Since the beginnings of the Columbia Cup (Atomic Cup) in 1966, the Columbia River has become known as probably the best unlimited hydroplane course in the world.

But that doesn't mean it's without it's dangers. When you're skimming over the water at  150 mph or faster, it can be deadly. At any given time, a hydro that's 'on plane' (meaning it's in it's maximum speed configuration) is only touching the water with about 5-6 square feet of it's hull. A small patch on each of the front sponsons, and another patch where the propeller is located.

This YouTube video courtesy of Meyer Hydros, shows the most spectacular crashes in Columbia Cup history. Some are not on here, they didn't always film some of the early races. But for the avid boat race fan, these will bring back memories. The oldest boat captured on film is the 1980 Pay N' Pak, which was the first turbine powered boat. It blew over in 1980. Some felt the turbines were unsafe as they pushed the boats to speeds they couldn't handle.

Here's hoping for a safe race this weekend!

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