U-12 driver Andrew Tate is excited to race in Tri-Cities Water Follies

Hydro-Plane Testing on the Columbia River

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Water Follies are back! On Friday, June 4th, participants in the 2021 HAPO Columbia Cup practiced racing on the Columbia River.

Many drivers have been shifted from their old boats this year. And with the pandemic cancelling last year’s race, drivers were eager to get back on the water and get a feel for their new boats.

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We spoke with U-12 driver Andrew Tate, who is piloting the hydro-plane for Graham Trucking Inc.

“We’ve played a bit of musical chairs this year,” Tate said. “I found myself in the big red Graham Trucking boat. I’m excited for that.”

The tests ran today included six boats total, which is about normal for pre-competition runs on the Columbia River. The 2021 HAPO Columbia Cup is expected to have around 12 Unlimiteds run according to the water follies website.

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The hydro-plane races tends to bring in tons of tourism for the Tri-Cities. Back in 2019, KAPP-KVEW reported “The Tri-City Water Follies bringing in over $3 million for the Tri-Cities economy, according to Visit Tri-Cities.” 

“I love coming to Tri-Cities,” Tate said. “Great fans, great people, great food.”