Collaboration and competition.
These words generally collide with one another. However in the case of my former competitor Erick Ellstrom, they are in fact the very definition of sport.
Through a collaboration with Erick, Oberto brands, Kathy Powell and her TriCities Waterfollies Board, and H-1, the initiative begun by Erick Ellstrom in February is becoming a reality.
The Ellstrom initiative, in cooperation with the Art Oberto effort, was put forward to develop a new collaborative model between race sites, sponsors and teams to help insure a future for our sport for generations to come.
Nothing like this has been tried before, and thus we hit some speed bumps. We’ve overcome them, and will continue to deal with challenges as they arise.
The same competitive spirit that led to multiple National Championships and Gold Cup victories for the Ellstrom family will bring their team, running as the Oberto, to this weekends HAPO Columbia Cup. Cooperation between these partners, and an enduring commitment to Unlimited Hydroplane racing can only lead to a more surefooted future for our sport and all of our stakeholders.
Over the past several days, working in concert with Erick Ellstrom, Kathy Powell and her Board, Oberto Brands and Shannon Raney with H-1, we’ve begun the move to create the underpinnings of a secure and competitive future.
My personal thanks to our teams, our race sites, our sponsors and our fans for what is sure to be one of the most competitive fields in years.
July 25th, 2016