In terms of risk-to-reward ratio, there are few sports that can compete with unlimited hydroplaning. While the sport is far less deadly than in bygone days, it’s still not for the faint-of-heart. And unlike such daredevil fare as stock-car racing, there is relatively limited glory to be had (at least outside of the Pacific Northwest). C’mon—how many top unlimited hydroplaners can you name without Googling? Yeah, we thought so.
Well, here are two names to get you started: Bill Muncey and Chip Hanauer, who also happen to be the first inductees into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Champions. That’s Hanauer at the top of this post, celebrating one of his 61 hydroplane triumphs. He could have easily made it 62 or more, but he chose not to:
Bill Muncey is Unlimited Hydroplane Racing’s all-time winningest driver, with 62 victories, 8 Gold Cups and 7 National Championships. Hanuer retired with 61 career wins, rather than eclipse the record of his hero and mentor.
Tough to imagine another athlete pulling up like that, just to honor their idol. But then again, there’s a complicating factor at play here—Muncey perished in a spectacular crash some 28 years ago.