dale van wieingen

"It’s a Dale boat!” That term has become synonymous with winning on the H1 Unlimited circuit. The "Dale" is Dale Van Wieringen, the most-successful designer of unlimited hydroplanes in the last ten years. Since 1990, "Dale” boats have won 39 out of 62 races and his designs own every competitive speed record on the H1 circuit.

"It all began 33 years ago when I was hired by Bill Muncey to do paint and repair work on Atlas Van Lines.” Dale Van Wieringen started at the bottom of the hottest team in the sport, determined to do his best, but also intent on learning as much as he could. The team had designer-builder-manager Jim Lucero at the helm of what would become the most-successful boat in unlimited hydroplane racing history. "I helped build four boats while working for Lucero and learned a lot of what I use today from that experience.”

A keen observer and a good listener, Dale learned from Lucero and began compiling an amazing database of information. Over the next 13 years, Dale worked on the Atlas Van Lines, Miss Circus Circus, Miss Budweiser, Winston Eagle, Llumar, and Kim and Debbie Gregorys’ USA Racing. "I learned something at every job, but most of my learning occurred while working for Budweiser. Bernie Little had the best of the best in every respect and we had a huge technological advantage over everyone else.” The last Bud hulls, T-5 and T-6 provided Dale a base line design. "Every boat I have designed since then is a homogenization of what I learned there. The data used to design these boats is relatively simple, shaft angles, sponson angles, and the break on the bottom all need to be correct in order for a boat to work.”

Van Wieringen’s first design after Budweiser was Miss Elam Plus. That hull has become one of the all-time greats, winning two APBA Gold Cups and a pair of national high-point championships. He followed the Elam boat with a new hull designed to maximize Ed Cooper’s turbo Allison engines. That boat holds every competitive record for a piston-powered unlimited hydroplane. Dale’s next boats were the Llumar, U-21, Red Dot, and the two-time defending high-point champion Oh Boy! Oberto.

"I am proud that my boats are ready to race right out of the box. Take one of my boats, give it the right equipment and the right people and you have yourself a boat the can win right away.”

Last year, Dale joined forces with Go Fast Turn Left Racing’s Greg O’Farrell on a mission to bring that team to the promised-land. In the works is a new state-of-the-art hull, set to debut in 2012. For this season, Dale is reunited with the U-21 hull he designed for Kevin Aylesworth in 2007

If history repeats itself, look for another Dale Van Wieringen boat to reach the top of the podium soon! 
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