The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Tag Archives: Hydroplane

Miscellaneous Shiny Things

This has been a very full week around the Crow household and the next few days are going to be non-stop. Generally, when Mrs Crow is gone (in this case to dog-sit for one of the kids until Saturday) my starvation is a definate possibility, or at best, a vitamin deficiency from a diet consisting of raman-based products and candy bars.

Oh Boy Oberto/Miss Madison

This time, however, I’ll be smack in the middle of dozens of food booths down at Stan Sayres pits, and, provided I can climb my way out of the space in the middle of the broadcast tower scaffolding, there is a possibility of my feeding myself. I forsee a diet of skewers and coffee so I may still be in poor shape by Sunday night…

Anyways, the point of this post is to note that I’m volunteering at the Seafair Hydroplane races this year and I won’t have much, if any, time to check the blog here. I have scheduled posts through Sunday, but nothing beyond that. Considering we’ll be tearing down the network late into Sunday night, Monday’s animation is in question at the moment.

And if that isn’t enough to make my year, one other spot of news is the proverbial cherry on top: my post about J P Patches has been linked to by none other than the official JP Patches website! (a big thanks to Super Patches Pal and Webmaster over there Bob Alexander!) It’s quite an honor!

I’ll put together a post of pictures and such sometime next week once I recover.

Thunder on the Lake – Seattle Hydroplane Racing

Around our house the first weekend in August is our All-Star weekend, the annual game seven of our World Series. On Sunday, no plans are made, the big screen is turned on and turned up and only one program is on. The Hydros.

UL-Class Racing on Green Lake ca 1975

These were the monster trucks and sports heroes of my childhood. With a bit of board, maybe a few nails, and a yard or two of twine we had a Thunderboat trailing behind our bike. Spike nails on the back edge and we had a roostertail made of sparks.

Growing up in the north end of Seattle I could hear the growl of the engines from Green Lake, three miles away. Often-times friends and I would walk down to the lake to watch, or we’d cage a ride from one of our parents.

Green Lake is a natural race course; roundish, Duck Island in the middle, and ringed by nice open areas to spread your blanket and watch the rooster-tails go by.

On July 20, 1929, at a time when water sports are becoming the fastest growing sport in the country, the hydroplane craze hits Green Lake. For the next half century, hydroplanes hurl their roostertails around the lake.


The Green Lake area has always been a nightmare to drive around, and it’s a considerably deeper level of hell if you want to actually park.

Unfortunately, that attendant traffic, parking, and noise, didn’t sit well with the Green Lake neighborhood folks and with the death of a baby Snow Leopard at nearby Woodland Park Zoo attributed to the engine noise, the hydroplanes were banned from the lake in 1984.

But the big boats, the U-boats, they were on Lake Washington.

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