celebrates hometown team's
hydroplane title during Christmas parade
selected as site for
ABRA winter meeting for first time
(Dec. 6, 2008) Madison Regatta hydroplane racing
fans celebrated Christmas with a special gift Saturday, Dec. 6, when
the annual Christmas parade kicked off with a trophy presentation to
the city. The hometown U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison racing team won
the American Boat Racing Association's 2007 National High Points Championship
last summer, and team owner's representative Bob Hughes of Clifty Engineering
Tool & Co. presented the trophy to Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong.
The race boat led off the parade procession but came to a temporary
halt when it reached City Hall. Hughes jumped out of a lead vehicle
and took the stage with Armstrong for the short ceremony.
Hughes noted that this was the first national title for the boat in
47 years, but that the team was one heat away from winning the title
According to ABRA Historian Fred Farley, after winning the Madison and
Tri-Cities races back to back in 1971, the Miss Madison was the National
High Point leader heading into Seattle. Unfortunately for the team and
its fans, the boat blew an engine and didn't finish one preliminary
heat. She didn't make the cut for the Final Heat.
Miss Madison went on to finish second at Eugene, Ore., and third at
Dallas. But the mechanical difficulty at Seattle came back to haunt
her at season's end.
by Don Ward
Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison
owner's representative Bob
Hughes (right) presents the team's
national championship trophy to
Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong prior
to the Dec. 6 Christmas parade.
Next season, the race boat will sport the U-1 designation
for the first time in the race team's history. The team has been racing
in the sport since 1961, and the city has hosted Unlimited hydroplane
racing since 1954. Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison driver Steve David won
the National High Points Driver Championship in 2005 and 2006.
"We are so proud to be here today to present this trophy to the
city of Madison. Our guys have so hard to get us here, and we thank
all of those people who supported us and continue to support us,"
Hughes said over a loudspeaker set up in front of Madison City Hall.
Hughes introduced crew chief Mike Hanson, his brother and team member
Larry Hanson, and former crew chief and longtime Madison Regatta official
Hughes also noted that as a result of the team's success, Madison has
recently been selected for the first time to play host to the 2009 ABRA
winter meeting and awards banquet. The event is scheduled for Feb. 13-14
at The Livery Stable in downtown Madison. More than 300 people are expected
"We have been looking for the right place to hold this year's dinner,
and this will give our fans in Madison and the Midwest an opportunity
to attend a celebration they've waited more than 40 years to have,"
said Sam Cole, ABRA chairman, said in a statement announcing the meeting.
"We plan on this being one of the most memorable evenings in the
Armstrong and Cole have been working to expand access to the meeting
by offering tickets for sale to the public and possibly broadcasting
the event live over the Internet.
Ticket information for the banquet will be made available at a later
date. Those interested may contact the ABRA office at 1-877-783-RACE
or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the short trophy presentation, the parade resumed, taking
a new route this year from Jefferson Street west to Broadway, with Santa
and Mrs. Claus bringing up the rear, riding in a horse-drawn carriage
with Armstrong and his wife, Debbie. Immediately after the parade, the
Armstrongs joined Santa in lighting the city's Christmas tree at Broadway
and Main streets. The program included music preformed by various local
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