Tastin’ n Racin’ Hydroplanes are Still Missed
Tastin’ n Racin’ is still a happy memory for many who attended the festival and hydroplane races at Lake Sammamish State Park — until June, 2013 when it stopped happening after 16 years of fun. Many people still ask “whatever happened to Tastin’ n Racin’?”
Citing rising expense and insurance requirements, organizers ended the event.
The Tastin’ n Racin’ website is still up and tells a lot about the event’s history, known for its boat races, live entertainment, food and vendors, a classic car show, beer gardens, children’s activities and more. At its peak, TnR brought in 36,750 people in one weekend. The hydroplanes were always the top draw.
“Over the years, Tastin n Racin featured the fastest piston-driven racing on water from 4-cylinder 16-foot hydroplanes to the 1,300 hp super-charged 26-foot Grand Prix Hydroplanes. In 2008, TnR launched Vintage unlimiteds Miss Bardahl and Miss Thriftway as the first Unlimiteds to ever run on Lake Sammamish.
“Tastin N Racin made history that same year when the Turbine powered Unlimited hydroplane Miss Red Dot, co-owned by Issaquah attorney John O’Brien, was launched on Lake Sammamish to give folks an up-close-and-personal look at a modern hydroplane normally only seen at Seafair. Ten classes of hydroplanes always filled the race card at TnR.
“In 2006, PWC racing was added to Tastin n Racin and for those in the front rows…you got wet! PWC racers would come from all around the Northwest to compete in the Western Regional World Championships. Tastin’ n Racin’ was actually looked at as a model event nationally by other boat racing sites. Events in Miami, New York, and St. Louis — to name a few — used the TnR formula of combining a family festival on the land with the thrill of racing on the water.”
Photo in drive : hydroplane races - (credit to: The Issaquah Press)