Madison Regatta to expand to three days in 2015
Gran Prix West class boats
added to schedule
(April 2015) – Plans are under way for the 2015 Madison Regatta Festival and race weekend, set for July 3-5. Now that the Milton-Madison Bridge is complete, the race course will be reset to a 2.5-mile course that runs under the bridge. The course had been shortened to two miles and moved west and away from the bridge during the construction. The Regatta committee also shortened the event to two days last year to save money.
This year’s schedule has been extended from two days to three days by expanding the race program to include Grand Prix West class boats. These smaller but louder boats last raced in Madison in 1977. Racing is being planned on the Ohio River all three days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Race officials expect at least 11 Unlimiteds to compete this year at the Madison Regatta, which will serve as the season opener for the series.
Meantime, H1 Unlimited, which governs the Unlimiteds, is now under the leadership of former Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison Unlimited hydroplane driver Steve David. He states in his online letter to the racing community that the H1 Unlimited Series is working to improve the racing series by establishing stronger unity among its member race sites.
Writing on the H1 Unlimited website recently, David said he believes “H1 is regaining its integrity and poised to give you the best season in years.”
The series experienced some rocky years recently, with some teams not showing up for races and some payouts delayed. David took over the leadership of the organization late last year, replacing Sam Cole as president.
David bases his optimism on several changes in store for the series in 2015. He lists them as follows:
• For the first time in our sports history we have teams that are signing a competition contract with H1. These contracts guarantee appearance, behavior, readiness and number of races they will attend.
• Prize purses will be based on performance and not merely showing up.
• We will have 11 national teams committed to the entire tour.
• We will have a new contract for a web-based TV program from a highly successful producer with approximately 1.2 million viewers, and it’s free to you. (More on the production company in the near future.)
• We are united as never before. Ted Porter has always said “Two boats, one team.” With Ted’s help, we’ve coined the phrase “H1, Every Team United.”
• Our rules are wide open for new power plants of any nature. All we ask is proof of sustainability, and that it will run when it shows up. (The current T55 turbine rules remain intact.)
• What you see in the final heat is how we’ll call the event. If we discover something amiss, we’ll assess the penalties the week following the race.
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