1987 Miller American Thunderboat Classic

Syracuse hosts hydros

Major horsepower of a different form takes place this weekend in Syracuse, and not a single wheel will touch the ground.

The unlimited hydroplanes will be the headline attraction at the Miller High Life Thunderboat Classic at Onondaga Lake Park. The event begins today and runs through Sunday.

Also on the card will be the Key Bank Offshore Classic for offshore race boats (classes 1, 2, and 3) and the American Power Boat Association Grand Prix.

Qualifications for all classes will take place today and tomorrow. The features on Sunday begin at noon, and all boats will compete on a two-mile course.

One of the most familiar names in the hydroplanes is the Miss Budweiser, piloted by Jim Kropfeld. Already Kropfeld has captured five of the six races in the series with his 2,000-horsepower speedboat.

His win in the Seattle event three weeks ago pushed his career victory total to 20 — only the fourth driver in history to do so. He also holds nine unlimited hydroplane course and four world records. Last year, the Miss Budweiser team captured its eighth national title and second world title.

(Reprinted from the Binghampton (N.Y.) Press and Sun Bulletin, August 21, 1987)