, the waters of Mission Bay makes one of San Diego’s favorite aquatic playgrounds. Coming up this month is one of the flashiest water sports events it hosts all year: the San Diego Bayfair!

The centerpiece of this waterfront festival is as dramatic a competition as you can clap eyes on: an H1 Unlimited hydroplane race.

The high-speed action gets underway September 15 through the 17th, so join us at the Sofia—your first choice among downtown San Diego hotels—and mark the end of summer with a world-class spectacle at Mission Bay Park!

The San Diego Bayfair World Series of Powerboat Racing

The San Diego Bayfair has been delighting crowds for better than four decades. The first hydroplane race went down here at Mission Bay in 1964—the vision of a legendary H1 Unlimited racer, Bill Muncey. The 2.5-mile race course he established—and which now bears his name in tribute—is both the longest and the fastest one on the H1 Unlimited circuit.

Introducing the Hydroplane

So…what exactly is a hydroplane? Well, it’s only the swiftest racing powerboat around: a sleek and high-riding vessel capable of reaching speeds beyond 200 miles per hour.

The hydroplane’s astounding zippiness comes from immensely powerful turbine engines (adopted from helicopters) and an aerodynamic (and hydrodynamic) “three-point” design: At speed, only three parts of the boat—parts of the two sponsons (specialized extensions of the hull) and the rear propeller—actually touch the water.

Having as much of the boat cutting through the air rather than the denser water increases the hydroplane’s pace.

You can learn much, much more about hydroplane design over at the H1 Unlimited website’s “Hydros 101” breakdown.

Take in the Hydroplane Racing & More at the San Diego Bayfair

Besides the hydroplane racing itself (which requires a ticket to watch) and associated spectacles, the San Diego Bayfair also offers a whole smorgasbord of eats and drinks in its Vendor Village, plus live music, fireworks, and other festive fun.

We are within a half-hour of Mission Bay Park here at the Sofia Hotel, so why not treat yourself to the spray-tastic thrills of the San Diego Bayfair H1 Unlimited hydroplane showcase from an elegant guest room at one of the best-loved downtown San Diego hotels? We will see you at the races!