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By Ray Rodda

May 4, 2021


As the USTS and the HammondSport Fire Dept, our sponsor, prepare the logistics to host the Title Series event on June 11-13th, I would like to take moment to let our teams and fans who follow the Title Series of the opportunities in the area that would be of interest.

Hammondsport, village, is located in southern New York, and It lies at the south end of Keuka Lake, one of the famous Finger Lakes. In 1829 a local resident, Rev. William Bostwick, planted the first grapevine in the area, hoping to grow grapes to produce communion wine. This area was settled by French winegrowers in the 1860 and brought their skills with them. Therein lies a great story of the region as one of the premier wine makers in the US. Pleasant Valley Wine Company was the first winery in the region and the first bonded winery in the country was founded in 1860, which means they set up a bond for their excise tax, even then the government was on it. LOL. There are currently 9 winery’s that are available for visits while we are up there, and I am sure our teams will be interested.

In addition to the wine making part of this area, there other opportunities to spend a few days before or after our racing. The father of Naval aviation and avid motorcyclist Glenn Curtis was a resident of Hammondsport and today you can visit the museum and Explore wonderful exhibits of vintage aircraft, motorcycles, automobiles. He was also known as the fastest man on the planet for over 4 years setting speed records. In addition to the Curtis Museum, you will also find a boat museum as well. The Finger Lakes Boating Museum is a nod to Hammondsport's roots, dating back to the rise of steamboats during the 19th Century, as well as various forms of boat building throughout the region. It has a special section for the youngsters who can do drawings, make their own boats, and even get a sailor’s tattoo stamped on their arm.

The USTS has a little New York history of its own as many of our drivers, both current and drivers of old come from New York and some have headed to warmer climes but are looking forward to coming back home. First, our thanks to New Yorker Pat Wright who worked diligently with the Hammondsport Fire Dept. to put this together for the Title Series, thanks Pat. In addition to Pat, and his Son Jimmy, you know I am going to forget someone, so please add to the list if I forgot you or another driver you are familiar with. Currently on our drivers list, Kristi Ellison and brother Chris Hellesten, and their children now racing, Having their Dad Pete Hellsten starting many years ago, and winning National titles taught them well and championships followed in the next generations. Next, the LaRose Powerhouse team with Chick, Neil, Marc, and Zach, although living in Fl, I am sure this is a race with memories of New York flooding in. Marcus Johnson and his son also I am sure will be there. The Fales family with one of the fastest ‘F” runabouts ever with Bill Fales at the wheel and with Powermist and hopefully we will see Steve and Rick up at Hammondsport, but I know their product will be used that weekend in our engines. Some of our former drivers, Pete Voss, Diane Murray, Dick Scoppianch, Don and Bob Rusnack, Bob Hookirk, the Sovie family and I said, I am sure there are others, so please forgive.

We will be adding more to this as we go along but put this race in your travel schedule and enjoy a few extra days visiting the sights and enjoy some down time. There is much to do in this little burg of just under 1,000 folks, remind you of another small boat racing town, and much to explore.

I have added a couple of websites at the bottom for you to take look at that may help you to plan that extra time you can take. Enjoy and see you at the races.
Hammondsport, NY - America's Coolest Small Town | Finger Lakes Region (
THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Hammondsport - 2021 (with Photos) - Tripadvisor