Thank You Sponsors & Partners

Bike Path Closures During Tri-City Water Follies Weekend




Columbia Park East of Edison Street will close at 8:00am Thursday, July 27.

Public Parks Bicycle trails along the Columbia River in Kennewick and Pasco will be partially closed as both sides of the river host the 52nd annual Water Follies.

Wade Park Rd. from The Blue Bridge to Rd. 60 in Pasco will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 28th- July 30th from 6am-6pm

Columbia Park will be closed from the Blue Bridge to Edison Street in Kennewick beginning Thursday July 27 8am through Sunday July 30th 7:00pm.

Kennewick/Richland Columbia Park – Bike Paths and Park East of the Kiwanis Building – Hartford St. closed Thursday – Sunday, 10:00pm – 6:00am

2017 Digital Brochure

Download the 2017 Water Follies Digital Brochure, to keep the latest Schedule, Event Map and more at your fingertips.
On your mobile device it is best to open with Acrobat to have access to all features and links.


Water Follies Launches New Web Site and Social Media Campaign

The newly redesigned website for Tri-City Water Follies went live on the World Wide Web at on June 23, 2017. The site features improved overall usability, with modernized navigation, engaging infographics, and astonishing photos and videos. Google maps is also a new feature, and the site is now mobile friendly. Water Follies has also been increasing our social media outreach and engagement with the community. Be sure and follow us for all the latest news and updates –


2017 Water Follies Artwork is Released

June 22, 2017 – The artwork for the 2017 Columbia Cup has been unveiled and it looks fantastic. Thank you to Jason Fitzgerald and i3 Global for your creativity and artistic vision! Jason tells us he was going for an aggressive, gritty, “in your face” design for 2017, inspired by the attitude of the F-22.

2016 Thank You

Water Thank You Ad copy

Water Follies Wins 2015 Race Site of the Year


Tri-City Water Follies awarded Race Site of the Year For the Second Consecutive Year at the Annual Unlimited Hydroplane Banquet

 SEATTLE, Wash. – Monday, February 22, 2016 – For the second consecutive year, the Tri-City Water Follies, HAPO Columbia Cup was selected as the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Race Site of the Year. Tri-City Water Follies past president Mike Denslow and Event Director Kathy Powell, along with board members Jeff Groce, Jim Powers and Chuck Keltch were on hand to receive the honor at the H1 Unlimited Annual Awards Banquet at the Seattle Science Center.

In his presentation of the award, H1 announcer and emcee of the banquet, Brad Luce, described the Tri-Cities event with phrases such as, “gold standard” and “template for all race sites to follow”.

The votes are cast by the H1 boat owners and fans, prompting Denslow to remark, “That’s what makes this such a huge compliment.”

While accepting the award for Race Site of the Year, Denslow shared the Water Follies gratitude to those who contribute to the Water Follies success each year, saying, “We are one big family: our volunteers, leadership, sponsors , community and H1. We are all dedicated to organizing the best event possible.”

The 2016 HAPO Over the River Airshow and HAPO Columbia Cup will take place July 29 – 31 on the Columbia River in Tri-Cities Washington.

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Hydro on the Pole Returns


The New “Hydro on the Pole”

liftboatAfter almost a year’s absence,  the iconic, “Hydro on the Pole” returned to the entrance of Columbia Park.  Boat this is not the same hull that came down all those months ago.  The years and elements had taken too much of a toll on the boat that was taken down last year.  This is a completely new hydro with a Columbia Cup connection.

The exact history of the hull is somewhat elusive.  Fred tended to use his fleet of hydroplanes pretty interchangeably.  Boats would race as one sponsor on the east coast, then change when they got to Tri-Cities.  Sometimes, they would change from race to race.  Added to the uniform look of the Leland hull, it was difficult for the historians and sometimes the crews to know which boat was which.

There seems to be some disagreementon if this hull was built in 1998 or 2000.  Many seem to think it is the 2000 hull.  Inspection of the boat revealed a large “98” was written under the nose deck hatch.  We may never have a unanimous determination as to when the hull was constructed.  After taking into account information from a variety of sources and reviewing the unique design elements on the hull compared to historical photographs, we have come to a few conclusions about this hull’s history.


Zenetix II

This hull is a former Columbia Cup winner.  In 2001, Terry Troxell drove it to victory running as the Miss Zenetix II.  This also was owner Fred Leland’s final victory.  This hull also most likely ran as the “Spirit of Tri-Cities” in 2004..  It last appeared on the circuit in 2005, as the Miss ThriftwayEventually, it was slated to be used in an attempt to bring automotive power back to the unlimited hydroplanes.  Sadly, the work remained uncompleted when Fred Leland passed away in 2012.  Mark Evans acquired it after seeing it in a Craigslist ad in 2013.

A crew of Water Follies volunteers took on the daunting task of preparing the boat for its new home on the pole.  Today in the Park, they saw the fruits of their labor lifted into it’s new position, ready to greet fans as the arrive for the 2015 Gold Cup and beyond.


Contributing Sponsors

Volunteer Crew

Volunteer Crew


Hydros On Display This Week

display_2015More Than Testing This Week For The Unlimited Hydroplanes – (May 27, 2015)

Kennewick, Wash.—With the Tri City Water Follies getting ready for the first test session of the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane seasonFriday (May 29), two of the four boats will also be getting a jump on the publicity wagon.

The U-9 Les Schwab /Red Dot team along with driver Scott Liddycoat will be at the Les Schwab Tire Center in Pasco on Court Street  tomorrow (May 28) at approximately noon until 4 p.m.

Liddycoat, a new driver for the U-9 team, will be signing autographs. This marks the second year the U-9 team will be on the Columbia River for spring testing.

On Saturday (May 30) from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the U-7 Graham Trucking team along with its new driver Jesse Robertson will be at the Meyers Auto Tech at 1120 N Grant Pl. in Kennewick. Robertson will also be signing autographs.

Four teams and five drivers have committed to the testing session. The U- 9 with Liddycoat, the U-96 Ellstrom Racing with Jean Theoret, the U-12 Miss DiJulio  with rookie driver Patrick Sankuer along with drivers Robertson and J. Michael Kelly both piloting the U-7 will take to the river for multiple test runs from 9:00 am to 5 pm.

Tri-Cities Will Host 2015 HAPO Gold Cup

WF_GOLD_HEADERKENNEWICK, Washington –  H1 Unlimited Chairman Steve David and officials of the Tri-City Water Follies have announced that the Tri-City group will host the 2015 APBA Gold Cup July 24-26.

The HAPO Gold Cup will mark the 50th anniversary of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing on the Columbia River between Richland, Kennewick and Pasco, Washington under the direction of the Tri-City        Water Follies.

Past Water Follies President and current Vice President of H1 Unlimited Mike Denslow said, “Kathy Powell (Event Director) and I have been lobbying for years and it’s finally happened!”

In making the announcement on behalf of H1, David said, “We are very excited to be able to award the 2015 Gold Cup to the very deserving race committee and community in the Tri-Cities and look forward to seeing the competition for one of the most prestigious trophies in all of motorsports take place in one of our outstanding long term venues and well respected by all of our race sites.”

David added, “When we talked to all of our race sites, they agreed unanimously that the 50th anniversary of the Tri-City race and the long standing support by the committee, volunteers and community made the Tri-City area and the Water Follies committee very deserving of the opportunity to host the 2015 Gold Cup.”

Current Tri-City Water Follies President Ron Hue said, “The entire Water Follies organization could not be more excited to host the 2015 HAPO Gold Cup.  We would like to thank everyone who had a hand in getting the oldest motorsports trophy in the world, back to the Tri-Cities.”

Sponsor of the HAPO Gold Cup will be HAPO Community Credit Union whose president/CEO David Schulz said, “What an honor for us at HAPO to be a part of this milestone! That really adds to our excitement  for this 50th celebration.”

HAPO was formed by a group of workers at the Hanford nuclear site in 1953 to provide a place to save and borrow money. Today, HAPO Community Credit Union currently has over 100,000 members with over $1 billion dollars in assets and 13 locations in Southeastern Washington and one location in Hermiston, Oregon. HAPO is an acronym for Hanford Atomic Products Operations.

The Gold Cup was last held in the Tri-Cities in 1984 and has been held exclusively in Detroit since 1990.

The H1 Unlimited racing season will open in Madison, Indiana July 3-5 with the annual running of the Madison Regatta/Indiana Governor’s Cup.