Racing Team



Amazingly, through a series of coincidences, the first Calypso has been found!  Don Kelson has it at this shop.  He's excited to start working on it.  I'll be adding pics of it soon...

  02/10/2010: LOTS OF C-4 UPDATES AND PICS*
A lot of progress has been made on The New Calypso Too, including a new deck, rear cowling and fiberglass.  Also added a "THEN AND NOW" section with photos of the boat being built in 1970 and comparing them with restoration photos from the last couple of weeks.
Click here to see those and get caught up on the progress.

Cowlings have been painted, and the Calypso lettering's been applied, and today we put on the aluminum edging.  Added more pics*...Click here.

It's been painted & stained, pinstriped, and the numbers are on it.  It looks great!  Click here to see the pics*.

After a month, I was finally able to go help Don on the boat.  Click here to read the latest updates and see a few new pics.

  6/17/2009: TASTIN' N RACIN' 2009
Added a new page documenting my weekend at Tastin' n Racin' -- Steve Parker.

It's been determined that the original Calypso hull (#C-2) is just too old and delapidated to be restored.  So, rather than scrap the project, Don Kelson has decided to rebuild it using patterns made from the original boat.  We've added some new photos* showing the beginnig stages of the rebuild of the Calypso.

  02/20/2009: IN MEMORIAM

The Calypso Racing Team lost one of its own last week and it is with a sad heart that I must post this....

Brian Parker passed away peacefully on February 14, 2009.  For 71 years, he lived life to its fullest.  He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.  Family meant the world to him and he often sacrificed much to give them all.  He never looked to be in the limelight, but his dedication and drive in everything he did usually found him there.  I can only hope to be half the man he was.

He spent a few years in the mid-60's crewing on the 280 class Calypso Too, then eventually drove the sister boat, The Calypso.  He loved racing the boat, and talked about it often - years after he had left the sport.  He had started in stock car racing in the early 60's, but it was not a "family friendly" sport.  After one trip to a hydroplane race, he saw the camaraderie between the drivers, crews and families and knew it was where he could peruse his passion for racing and be with family and friends.  He was so excited when he found out that his old boat had recently been found and purchased by Don Kelson, with intent to restore it as the original Calypso that he had driven 40 years earlier.  Unfortunately, he won't be able to see the completed project, but I'm sure he'll be smiling when it takes its first run.

A very proud, yet saddened son,

--Steve Parker

To see the full obituary, and share a story or two of your memories of Brian, please visit

I've added some new photos* of the restoration of the "New" Calypso Too.  Included are a couple of great pics of the original rear cowling piece.

Added three new photos* documenting the beginning phases of the restoration of the Calypso.

I've finally had a little time to work on the web site.  There are a few new pages and lots of new photos* with more to come.  I've added a main Restoration page which has links to both the Calypso Restoration project and the "New" Calypso Too Restoration project pages.  I've also started history pages for both the Calypso and the "New" Calypso Too to document the life of each hydroplane - including lots of photos*.  Eventually I'll build similar history pages for the other Calypso boats.  I have lots more stuff to add, so keep checking back.  And as always, if you have any comments, photos, stories to share, etc., please contact the webmaster.

After 6+ years of searching for the second of the Calypso hydroplanes, it was finally found this week!  Don Kelson, who’s been involved in hydroplane racing, building, etc. for many years, got wind of the boats whereabouts and was able to contact the owner - a retired ferry boat captain living in Ballard.  He met the gentleman at the boats location (in Ballard).  Don looked at the bottom of the boat, as it was up in the rafters, and was sure it was one of the original Calypso hydroplanes.  Don purchased the boat and took it back to his shop in Seattle.  He plans on restoring the boat as the Calypso E-291, the sister boat to the third Calypso hydroplane, the E-9 Calypso Too.  Both boats, owned by John Forbes at the time, ran in 1969 and 1970.  Brian Parker drove the E-291 and Frank Schneider piloted the E-9. (Click Here to read more on the History of the Calypso Racing Team)

Forbes sold this boat to Armand Yapachino in 1971 who ran it as the Joya Mia (Armand still runs a Joya Mia in the National Modified class.  He’s been a huge contributor to hydroplane racing in the Pacific Northwest for over 45 years).  Armand then sold the boat to Gale Whitestine, who drove it as the E-177 Galileo. (Click here to see photos*).  It's unclear where it went from there, or how the gentleman in Ballard ended up this boat.

Personal note:  This is a huge find!  I’ve been looking for this boat for quite a while.  My Dad (Brian Parker) drove this boat when it was the E-291 Calypso, so it has a special place in my heart.  I had the pleasure of going to look at the boat this week with Jeff Schneider.  Jeff’s Dad, Frank, drove this boat as the E-9 Calypso Too, a couple of years before Brian drove it (The third boat became the E-9 Calypso Too and the second was later brought back as the E-291 Calypso).

Jeff and I were both amazed when we realized that it was, in fact, the second Calypso hull.  There was no doubt that the cowling and tail were that of the Galileo, as the paint job would prove.  And, after a closer look at the deck, you could still see the stain lines from the original Calypso design. It was especially noticeable by the tail (a true indicator that this was THE second hull, as the first and third hulls did not have the stain lines on the rear of the boat).

Knowing that Don plans on restoring it as “Dad’s boat” is...well lets just say that when Don told me, I was beside myself.  When I told my Dad the news, he was just as excited as I was...maybe more so.  I have already asked Don if he would allow me the privilege of assisting in the restoration, to which he graciously accepted.  It's really a dream come true and I can’t wait to get started!

--Steve Parker

PS  BIG thanks to my good friend Jeff Schneider for allowing me to be a part of his hydroplane world.  Without him, it’s likely I’d never have known it was found.

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*All pictures are property of the Calypso Racing Team.