THE National Hydro Kart Association, born in 1963, now officially recognizes
22 different classifications of karts. Smallest of the classes, designed
specifically for drivers 14 years and younger limits the hull length to
6 feet and puts a limit of 6.1 cu. in. of displacement on the engine. The
unlimited or X-E class is the largest of the classes and calls for a minimum
hull length of 10 feet. Maximum of 44 cubic inches is permitted in X-E.
The Association held its First Annual World Championships at scenic
Lake Ming in Bakersfield, California on August 10, 1963. Top speed of the
day was turned in by Jack Ehlen of Manhattan Beach, California. Entered
in the single outboard class, Ehlen's Cyclone hull was powered by a Hydro-Mac
outboard kart engine with a full adjustment lower unit, and posted a time
of 2 mins. 4 secs. around the 1 mile course, for a speed of 48.4 mph.
In a meet at Hansen Dam, California on October 6th, Ehlen duplicated
his earlier performance by overpowering competition to walk off with the
Association's annual High Point trophy. In the same meet, EI Monte, California's
Craig Bowman drive his single engined Dolphin to victory in the inboard
division. Twin engine inboard award was captured by B& A Engineering
in their Shark hull.
their efforts, Ehlen, Bowman and B&A Engineering will be permitted
to display the Association's U.S. 1 insignia on their boats during the
1964 racing season.
A full schedule of racing events is planned for 1964 and NHA secretary
Donald T. Orr states that all interested competitors and clubs may write
National Hydrokart Association for rules, regulations and sanctioning requirements.
Address of NHA is 20852 Jan Street, Canoga Park, California.
While Hydro Karting is looked upon as strictly an American development,
word comes from Phil Rolla of Torino, Italy that the Federazione Italiana
Motonautica has taken quite and interest in the sport, to the extent of
laying out some rather interesting tech requirements. For instance, all
propulsion must be by standard kart engines of either 100 cc or 200 cc
dis- placement, driven through a water jet. No propellers, rudders or other
protuberances are permitted. Age of drivers is 16-18 years in the 100cc
class and 18 and over in the 200cc class. All competition is to be on closed
Further safety considerations require helmets and life jackets as well
as a "dead man" or automatic throttle return and a string attached from
driver to ignition to insure complete shut offin case driver is thrown
from boat. There must be a fire wall between driver and engine and a clutch
between the engine and water jet to permit running of boat at stand-still.
Several courses have been laid out and it is expected that there will be
much interest in the sport in 1964.
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