Cruisin' Auto to sponsor
2002 Madison Regatta
(March 5, 2002) Madison, Ind. - With time quickly running
out to find a title sponsor for the 2002 race weekend, Madison Regatta
Inc. pulled off what just three weeks ago seemed like the impossible.
Only this time, rather than support coming from a deep-pocketed casino
or national business chain, it came from right here at home.
left, Cruisin Auto owner
Marc Gray, Madison Regatta vice
president Ann Center and Regatta
president Tony Steinhardt.
Madisons own Marc Gray, owner of Crusin Auto
car sales at 3713 Clifty Dr., and Anheuser-Busch, at the urging of legendary
Budweiser race boat owner Bernie Little, together agreed to provide
enough money for Regatta officials to announce Wednesday that they could
bring back the Unlimited hydroplane racing boats for the 52nd year.
The race weekend is scheduled for July 5-7, with a full lineup of festival
events in the days preceding it.
Budweiser is providing $40,000 to become the title sponsor; Cruisin
Auto will kick in between $20,000 and $25,000 to become a presenting
sponsor, Gray said. Madison Regatta Inc. board president Tony
Steinhardt announced the news at a press conference at Madison City
We are extremely excited. This decision by this board today to
bring in the Unlimiteds would not be possible without Marcs help
as a sponsor, Steinhardt said.
Gray, who has operated his car sales business for 20 years, said he
is a lifelong Regatta fan who considered it an annual family event that
was too important to see end. Our customers are like family, and
thats the reason we decided to do this. The Unlimiteds are arguably
the best race show on Earth.
Madison Mayor Al Huntington acknowledged a declining interest in the
Regatta among area residents and urged the community to buy wristbands
and support the event this year.
Steinhardt thanked former title sponsor Belterra Casino Resort for its
support the previous two years and said Belterra officials had been
helping the Regatta locate additional supporting sponsors. Belterra
has remained as a supporting sponsor this year.
We are still not out of the woods yet, Steinhardt said.
We still need to find some more sponsorship money, but we felt
that with Budweiser and Cruisin Auto stepping up, it was enough
to go ahead and move forward with the (Unlimited) program.
Steinhardt cited a Purdue University study conducted at last years
Regatta that showed an economic impact of more than $1.2 million to
the community. The board felt we could not let an event that has
that much of an economic impact go by the wayside. And we felt that
the community support for an event without the Unlimiteds would not
be there, and any support we had would dwindle.
Steinhardt also announced a three-day race schedule for this year, with
admission gates going up on Friday this year. About 10 Unlimiteds are
reportedly ready to participate in the six-stop Hydro-Prop racing circuit
this season. The big boats will begin testing on Friday this year, with
qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday. The community owned Miss
Madison-Oh Boy OBerto, which won last years Madison Regatta,
is scheduled to compete in all six Hydro-Prop races this year.
Steinhardt also announced the addition of a vintage race boat program
that will be part of the lineup on the Ohio River. This will include
a variety of boat classes plus an exhibition of Jersey Speed Skiffs,
some of which will offer $20 rides to fans. The vintage race program
will officially be called the Bob Snelling Vintage Memorial Race
in memory of the late city councilman, former Regatta president and
In addition to seeking race sponsorships, Madison Regatta officials
are still seeking a sponsor for the Saturday night fireworks show, but
most other festival events have been sponsored. These sponsors include
River Valley Financial Bank, bed race; Kings Daughters Hospital
and Health Services, 3-on-3 basketball tournament; Frischs Big
Boy, Little Miss and Mr. Contests; and Madison Courier, 10k walk/run.
Festival events also include a Friday evening parade, beauty pageant,
air show, radio-controlled hydroplane racing and food fair.
Advance wristband sales to the Madison Regatta are $15 through June
29 and $20 thereafter. Children 10 and under are free. Tickets may be
For more information, call (812) 265-5000 or
Hydro-Prop, based in Lake Hamilton, Fla., owns the Unlimiteds and Formula
One racing circuits. Its events are held throughout North America and
broadcast on ESPN2. For more information, visit: Hydro-Prop.
Back to March 2002 Articles.