COEUR d'ALENE - The unlimited hydroplane races will have to wait at least another year.
Organizers behind the Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup Regatta said Friday they're canceling the races planned for Labor Day weekend on Lake Coeur d'Alene because of a lack of sponsorship support.
The goal is to have the hydros running here next summer.
The postponement comes a month and a half after the group held a June press conference to announce the race's return, but organizers said in a statement Friday the event should be in full gear by Labor Day 2013.
Pushing the event back 12 months will give organizers more time to ensure all the pieces fall into place, they said.
"Consolidating efforts to next summer has several advantages," Doug Miller, Diamond Cup president, stated in a press release. "It gives adequate time to sign new sponsors, as well as ensuring that logistics run smoothly. It also means that H1 Unlimited hydroplanes, the world's fastest boats, will compete in an actual race, not just an exhibition as was planned for 2012."
Organizers estimate it would cost $250,000 to host the races near Silver Beach and Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive.
Miller said a number of sponsors are already in place, but not enough to reach the level of funding needed to stage the Diamond Cup.
"These events rely on key sponsors, which use the races not only for high-profile advertising, but also as VIP events for their top clients," Miller said in the press release.
Hydroplane races were previously held on Lake Coeur d'Alene from 1958 to 1968.
The Diamond Cup team organized exhibition races over the past few years, but are focusing on hosting sanctioned, H1 Unlimited races. The long-term goal, organizers said, is to become an annual event on the national racing circuit that brings in millions of dollars to the Coeur d'Alene area, similar to the races in Washington's Tri-Cities.
The release didn't say how short financial support was. Miller couldn't be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
The races were to take place outside Coeur d'Alene city limits. The city of Coeur d'Alene banned hydro racing within city limits in 1996 after a public advisory vote asked the city to do so. Part of the reason the races stopped decades ago was because unruly behavior by spectators became a concern.
Despite the delay, Sam Cole, president of H1 Unlimited, said the tour is still excited to land a race in Coeur d'Alene.
"We're pleased that Coeur d'Alene is moving to an official H1 tour race for 2013," Cole stated in the press release. "I can tell you that Coeur d'Alene's H1 designed course is an outstanding racing venue. We look forward to supporting this event."