The hydros are back in Couer d'Alene as the 11th Diamond Cup got underway near Silver Beach with qualifying runs Friday afternoon.

It's a sound unheard at Lake Coeur d'Alene for decades, but the roar of the hydros will only get louder as the 11th diamond cup returns to North Idaho this weekend.

"It took 45 years to get between 10 and 11 but we are there now," Diamond Cup president Doug Miller said.

Miller said it's nice to be back, this time on county land, since the Lake City didn't want the race.

"The new journey, the new chapter begins," Miller said.

Fans turned out in droves to see the qualifying heats out on the course.

"I am here to see the boat race," said Serena Campbell, who has never seen hydroplane races before. "I think it's pretty cool."

She doesn't have a favorite hydro yet, though she did say, "I really like the tennis ball colored one."

That would be Tom Thompson in the U-11 Peter and May.

"It's a beautiful spot, the race course, plenty of room out there," Thompson said.

Thompson will be driving close to 200 mph on the straightaway as the U-11's turbine engine serves up to 2,500 horsepower.

"Looking to be consistent, and be safe and if all things work out we'll be in first," Thompson said.

The water is expected to be a bit choppy this weekend and while drivers know the course conditions on the water will play a key role.

"Like this particular course, it's a two-mile course and it's the same course we run in Seattle," Thompson said.

How smoothly the race goes will ultimately determine if the Diamond Cup will return again next year.

"It's a major undertaking and we're not taking anything for granted and assuming anything," Doug Miller said.