CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381

The South’s Fastest Water to Host Extreme Water Event this Summer

Decatur, Ala. – Alabama is known for fast cars and a NASCAR superspeedway, but the southern state is also developing a name for fast boats on a liquid track. Lake Guntersville invites people of all ages to an extreme summer event where the fastest boats today race on an oval course at speeds of 200 mph. Hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports, the annual Guntersville Lake HydroFest will take place June 25-26, 2022, offering two days of competitive racing as drivers volley to take home the American Power Boat Association (APBA) Gold Cup title. 

H1 Unlimited hydroplanes are the fastest, reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, and most powerful, closed-course racing boats in the world. Racing takes place along scenic Sunset Drive in Guntersville. The action-packed event offers three classes of racing: H1 Unlimited, Grand Prix America and Pro-lite series. The state-of-the-art hydroplanes race on a 2 ½-mile oval course and maintain speeds of 130 mph to upwards of 200 mph on the straightaways. More information on these boats is available at  

The oldest trophy in motorsports, the APBA Gold Cup, originally named the Challenge Cup, was first given out in 1904. Initially a battle of endurance, the Gold Cup began as a 90-mile race. Changes in race formats and engines led to a reduced number of miles, and today this most coveted trophy in motor sports is won with between 36 and 52 miles. According to Katy Norton, president of Marshall County Tourism and Sports, the 2022 Guntersville Lake HydroFest will be the first time the Gold Cup is held in Alabama. There will be at least three former APBA Gold Cup winners competing at this year’s HydroFest including Dave Villwock, driving the U-40, who has won 10 Gold Cups during his career. Additional winners include J. Michael Kelly and Jimmy Shane, the 2021 defending Gold Cup champion. 

The 2022 Guntersville Lake HydroFest will also celebrate the 60th anniversary of Roy Duby’s world speed record of 200.419 mph. It’s a record that still stands today for the piston powered boats. 

In addition to experiencing the action on the water, there will be entertainment on land including a kid’s area with water slides, sponsors giveaways and food vendors. On Friday, June 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Marshall County Park #1, located at 19348 Highway 431 North, the public is invited to a meet and greet with owners, racers and team members and up-close views and photo opportunities of the boats. Stay tuned to for a schedule of events.
A weekend pass is $20/adult/pre-sale and $10/kids 6 to 12 years old/pre-sale and $30/adult/at gate and $15/kids 6 to 12 years old/at gate. A one-day pass is $15/adult/pre-sale and $5/kids 6 to 12 years old/pre-sale and $20/adult at gate and $10/ages 6 to 12 years old/at gate. Admission is free for children five years old and under and for active-duty military with valid military ID. The Ultimate Weekend Pass is $30/pre-sale and $40/at gate and includes admission into the event, transportation to see the boats at any time throughout the two days of racing and a commemorative program. Club Level is $120/ticket and includes access into a large, private tented area for on-the-water viewing at the start/finish line, transportation to see the boats at any time throughout the two days of racing, commemorative cup, lunch and nonalcoholic beverages.

Gates open at 8 a.m. both days with activities taking place at 1500 Sunset Drive on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala. unless otherwise noted. Parking is $5 per day. All parking for spectators will be offsite with bus transportation running daily from 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @VisitNorthAL and like us at