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World’s fastest racing boats return to Alabama

GUNTERSVILLE — Alabama is known for fast cars and a NASCAR superspeedway, but the southern state has also developed a name for fast boats on a liquid track.

Lake Guntersville’s extreme summer event where the fastest boats today race on an oval course at speeds of 200 mph is set to return in June and a street party at Guntersville’s newest addition, City Harbor, has been added to this year’s festivities.

Hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports, the annual Guntersville Lake HydroFest will take place June 24-25, offering two days of competitive racing as drivers volley to take home the Southern Cup title.

H1 Unlimited hydroplanes are the fastest, reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, and most powerful, closed-course racing boats in the world. Racing takes place along scenic Sunset Drive in Guntersville.

The action-packed event offers three classes of racing: H1 Unlimited, Grand Prix America and Pro-lite series. The state-of-the-art hydroplanes race on a 2½-mile oval course and maintain speeds of 130 mph up to 200 mph on the straightaways.

Festival organizers have added a new activity – the Rooster Tail Party Tent. The area offers great views of turns 3 and 4, as well as the rest of the course. Tickets are $60 per person, and grants access both days with lunch and non-alcoholic beverages. The tent will have a DJ and games such as cornhole and giant beer pong.

There will be entertainment on land including a kid’s area with water slides, sponsors giveaways and food vendors.

The public is invited to see the boats and meet the drivers June 22 at City Harbor. Boats will be lined up and there will be food, drinks and music. This is free to the public and starts at 6 p.m.

On June 23, the public is invited to watch the water testingfrom 2 to 5 p.m. Visit http://www.guntersvillelakehydrofest.com/ for a schedule of events.

Pre-sale weekend passes cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids 6-12 years old. At the gate, the passes are $30 for adults and $15 for kids 6-12 years old.

A one-day pass is $15 for adults and $5 for kids 6-12 years old in advance. At the gate, the one-day pass is $20 for adults and $10 for kids 6-12 years old.

Admission is free for children 5 years old and under and for active-duty military with valid military ID.

The Ultimate Weekend Pass is $30 in advance and $40 at the gate and includes admission into the event, transportation to see the boats at any time throughout the two days of racing and a commemorative program.

Club Level tickets are $120 each and include access into a large, private tented area for on-the-water viewing at the start/finish line, transportation to see the boats at any time throughout the two days of racing, lunch and nonalcoholic beverages.

Gates open 8 a.m. both days. Parking is $10 per day. All parking for spectators will be offsite with bus transportation running daily from 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.guntersvillelakehydrofest.com/.

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