One of the most successful partnerships in unlimited hydroplane racing — that of driver Dave Villwock and the U-96 Spirit of Qatar...

Share story

One of the most successful partnerships in unlimited hydroplane racing — that of driver Dave Villwock and the U-96 Spirit of Qatar team — is apparently breaking up.

In a statement posted on the H-1 Unlimited Facebook page last night, team manager Erick Ellstrom wrote: “Dave Villwock has retired from our team. We had a great run together and celebrated many victories together. We are not aware of his future plans, but we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. We will have more to say about our future plans when we know the schedule for completion of repairs to the 96.”

Villwock, who also piloted the Miss Budweiser and Pico American Dream boats and has won 11 national titles and is the winningest driver in the history of the sport, joined the Qatar team in 2005 when it was known as the Miss E-Lam Plus, and has won 21 races in the boat.