Families lining the Ohio Riverbank to catch the races at Evansville HydroFest™ will get to see the legendary Hopp family in action. Father Jerry Hopp, and son Greg Hopp are slated to compete against one another in the top Grand Prix World class at the Labor Day Weekend event.
Look for Jerry in boat number GP15 and Greg in GP12. Jerry Hopp, now based in Snohomish, Washington, started racing A Stock Hydroplanes in 1969 following a Vietnam Army tour. In 1975, he ventured into 145 Inboard Hydro. A retired school bus driver, Jerry Hopp is the current Grand Prix class straightaway world speed record holder at more than 170 MPH, set in 2016.
Son Greg Hopp, now residing in Lake Stevens, Washington, began his boat racing career at age nine, driving J Stock Hydroplanes, and graduating to A Stock Hydro at age 12. He’s been driving—and winning—in the Unlimited class since 1998. In 2000, Greg stepped into the cockpit for the retiring Chip Hanauer in Fred Leland’s U100, while also sharing driving duties with dad Jerry in the UL-15.
Although competitors, their father-son bond is shatterproof. Greg Hopp shares, “My dad’s influence was—and still is—very intense. Everything I know about boats, I learned from him. I couldn’t have had a better mentor.” The Hopps will be among more than 60 Hydroplane teams on deck to go head-to-head in the Evansville HydroFest™. Teams from across the United States and Canada will race on the Ohio Riverfront in Downtown Evansville, Friday September 1st, Saturday September 2nd, and Sunday September 3rd, 2017. For event schedules visit www.evansvillehydrofest.com.
Evansville HydroFest™ will host the American Power Boat Association’s Eastern Divisional Championships on Saturday, and North American Championships on Sunday.
A $10 Evansville HydroFest™ Admission Wristband admits ages 13 and up to all three days of racing. Ages 12 and under are free. For those 21 and above, the Wristband includes admission to the Concert & Beer Garden at Tropicana’s Outdoor Events Plaza, Friday and Saturday, 6:00 pm to midnight.
Purchase Admission Wristbands at all six Evansville-area Schnuck’s stores, nine Heritage Federal Credit Union locations, the Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science, and SWIRCA until August 31st. Starting September 1st, Admission Wristbands will be available at Riverside Dr. Admission Gates: Court St. attended by CASA, Main St. attended by SWIRCA, and Cherry St. attended by the Evansville Museum Guild. For each $10, the non-profit group earns $2 to further its positive impact on our City.
Evansville HydroFest™ is presented by Evansville Events, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit entity of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Bob Warren is Executive Director. Serving on the Executive Organizing Committee are Vernon Stevens, President of Southern Business Machines and Randy Lientz, President of AXIOM. Warren, Stevens, and Lientz all reside in Evansville.