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Updates on the Nissan/Dempsey–MacCready Prize One Hour Challenge:

To all concerned.

Thanks to everyone who helped put together the Nissan event, and to all of those who attended the event and the banquet. You all helped make the event one of the most successful competitions that the IHPVA and the HPVA have had over the 30 years since the first race in 1976.

The Nissan event was a perfect way to end the Dempsey/MacCready HPV Hour Prize competition. Who could have predicted the outcome, or who could have written a better script for the surprise ending? It was perfect. Perfect!

It was a pure pleasure for me to have been present at the first International Human Powered Speed Championships and the latest competition at the Nissan test track in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Thanks especially to Paul MacCready and Ed Dempsey for their generosity in making the Prize competition possible. And my heartfelt thanks to Al and Alice Krause for organizing the Nissan event. They did a fantastic job. And thanks again to all of you for providing three decades of fun and enthusiasm. It has been a grand 30 years.


Chet Kyle
Cofounder of the IHPVA

PS: In case any of you don't have the results yet - below is a summary.

Highlights of the Nissan Dempsey/MacCready Prize One Hour Challenge

A new World record of 85.991 km was set by Fast Freddy Markham riding the Varna Mephisto. Fred is 49 years old and 20 years ago in 1986 he won the Dupont Prize of $30,000 for being the first cyclist to exceed 65 mph in an HPV (65.48 mph for 200 meters with a flying start). Apparently you don't bet against Fred when prize money is involved. (By the way, Paul MacCready was responsible for initiating the Dupont prize with his connection with Richard Woodward, who was in charge of Public Relations for Dupont).

Six different machines were entered and all of them covered some distance on the track,

=46ive cyclists finished the complete one hour ride. There were 10 runs tot=al.

All of the five finishers covered more distance than any past or present UCI regulation bicycle hour record - (the fastest UCI record is by Chris Boardman of England - 56.375km in 1996. The present UCI hour record is slower at 49+ km - since the year 2000, cyclists have had to ride an Eddy Merckx type standard diamond frame bike without aero wheels). Freddy beat the Boardman record by nearly 30 kilometers and the old Eddy Merckx record by over 36 km.

Wind and weather conditions were ideal during the competition, although it was very hot - over 80=B0F most of the time. All of the riders were heat stressed to some degree but it didn't seem to slow down Markham.

There were some very fast lap times during the competition - 89.51 kph by Fred on lap 2 (5.662 mile lap), 87.52 kph by Damjan Zabovnik on lap 2, and 87.125 kph by Rob English on lap 2. In his 2004 hour run, Matt Weaver went 90.12 kph on his second lap (2 mile lap). Obviously higher speeds are possible for the HPV hour if conditions were ideal.

Damjan Zabovnik was running over World Record pace when his front tire failed on lap 8. For seven laps, he averaged 84.739 kph and was accelerating on lap 8. If he could have completed the hour he was on a pace to beat Sam Whittingham's record of 84.215 km.


In creating the Dempsey/MacCready Prize in 1999, the original goal was to spark innovation and prove that human powered vehicles could maintain high speeds for long time periods. This goal has certainly been accomplished in dramatic fashion. There have been dozens of attempts at the prize since 1999.

During the seven years of the prize, the World HPV hour record has been broken five times and the distance raised from 79.136 km to 85.990 km. Between the Battle Mountain speed event and the Dempsey/MacCready hour competition, several unique machines have been specially designed and built for these events including all of the vehicles that set the last four hour records.

Results of the Nissan Dempsey/MacCready Prize One Hour Challenge Nissan Test Track, June 30 - July 2, 2006, Casa Grande Arizona

Complete Hour Distances

1. Fred Markham. Vehicle - Varna Mephisto - 53.432 miles, 85.991 kilometers
Fastest lap - 89.51 kph - lap 2. July 2, 2006. Crashed on start had to restart.

2. Rob English. Vehicle - Varna II - 49.836 miles, 80.203 kilometers.
Fastest lap - 87.184 kph - lap 2. June 30, 2006.

3. Matt Weaver. Vehicle - Cutting Edge - 48.672 miles, 78.330 kilometers.
Fastest lap - 84.29 kph - lap 2. July 2, 2006. Crashed on start had to restart.

4. Steve Delaire. Vehicle - Mach 6 - 43.273 miles, 69.641 kilometers.
Fastest lap - 72.273 kph - average of laps 2 and 3. July 2, 2006

5, Craig Delaire. Vehicle - Mach 6 - 36.389 miles, 58.401 kilometers.
Fastest lap - 62.321 kph - lap 2. July 1, 2006.

Did not Finish

6. Damjan Zabovnik. Vehicle - Elvie - 52.655 mph, 84.739 kph, 7 laps.

63.785+ km. Tire flat on 8th lap.
Fastest lap - 87.52 kph - lap 2. July 1, 2006.

7. Rob English. Vehicle - Varna II - 50.010 mph, 80.482 kph, 5 laps.

45.560+ km. Rider abandoned at 6 laps, no time on 6th lap.
Fastest lap - 83.682 kph - lap 2. July 2, 2006.

8. Steve Delaire. Vehicle - Mach 6 - 43.171 mph - 69.478 kph, 4 laps.
36.448+ km. Rider abandoned on 4th lap.
Fastest lap - 75.184 kph - lap 2. June 30 2006.

9. Fred Markham. Vehicle - Varna Mephisto - 51.534 mph, 82,936 kph, 2 laps=18.224+ km. Cluster came loose on lap 3. Had to abandon. Crashed on start, had to restart.
Fastest lap - 89.125 kph - lap 2. July 1, 2006.

10. Rob Hitchcock. Vehicle - Kyle Edge - No time. Crashed after start in first straight. Assisted start after crash and made it about 1/2 lap and then abandoned.

Officials: Bill Gaines, Chief Timer.
Observers: Paul Gracey, John Tetz, George Leone, David Wilson, Tom Novak
Vehicle Inspections: Chris Broome.


1. $18,000 - Fred Markham - 85.991 km - July 2, 2006, Casa Grande Arizona Auto Test Track

2. $10,000 - Sam Whittingham - 84.215 km - July 31, 2004, Dudenhofen, Germany Opel Auto Test Track.

3. $6,000 - Matt Weaver - 82.755 km - Oct. 9, 2004, Fontana, California. California Motor Speedway.

4. $4,000 - Damjan Zabovnik - Special prize for fastest foreign competitor over seven laps in Nissan event. Slovinia.

5. $2,000 - Rob English - Special prize for second fastest foreign competitor over seven laps in Nissan event. England.

May 2, 2006

To: Participants, Nissan/Dempsey–MacCready Prize Competition
From: Dempsey/MacCready Prize Committee
Nissan/Dempsey–MacCready Prize One Hour Challenge
Nissan Auto Test Track, Casa Grande, Arizona
Three Days, 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., June 30 to July 1–2, 2006

In general, the Dempsey/MacCready Prize rules as previously published are valid, however some special competition rules and comments would be helpful in avoiding misunderstandings.

The event is organized and sanctioned by the HPVA. All riders and crew must be current paid members of the HPVA.

The Dempsey/MacCready Prize Committee will be in charge of the actual Competition operations with Bill Gaines representing the Prize Committee as the official starter.

Riders will be seeded according to past performance in hour races. The seeding shall be announced by the Dempsey/MacCready Prize Committee as much in advance of the race and as possible. At present the seeding would be Sam Whittingham first, Matt Weaver second and the Vector Team third. Others will be seeded as they are approved to participate.

The maximum number of HPVs on the track at one time will be limited to three. Riders shall start in the order of their seeding, with about two minute intervals between vehicles. By seeding according to previous speed, overtaking should be minimized.

Official starting time is 5 a.m. for the first group of three with the first, second and third vehicles starting as near as possible to 5:00 a.m., 5:02 a.m. and 5:04 a.m. respectively.

The first group of three vehicles to compete and their crews absolutely must be clear of the track by 6:20 a.m. The second group of three vehicles shall start as soon as possible after the first group is clear of the track. Six vehicles should be able to complete the hour in one day.

If any vehicle is unable to start then the revised starting order shall be determined by the official starter in consultation with the remaining seeded riders.

The first six seeded vehicles have priority in the starting cue. If any of these HPVs start, but are unable to continue and wish to restart the same day, they will clear the track, return to the starting area and take their place at the end of the starting cue (losing their original place). As above the revised starting order will be determined by the official starter. Vehicles may officially start until 7 a.m., as long as only three vehicles are on the track at one time.

Each HPV will have a chase vehicle following one lane removed up the track and no closer than 100 feet behind the HPV. The chase car shall carry at least one official with a stopwatch recording the hour and a video camera recording the entire race. The official should record the vehicle's lap times as a check on the starter's time. Each chase car shall have a radio (these will be provided by Nissan), which will be able to communicate with all other vehicles and the officials at the start.

Because of the interior noise in the HPVs and the interference of carbon shells, it is probably impractical for the riders to carry radios. If a rider and crew wishes to carry radios to permit communications with the HPV, then that is their responsibility.

It also seems impractical to communicate by auto horn signals because of the interior noise. If an emergency occurs, the chase cars can warn their vehicles by passing on the high outside lane and flashing their tail lights when in sight of the rider.

If one HPV should overtake another, the chase car shall warn the lead chase car by radio to remain high on the track, away from the racing HPVs. The following chase car shall remain behind until their HPV overtakes and then, in cooperation with the leading chase car (which can drop back), pass on the upper lane. The faster HPV shall pass the slower one safely according to the rider's best judgement. Drafting rules shall not apply during passing as long as the chase cars remain at least one lane removed from the HPVs and follow at least 100 feet behind their assigned HPV.

It is legal to carry ice and/or water on board. It is also legal to use oxygen before the start, but no pressurized gas can be carried on board after the start.

There are no lane restrictions for the HPVs during the race as long as they remain above the shoulder. HPVs can ride where they wish. The official distance shall be considered the surveyed line on the inside lane. If HPVs temporarily cross inside the surveyed line, because of instability, it shall not be considered a violation. However, HPVs should attempt to remain above the survey line and the shoulder.

The officials at the start shall register the lap times of each vehicle. At the end of their hour run, all competitors shall complete the lap they are on. Official distance shall be determined by the proportional time method. This is based upon surveyed lap distance, the final lap time and the time into the lap when the hour elapses.

Bruce Robinson of Nissan has provided average temperatures during this time period. From June 30 to July 2, the average temperature is about 70° F at 4 a.m., 85° at 8 a.m., and 97° at 10 a.m. The average temperature between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. is about 79°. So riders can plan on a temperature between 70° and 80° if they compete before 7 a.m.

Bruce has also offered to provide average wind conditions from archived weather data.

Summary: The event is sanctioned by the Human Powered Vehicle Association (HPVA). The HPVA is also the overall event organizer. The rules of competition will be provided by the Dempsey/MacCready Prize Committee. The Prize Committee is also in charge of race operations in cooperation with the HPVA and Nissan. Nissan is making the oval available and of course is in overall charge of the conduct of the event.

At present the following teams have paid fees to the Dempsey/MacCready Committee, and have provided details of their Vehicles:

1. Sam Whittingham and George Georgiev of the Varna Team.
2. Matt Weaver and the Cutting Edge Team.
3. The Vector Team of Germany (OUT).
4. Fred Markham of the Easy Racer/Virtual Rush Team.
5. Miles Kingsbury and Team Bean (entry uncertain)
6. Damjan Zabovnik –Team Eivie II of Slovinia
7. David Balfour - The Varna II, with Rob English Riding.
8. Rob Hitchcock - The Kyle Edge
9. Steve Delaire – Mach 5

Announcing the $25,000 Dempsey/MacCready Hour Record Prize
by Chester R. Kyle, co-founder HPVA, April 1999

Click here for Dempsey/MacCready Prize Photos

Background ~ Rules & Regulations ~ Summary ~ Dempsey WRA Website ~ February 2002 Attempt


A new $25,000 cash prize will be awarded to the first single rider human powered land vehicle to equal or surpass 90 kilometers in one hour (55.924 mph). Sponsored by Dempsey World Record Associates of Santa Ana, the prize will be administered through the Human Powered Vehicle Association under regulations created by the HPVA.

Ed Dempsey, a successful businessman, winning race car driver and inventor, has provided over $30,000 in prizes to be awarded during a five-year period. Dempsey is a friend of Dr. Paul MacCready, winner of the first Kremer Prizes for human powered flight, and the prize is the outcome of their conversations. Dempsey, is fascinated by speed, and likes to support events which push the envelope. He currently has designed and built a streamlined battery powered electric racer which has gone 237 mph at Bonneville. Dempsey hopes to break 300 mph during the summer of 1999.

Supplemental awards of $2,000 are being offered to any competitor who breaks an official hour record by 3%, during the period of the Prize. In addition, $500 will be given to the winner of the yearly hour race at the annual Human Powered Speed Championships. The complete regulations are available below and are published in HPV News. HPVA members from any country may compete for the prize, and the challenge may take place in any country.

The details of the prize, including the regulations, were developed by HPVA members Chester Kyle, Allan Abbott, Bill Gaines, Paul MacCready and Doug Milliken, with significant contributions by President Chris Broome and Past President Carole Leone.

The traditional Cycling World Hour Record is the most famous in cycling, with records being kept as far back as 1876 when Frank Dodds of England pedaled 25.506 km (15.8 mph) on a high wheeler. In the past some of the best professional racing cyclists in the World have held the hour record including Marcel Berthet, Oscar Egg, Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx, and Miguel Indurain. The current hour record for traditional cycling is 56.137 km (34.882 mph), set by English professional Chris Boardman in 1996 on a conventional aero track racing bicycle. However, streamlined HPVâs are more than 20 kph faster than Boardman, and they are powered by amateur racing cyclists. Using the sleek streamlined HPV "Varna", designed and built by George Georgiev of Canada, Canadian amateur Sam Whittingham holds the current unlimited HPV record of 79.136 kph (49.173 mph), set in 1998.

A computer model of the HPV hour race, indicates it will take a combination of a national caliber racing cyclist, riding a World class HPV such as the Varna, along with an excellent course and ideal conditions to claim the Dempsey - MacCready Prize. It will be difficult, but it can be done. The required human power is formidable. Only top competitive cyclists can manage the more than 400 watts necessary to cover 90 km in one hour (0.54 horsepower).

Briefly, the simple prize rules require a single rider HPV on a circuit course closed to automobile traffic. The HPV can be no larger than 1.5 meters high, 1 meter wide and 3.1 meters long. The size limits are to minimize the effect of wind on propulsion. Any number of wheels are legal. There are no elevation, wind or grade restrictions.

The Dempsey - MacCready prize was created to inspire innovation in human powered vehicles and to promote ultra light, low energy consumption, high speed human powered transportation. The prize will present a dramatic challenge to dozens of teams throughout the World involving literally hundreds of people. From experience with previous challenge prizes the HPVA has administered, the attempts will come from a wide variety of competitors from engineers, scientists and students, to artisans and garage shop inventors. Technology from our past competitions has found its way into low energy vehicles, from automobiles to aircraft and the experience has helped participants develop the confidence and skills necessary to solve complex problems in many other fields.

The HPVA has offered three challenge prizes during the past 20 years, the $3,000 Abbott Prize, the $15,000 Dupont Speed Prize and the $25,000 Dupont Water Prize. In 1977, M.D. Allan Abbott created his prize for the first human powered vehicle that could break the national speed limit of 55 mph. It was won in 1979 at 55.85 mph by engineering students from the Northrop Institute with a vehicle called the White Lightning. Two of the students are still involved in cycling. Tim Brummer manufactures a bicycle recumbent called the Lightning, and Don Guichard is in charge of advanced engineering design for GT Bicycles.

In 1983, the Dupont Company donated the funds for a prize for the first HPV that could break 65 mph for 200 meters with a flying start. The prize lasted for three years before it was claimed. More than a dozen pedal-powered vehicles made attempts at the prize during that time, and many more than that were built. The prize was won in 1986 by Gardner Martinâs Gold Rush at a speed of 65.54 mph. Gardner Martin now manufactures Easy Racer Recumbents in Watsonville, California.

In 1989, the Dupont water prize was organized, offering $25,000 to the first human powered watercraft that could go 20 knots for 100 meters. After a time period of three years, in 1992, the prize was given to the fastest craft, a human powered hydrofoil built by Mark Drela of MIT. It was powered by a pusher air propeller and achieved a speed of 18.50 knots (34.3 kph, 21.3 mph). Mark Drela is a Professor of Engineering at MIT and has organized an institute for the study of cycling.

Complete regulations are available below.

Change in the Dempsey/MacCready Prize Rules,
(Original Rules Below)

The Dempsey/MacCready HPV Hour Record Prize Prize Committee has agreed upon a change in the prize rules that will award all of the remaining prize money as of July 4, 2006.

The Dempsey/MacCready Prize of $25,000 was to have been awarded to the first HPV to travel 90 km in one hour, under the competition rules.

The Prize has been offered since May 1999, and was to have a duration of five years - terminating on May 14, 2004. However, before this time, the Committee extended the contest in hopes that the goal would be achieved during the extended time period.

Since 1999, the HPV hour record has been broken four times, increasing from 79.136 km to 84.215 km. Although the competition has certainly been exciting so far and the results have been spectacular, the original goal of 90 km has yet to be reached and it seems to be far more difficult than first anticipated.

Before too much longer, the organizers of the competition would like to see the efforts of those who have successfully completed a fast HPV hour ride under the Dempsey/MacCready rules, rewarded for their tremendous accomplishments. Therefore the Committee has decided to terminate the Dempsey/MacCready Prize Competition as of July 4, 2006 and to award prizes for first, second and third place.

In the mean time, if a vehicle actually completes 90 km, then the original rules will apply - $25,000 will be awarded to the winner with no second or third prize. However, if no one reaches 90 km, then awards will be made to the three fastest vehicles as of July 4, 2006.

The awards would be decided upon by the speeds achieved by HPV's operating according to the published Dempsey/MacCready Prize regulations. The monetary awards would be:
The fastest vehicle at the end of the period (July 4, 2006) - $18,000
The second fastest vehicle - $10,000
The third fastest vehicle - $6,000

An award ceremony would occur in Southern California as soon after July 4, 2005 as possible. Absentee winners would receive their awards by mail.

Currently the three fastest vehicles for one hour are:
Sam Whittingham, Canada, the Varna - 84.215 Km
Matt Weaver, USA, the Cutting Edge - 82.755 km
Lars Teutenberg, Germany, the Vector - 82.601 km

If an HPV were to break any one of those distances by July 4, 2006, then the winners would be determined according to the speeds at that time.

These new regulations will be posted on the HPVA web site.

A summary of the HPV attempts on the Dempsey/MacCready Prize during 2003 - 2004 has been attached for reference.


The Dempsey/MacCready HPV Hour Record Prize Committee:
Allan Abbott
Bill Gaines
Chet Kyle
Paul MacCready
Doug Milliken
Dave Wilson

Regulations and Conditions
The Dempsey/MacCready Prize
for the Human Powered Hour Record
Revised Prize Rules 7/19/03

1.0 Introduction

A cash prize is offered by Dempsey World Record Associates Inc. (the Sponsor), under conditions specified by the Human Powered Vehicle Association, to the first single rider human powered land vehicle that can equal or exceed 90 km in one hour (55.924 mph). Smaller supplemental awards are offered to any competitor who breaks the currently recognized record by at least 3%, at any time during the period of the Prize.

2.0 General Conditions

2.1 Prize NameThe prize shall be known as The Dempsey - MacCready Prize For The Human Powered Hour Record.

2.2 Prize Duration
The date the prize was officially announced in the HPV News, was May 31, 1999. The competition shall continue until the Major Prize is (finally awarded (see 3.1).

2.3 Winning Distance
To win the Major Award outright, an HPV must cover 90 kilometers (55.923 miles) in one hour from a standing start.

3.0 Prize

3.1 Major Award
$25,000 shall be awarded to the ultimate winner when a human powered vehicle equals or exceeds 90 km in one hour under the rules of the Dempsey-MacCready Prize.

3.2 Minor Awards
In the event a vehicle breaks the then existing HPV Hour Record by at least 3%, but does not reach 90 km, a smaller prize of $2,000 will be awarded each time this occurs. If the existing HPV Hour Record is broken during an organized competitive event, by more than one HPV, a $2,000 award will be given only to the fastest competitor. Minor awards shall not exclude the ultimate winner. Awards of $500 shall be given to the fastest HPV hour competitor in the yearly Human Powered Speed Championships (HPSC). The $500 awards shall terminate when and if the Major Award is granted.

4.0 Vehicles

4.1 General
A single rider HPV only is allowed. One rider only is permitted during the one hour competition. One HPV only may be used during the competition.

4.2 Power
The HPV must be driven solely by human power. Steering and balance of the vehicle must be under direct control of the rider except at the start (6.1). Rail guided, wire guided or other such HPV systems are not permitted. Non-human power sources (batteries, solar cells, etc.) are permitted only for powering sensors, displays, communication equipment and lights. Control devices, cooling fans, powered aerodynamic devices or other components must be human powered.

4.3 Energy Storage
No device which stores energy over more than one input power cycle (e.g. leg stroke) or which releases energy under control of the rider may be used.

4.4 Integrity
The HPV may not jettison any part(s) after beginning motion, the vehicle must complete the entire run with all of the equipment it starts with. The rider must ride on or in the vehicle.

4.5 Safety
Vehicles must have a safe means of stopping. Vehicles must have adequate stability and visibility. Dangerous protrusions or other unsafe design features must be corrected before any record attempt. Riders must wear adequate head protection as defined in the competition rules of the HPVA. If the HPV or its operator is judged unsafe by the observers, they may bar it from competition. The vehicle must be available for inspection by the observers at least 24 hours in advance of the competition.

4.6 Dimensions
When completely assembled and vertically oriented as when traveling straight on a level road, vehicles must fit in a box 1.5 meters high, 1 meter wide and 3.1 meters long. Any number of wheels are legal. With the exception of the size restrictions, HPVs must meet the vehicle competition regulations of the HPVA.

5.0 Course Requirements

5.1 Circuit Course
The prize attempt must be on a land circuit course closed to automobile or other vehicle traffic. The HPV must make at least one complete circuit of the course and finish no more than 10% of the final one hour distance away from the start.

5.2 Distance Covered
The length of the course shall be surveyed following a minimum distance line along the course (for example: along the inside of curves). The survey shall be done by a registered land surveyor, registered civil engineer, or someone with equivalent training. The survey shall be accurate to a minimum of one part in 1000. The method used in the survey must be approved by the Prize Committee. The method of determining the final distance shall be approved by the Prize Committee. The survey for final distance may come after the event.

5.3 Grade
There are no grade or slope restrictions.

5.4 Wind
There are no wind restrictions.

5.5 Elevation
There are no elevation restrictions.

6.0 Competition Rules

6.1 The Start
The start shall be from a stationary position. One assistant is permitted to balance the vehicle at the start, for no more than 15 meters. The assistant may not push the vehicle.

6.2 Drafting, Chase Cars
No more than one competitor shall be permitted on the course at one time during a sanctioned record attempt. Record attempts, however, can run sequentially. If an HPV is not visible from the start at any time during the circuit, then a chase vehicle must follow at all times. No more than one chase car may be permitted at any time. No drafting or any other action that could be interpreted as a competitive aid by the chase car is permitted. The chase car must follow directly behind or behind and to one side of the HPV and approach no closer than 30 meters from the rear of the HPV, except during the last 20 seconds of the hour. An official observer must ride in the front seat of the chase car - the observer may be the driver, however, in that case, at least two persons must be in the car. At the discretion of the Prize Committee, this rule may be modified to permit multiple competitors on the same track.

6.3 Official Observers
At least two official observers, who are appointed or approved by the HPVA, must be present during any prize attempt.

6.4 Timing
One observer is to act as the official timer. Official timing clocks shall be accurate to five seconds in 24 hours. All official clocks shall run continuously for one hour during the competition. Individual lap times are to be recorded. At least two clocks shall be on board the chase vehicle (one official, one back up), and one clock shall remain at the start. Radio communication of the time signal may be used to advise track officials, but only direct observation of the clock by an official observer in the pace car shall be used to time the hour.

7.0 Eligibility

Any member of the HPVA is eligible to compete, regardless of the country of origin. As a minimum, HPVA membership will be required of the rider, the vehicle owner and the crew chief in charge of the prize attempt. The record attempt may occur in any country.

8.0 Competition Expenses

The record attempt team is responsible for the cost of the timing equipment, venue costs, and actual expenses (related to the attempt) of two official observers including travel, lodging, food and phone calls. The timing officials can waive payment of these expenses at their discretion.

9.0 Prize Committee

9.1 Membership
The Prize Committee shall consist of a director and at least two other members of the HPVA to be appointed by the Board of Directors of the HPVA. Names of the Prize Committee members are available upon written request to the HPVA. They shall set policy on rules and the conduct of the prize competition, and act as an appeals board. The committee has the right to exclude any vehicle from competing and/or the use of any course, which in their opinion violates the intent of the prize rules. Should members of the Committee resign or decease, the Prize Committee shall have the right to appoint replacement members upon majority vote of the remaining members of the Committee.

9.2 Rules Interpretation
The interpretation of these rules and any other matters regarding the Prize competition, rests entirely with the Prize Committee and its designated observers.

9.3 Protests or Appeals
All prize attempts will be published in the HPV News. Any protests or appeals must be received in writing by the Prize Committee at the official HPVA address within sixty (60) days of the mailing date of the HPV News issue in which the results were published. Protests or Appeals shall state specifically the basis for the challenge. In case of a protest or appeal, the entrant may request a hearing with the Prize Committee. The decision of the Prize Committee regarding any protests or appeals shall be final.

10.0 Documentation

10.1 Application for Prize Attempts
Application to the Prize Committee by prospective competitors shall be made at least 90 days in advance of the actual prize attempt. The application must be approved by the Prize Committee in advance of the attempt. The application shall include written permission to use the course by the authorities who govern the use of the course. The application shall be accompanied by an advance entry fee of $100. The fee will be used to defray the expenses of administration. Applications shall be in English.

Competitors who plan to utilize unique or unconventional vehicle designs or courses are encouraged to submit their plans for approval before proceeding with preparations for new record attempts. The prize committee will maintain strict confidentiality regarding any such inquiries.

10.2 Application for Prize
A written application for the Prize must be compiled by the entrants and submitted to the official observers within 30 days of Prize attempts. If approved by the observers, it will be then submitted to the Prize Committee. This submittal shall include:

10.2.1 A brief report summarizing the record attempt

10.2.2 The date, time, location, and distance of the successful attempt.

10.2.3 The names of the vehicle builder, designer, rider and the name of the person(s) or organization applying for the prize.

10.2.4 A publication quality photograph of the vehicle, rider and team.

10.2.5 A statement that all of these Rules have been complied with signed by the applicant and the observers.

10.2.6 Evidence of time clock calibration.

10.2.7 Evidence of course measurement and final distance measurement.

11.0 Insurance

Each team shall be covered by liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 during the period of the actual prize attempt. The insurance shall cover the Sponsor, team members, riders, observers, the course owners/operators, the Prize Committee, and the Board of Directors of the HPVA. Proof of insurance shall be furnished to the Prize Committee or their representatives before any record attempt can take place. Insurance may be obtained at standard event rates through the HPVA. Any approved attempt on the record shall be considered an officially sanctioned event of the HPVA.

12.0 Correspondence

Applications and Prize attempt submittals and any other correspondence regarding the Prize should be sent to the Dempsey - MacCready Prize Committee, HPVA, 9539 N. Old Stage Road, Weed, CA 96094.

Original Rules 3/25/99
Revised Rules 7/19/2003

The Dempsey/MacCready Prize Committee as of 7/19/2003

Allan Abbott, M.D.
Bill Gaines
Paul MacCready, Ph.D.
Doug Milliken
Chester Kyle, Ph.D.
David Gordon Wilson, Ph.D.
The Dempsey/MacCready Challenge Prize
Summary 2003-2004 Streamlined Human Powered Vehicle
One-Hour Record Competition
by Chester R. Kyle, co-founder HPVA, February 7, 2005
This summary covers the World HPV hour record competitions during 2003 and 2004.How it BeganDuring the past two years several serious attempts have been made, in Europe and the USA, to win the $25,000 Dempsey/MacCready Prize for the first HPV to travel 90 km in one hour from a standing start.

The Hour Record Prize was first offered by two sponsors in 1999 by Ed Dempsey, a retired industrialist who holds numerous automotive World Records, and Dr. Paul MacCready of AeroVironment Inc., the winner of three Kremer Prizes for Human Powered Aircraft.

In 1999, when the Dempsey/MacCready Challenge Prize was created, the HPV hour record stood at 79.136 km, set by Sam Whittingham, riding George Georgiev's Varna on an auto test track in Blainville, Canada July 29, 1998.

Since then the record has been raised more than 5 km to 84.315 kph.Ê This is nearly 35 kph faster than the current World Hour Record for a standard racing bicycle (Chris Boardman of England, a professional cyclist - 49.441 km).

From 1999 to 2004, the HPV Hour record has been broken four times.Ê Lars Teutenberg, a professional cyclist from Germany broke the record twice, at the Opel test track in Dudenhofen, Germany, pedaling the Vector Racing Teams' Whitehawk (81.158 km on 8 July 1999, and 82.601 km on 27 July 2002).

Later, Sam Whittingham, an amateur Canadian National Team cyclist, broke the record twice, riding Georgiev's Varna (83.721 km on 19 November 2003, on the Continental Tire Test Track in Uvalde, Texas, and setting the current World record of 84.315 km on 31 July 2004, on the Opel Test Track in Dudenhofen).

When the Prize was proposed in 1999, because of the high speeds reached by streamlined HPV's (now over 130 kph, 81 mph for 200 meters with a flying start), it appeared that 90 km (55.9 mph) was difficult, but a goal that could easily be reached within five years.

After more than a dozen attempts since 1999, competitors have found that pedaling 90 km in one hour in the hot, cramped quarters of an HPV fairing is agonizingly difficult, and the illusive challenge still remains.

The Road Warriors - 2003 - 2004It takes steely nerves, a superb athlete, a brilliant machine, a willingness to blow huge hunks of cash and time, an ideal location, calm dry weather, and above all - unbelievably good fortune to even think about riding for an hour at over 80 kph in a streamlined bicycle.

During 2003 and 2004, the enthusiasts below qualified on all points, except occasionally on the part about good fortune.

The Varna Racing Team

Sam Whittingham

Click for larger image.Sam Whittingham, is a compact, muscular racing cyclist on the Canadian Olympic Development Team, he is a graduate in theater arts who has worked at the Shakespeare festival in Stratford and makes a profession of stagecraft in British Columbia.Ê He has been riding George Georgiev's Varna's for the past dozen years or so.Ê He currently holds the World HPV high speed record of 130.43 kph (81.05 mph) as well as the World HPV hour record (84.315 km - 52.39 miles).

George Georgiev

George Georgiev is a pleasant Bulgarian expatriate sculptor living in Gabriola Island, British Columbia, who makes his living building elegant custom hand cycles for the handicapped.Ê Since 1992, his sleek Varna's have won most of the races they entered, and since 2000 they have been the fastest HPV's in the World.Ê The form and line of the Varna is pure art, but on race day they function flawlessly.Ê Georgiev has custom fit the fairing to Whittingham's low recumbent position, which gives the Varna a super low frontal area.

Uvalde, Texas, November 19, 2003

In November 2003, the Varna team traveled to the Continental Tire test track in Uvalde, Texas, an 8.5 mile oval (13.7 km) with a 300 foot climb (91 meters) every lap at a grade of 2% to 3%. The surface was flat but rough, like chip seal.Ê Because of the grade, Sam's measured speed varied from about 71 kph to 105 kph (44mph - 65mph) during each lap.Ê For his record attempt, the temperature and humidity were ideal (75¡F-24¡C and 12%), and there was no wind.Ê Sam produced about 250 watts for one hour during the run - he was overheated and exhausted at the end of one hour.Ê The temperature in the cockpit was a scorching 105¡F-41¡C.Ê The track conditions prevented Sam from going faster, but he still broke the World record at 83.721 km.Ê During his second and third laps he averaged 89 kph, but had to slow down to be able to finish.

The Vector Racing Team

Click for larger image.The Vector Racing Team of Germany was organized by Guido Martens and has held the HPV hour record twice with professional cyclist Lars Teutenberg riding the Vector Whitehawk (See Table 1 below). The Whitehawk has also competed at Battle Mountain.

In 2002, the Whitehawk won a $2,000 Dempsey/MacCready prize for breaking Whittingham's hour record by 3% (79.136 km to 82.601 km).Ê For a team to receive the next $2000 prize, they must equal or exceed the Whitehawk distance of 82.601 km by 3% (85.079 km).

In July 2004, the Vector racing team organized an hour Speedbike competition on the 4.8 km Opel test track in Dudenhofen, Germany.Ê They invited all of the fastest HPV teams in the World to compete including Sam Wittingham, Matt Weaver, Rob English, Freddy Markham, Lars Teutenberg and the Slovenian 200m European Record holder.Ê Three teams came.Ê The results are summarized below.

Dudenhof, Germany, July 31, 2004

The pavement of the Opel test track was smooth, but the track was uneven (undulating), so at speeds typical of the hour race, the ride was bumpy. Still, on July 31, Sam Whittingham managed a new World record in the Varna of 84.215 km.

The next day Lars Teutenberg, under calm conditions, attempted to match Whittingham's pace, riding the Vector Whitehawk, but Teutenberg was losing 4 seconds per lap, and abandoned the race after 30 minutes.Ê The Whitehawk seemed to have occasional stability problems on the uneven track and during the two day event it crashed several times.

On August 1st, Ellen van Vugt of the Netherlands, riding the Whitehawk, set a new Women's World Hour record of 68.693 km, only to have her new record broken 38 minutes later by Rosemarie Buehler of Switzerland, riding the Varna, for a distance of 73.411 km.Ê Rosmarie's record is faster than all of the men's HPV hour records until 1989 when Pat Kinch of England, riding Miles Kingsbury's Bean, went 75.575 km. See table.1

The Slovenian EIVIE Team

Click for larger image.Organized by Matjaz.Leskovar the EIVIE team astounded onlookers at 2003 Battle Mountain with a backward oriented streamliner in which the rider lays on his back with head to the front, and looks through a mirror to see the road. The rider/builder Damjan Zabovnik, even though facing backwards, his view in the mirror is the same as if he were facing forwards.Ê He is able to balance the bike and steer normally just like riding forwards.Ê In Battle Mountain, Damjan set a European speed record of 109.9 kph (68.21 mph) on the straight Nevada highway course.

Their high speed at Battle Mountain encouraged the team to try for the hour record, which they did on May 29/30, 2004 on the Opel test track in Dudenhofen.Ê During the first attempt on Saturday, the bike had a flat caused by a tire rubbing on the fairing and crashed after 7 km.Ê After repairing the bike overnight, they tried again on Sunday.Ê Misfortune struck again.Ê Damjan uses a breathing tube with a drinking tube inside.Ê He lost concentration while trying to replace the breathing tube after drinking and crashed again after 12 km.

Table 1 - HPV Hour Records

Date M/D/Y



Country of

Track Location

Distance [km]


Francois Faure/
Charles Mochet

Velocar/Open Recumbent Bike


Paris, France



Marcel Berthet/
Marcel Berthet

Velodyne, Streamlined Upright Racing Bike


Paris, France



Francois Faure/
Charles Mochet

Velocar, Strml. Recumbent Bike


Paris, France



Ron Skarin/
Chester Kyle

Teledyne Titan, Strml. Upright Racing Bike


Ontario, California



Eric Edwards/
Al Voight

Vector, Strml.Recum. Trike


Ontario, California



Fred Markham/
Gardner Martin

Gold Rush, Strml. Recum. Bike


Indianapolis Indiana



Richard Crane/
Derek Henden

Streamlined Recum. Bike





Fred Markham/
Gardner Martin

Gold Rush, Strml. Recum. Bike


British Columbia



Fred Markham/ Gardner Martin

Gold Rush, Strml. Recum. Bike


Adrian, Michigan



Pat Kinch/
Miles Kingsbury

The Bean, Strml. Recum. Bike


Bedfordshire, England



Lars Teutenberg/
Guido Martens

Tomahawk II, Strml. Recum. Bike


Munich, Germany



Sam Whittingham/
George Georgiev

Varna, Strml.
Recum. Bike


Blainville, Canada



Lars Teutenberg/
Guido Martens

Whitehawk, Strml. Recum. Bike


Dudenhofen, Germany



Lars Teutenberg/
Guido Martens

Whitehawk, Strml. Recum. Bike


Dudenhofen, Germany



Sam Whittingham/
George Georgiev

Varna Streamlined. Recum. Bike


Uvalde, Texas



Sam Whittingham/
George Georgiev

Varna Streamlined. Recum. Bike


Dudenhofen, Germany


Sadly, this wasn't the end of the EIVIE bad luck.Ê On July 24, 2004, the EIVIE team traveled again to the Opel test track to try for the hour record.Ê In a practice run Damjan had steering and balance problems, and lost control on the upper lane of the track.Ê The bike crashed at about 60 kph and slid down the bank, going under the inner rail and Damjan hit a post head first at about 30 kph. He cracked two vertebrae and bumped his head badly, but fortunately he came out of the accident OK.

Incidentally, crashes are frequent in HPV racing, but serious injuries are rare because the composite fairings usually protect the rider.

Matt Weaver and the Edge

Click for larger image.Matt Weaver, from Aptos, California is an Engineering graduate of the University of California and was a National Merit scholar.Ê He was also an excellent high school track athlete. Like Damjan Zabovnik, he designs, builds and rides his own vehicles. Currently he is the second fastest in the World in both the HPV high speed 200 meters (126 kph, 78 mph), and in the HPV hour (82.756 km, 51.42 mph) behind Canadian Sam Whittingham.

Weaver's Virtual Edge HPVs are probably the most sophisticated in the World at this time.Ê His front wheel drive recumbents have airfoil shaped shells that are computer designed for laminar flow. Ventilation inside is carefully controlled, forward visibility is through a video screen, and Matt designs and makes all of the components including the wheels. He has attempted the hour record numerous times but has completed the hour only once.

To illustrate the important effects of weather, track access, misfortune and other problems that occur when trying to ride an HPV for one hour at high speed, Weaver's experiences from 1999 to 2004 serve perfectly. He got on a track 9 times, had his attempts cancelled 3 times, and was shut out from track access the entire year of 2002. Still, he persisted and finally succeeded in running the third fastest hour race in history in 2004. Matt provided Table 2 below, which summarizes his experiences.

Table 2 - Matt Weaver's HPV Hour Record Experiences






Oct 23 1999

Ford, Arizona


Weather ö High Winds (not to mention earthquake (!) temporarily closing highway I40 to track due to bridge cracks and train derailment)

Discovery Channel Filmed for Extreme Machines "Pedal Power"

Dec 1999

California Speedway


Weather ö High Winds (40 MPH Santa Ana)

Paul MacCready, Chet Kyle, Alan Abbot present.

Jan 7 2000

Las Vegas, Nevada


Bike ö known frame alignment issue proved major problem at speed.Ê Stopped before crashing.

56-MPH easy in 40° F air. Fastest laps speeds of time.

Apr 2001

California Speedway, Fontana, CA


Bike ö Ventilation/Cooling internal ducting ãshort circuitä ö quickly overheating & limited air.

Chet Kyle, John Howard Present.

Set kilo and mile world records w/ same bike in October.

Oct 23 2001

Las Vegas


Bike ö Front tire blowout first lap & high-speed crash.


None Available

No USA track access during the entire year ofÊ 2002, they were closed to HPVs

June 2003


Mojave, CA


Bike ö Start crash, then front tire blowout & high-speed crash.

Nov 17 2003

Honda, Mojave, CA


Cancelled. Matt injured in Oct/had operation, unable to ride.

Apr 2004

Las Vegas


Bike & Weather ö Glitch in video after hitting major bump, PersistentÊ high winds shortly after.

Accelerated to 57-MPH easy, running ahead of 90-KM pace curve

May 2004


Mojave, CA


Weather ö High Winds ö Shut down 15 minutes in. Damaged wheels and body from impact w/bot dots. Blown-over during stop. Front tire flatted in 30 minutes (tubular glued so well the air couldn't get out of tire casing after tube failure)

Exceeded World Record 4 KM and 10 KM during acceleration. Near or above WR pace but winds way too much to bear.

June 2004

California Speedway


Cancelled ö Weather ö Heavy AM Mist

July 2004

Las Vegas


Cancelled ö track construction, then track audit requires full-rate rental.

Oct 9 2004

California Speedway



Bike ö 3 crashes at start + multiple other mechanical resulting from it.

Bike ö Slow start, Extreme poor visibility in sunrise sun ö reduced power substantially but endeavored to keep going. Good ventilation, Good cooling, Good hydration. Remarkable handling w/o vision.

Recorded Worldâs Fastest Average Lap Speeds (zero wind, 59 deg F air) Two "milestone" speeds:

90.18 KPH ö 1 lap (2 miles)

55.08 MPH ö 4 laps (8 miles)

Peak speed 58.20 MPH

Distance: 51.422 Miles

3rd human over 50 miles in one hour.

2nd fastest human in world.

Bike: VE = Virtual Edge (now Virtual Rush), KE = Kyle Edge, CE2 = Cutting Edge II (rebuild of Virtual Edge).

Paul Gracey ö has been to nearly every one of these outings.

References, 2004

There were several interesting articles on Battle Mountain, and the HPV hour record which appeared in 2004:

1. MacKenzie, Dana.Ê The Speed Freaks of Battle Mountain. The New Scientist, 4 December 2003, pp 36-41.

2. Waldman, Jonathan.Ê Land Shark - the 80 mph bike. Outside Magazine, Dispatches, September 2004.

3. Kyle, C.R. & M.D. Weaver. Aerodynamics of Human Powered Vehicles. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Vol. 218, Part A, Power and Energy, pp 141-154, AO1004, IMechE 2004.
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