Hours of hard work and preparation ended paying off for the Greg Hopp team at the 2019 Guntersville Lake Hydrofest. Team Hopp and the Happy Go Lucky GP-15 boat took home first place in the Grand Prix division of HydroFest.
According to Hopp, his crew worked tirelessly to get the boat ready for this year’s races on Lake Guntersville.
“We worked several 20-hour days leading up to the race,” he said. “I can’t brag on my crew enough for all the hours they put in. Every day in Guntersville, we were the first ones at the pits working and the last ones to leave. It all paid off.”
Hopp and his team hail from the Seattle, Washington, area. Although they were a long way from home, the whole crew felt comfortable in Guntersville.
“We raced Guntersville last year so we had a good idea of what to expect when we got here,” he said. “The course was a little bit different, but not too much. No matter what course we race, we have to make adjustments every day. This year was no different.”
One of the adjustments Hopp and his team had to make dealt with their fuel. This year, Hopp said a larger fuel pump was added to the boat.
“The distance from the pits to the course in Guntersville is pretty long,” he said. “So, we had to compensate with more fuel than we would normally use.”
Hopp intended to make a victory lap following his win but had a little bit of a problem.
“I wanted to drive by and wave to the crowd but I ran out of fuel,” he laughed. “I always like waving to the crowd if we win but it just wasn’t happening this year.”
The next competition Hopp will participate in is in Madison, Indiana, which begins Thursday. He said a lot was learned about the boat opening race of the season at Guntersville.
“We were able to gain 15 miles per hour from when we got to Guntersville to the last day,” Hopp said. “That’s a really impressive gain. It’s just another example of how hard our crew worked this year.”
The Happy Go Lucky team lived like locals while in Guntersville. Hopp and his crew stayed in nearby fishing cabins in Warrenton.
“The hospitality in Guntersville was absolutely amazing,” he said. “We’re all from the Seattle area so driving five miles up there can take 30 minutes. In Guntersville, you can go 20 miles in five minutes. It’s really a nice town. The whole city rallies together each year to get it done, and as drivers we all appreciate that.”