Miss Budweiser Shatters World Speed Record for Kilometer Run


Dave Villwock and the Miss Budweiser team shattered the kilometer (Kilo) World Speed Record by 22.323 mph for an Unlimited Hydroplane boat on March 13th on the Thermalito Afterbay, Oroville, California, setting a new world record of 220.493 mph for a kilometer run, breaking the previous record of 198.17 mph which had stood for 42 years.

Driver, Villwock, pushed Miss Budweiser to the limit on the return leg reaching a top speed of 229 mph, before the boat's rudder and propeller failed. This left Miss Budweiser dead in the water.

However, the team made history just shortly after 8:30 a.m. PT, as Villwock piloted the Miss Budweiser on the first leg of the run to an average speed of 213.437 mph and to an average speed of 227.550 mph on the return leg, resulting in the new world record of 220.493 mph.

Back in 1982 the Miss Budweiser team lost driver Dean Chenoweth when Dean lost a rudder and a prop during a qualifying run in Tri-Cities, Wash. The boat went out of control, killing him and destroying the boat. Joe Little, president of Hydroplanes Inc., and owner of Miss Budweiser said: "Dave Villwock is lucky to be alive. Losing a propeller and rudder at 227 mph is an extremely serious problem."

Driver Dave Villwock said, "I'm glad I cleared the timing run, setting the record before the equipment failed. The team had worked extremely hard over the last couple of months preparing the boat for the run, working to put every variable on our side, but at 229 mph, we're putting all of the equipment at the extreme ragged edge and with the damage to the boat, we'd of had a hard time trying to make another run this weekend if we wouldn't have set the record."

The previous record of 198.17 mph was set in 1962 by Roy Duby in the Miss U.S. I, in Guntersville, Ala., the same year that the late Bernie Little began his foray into Unlimited Hydroplane racing that would eventually produce the most successful team in the history of the sport.

"Our goal today was to set a new record that would stand for more than 42 years and I believe we did that," Joe Little said. "Dave and the team did an outstanding job as they always do. This is one team that has broken a lot of records over the years and I'm thrilled that everyone is safe and that we could add one more record into the pages of history as we begin our final season of competition."

Calm waters and a nearly still wind provided the Miss Budweiser team with a perfect three-mile course to break the kilometer record. "The weather was the one key factor we knew we couldn't control and fortunately it cooperated with us today," said Villwock. "It was one of those things where we felt like the moon and stars would be in alignment for a short time and we had to take advantage of that window."

The Miss Budweiser team has had several other records, being the first team to top 130 mph, 150 mph then 160 mph in competition. In 1999, Dave Villwock and the Miss Budweiser team set the World Lap Speed Record of 173.384 mph during competition in San Diego, California.

The Miss Budweiser team is thought to be the most successful team in Unlimited Hydroplane racing history. The team has entered 360 races in 41 seasons, finished in the top three 234 times and finishing first 136 times. The team has won the prestigious APBA Gold Cup 14 Times The oldest motorsports trophy in history, which will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2004 and has captured 23 World Championships.

Dave Villwock is entering his 12th season of competition and eighth in the cockpit of the Miss Budweiser. Villwock claims the most victories of any Miss Budweiser driver in history. He has won seven World Championships, had 41 career wins and holds five APBA Gold Cups.

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