Madison Regatta for Bud
overcomes rough water,
winning from Lane 4
MADISON, Ind. (July 4, 2004) Pounded "like
a linebacker" by rough water and awash in emotion, Dave Villwock
emerged from the cockpit of the Miss Budwesier on Sunday with a crackle
in his voice as he recalled how the late Bernie Little would have loved
to have been there to share in the joy of the team's second consecutive
Budweiser Madison Regatta victory on the Ohio River in Madison, Ind.
by Don Ward
Villwock (right) receives
the Madison Regatta Indiana
Governor's Cup. With him are (from
left) State Rep. Markt Lytle, Miss
Madison Regatta Queen Donatta Taylor
and Regatta president Mike Adams.
Villwock, accompanied by Little's son, team owner Joe
Little, sat on the edge of the Bud boat trailer and soaked in the exuberance
of the team's 15th victory in Madison, Villwock's 43rd career win and
fifth in Madison. The victory had an added bonus for Villwock by having
also earned the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) World Championship.
UIM, the international boat racing sanctioning body out of Monaco, hasnt
presented the UIM World Championship in the Unlimited Class since 1984.
But the real story of the race was who could handle the Ohio River's
rough water conditions caused by 15 mph wind gusts.
It was like being hit by 20 linebackers every lap, said
Villwock, 50, who won with an average speed of 130.021 mph. He had qualified
the boat on Saturday with a top speed of 151.527 mph.
The river was very rough, and that definitely was an advantage
for me and the Miss Budweiser team. We were able to set up the boat
right for the conditions, and I guess I just did a better job picking
my way through the rough water.
by Don Ward
Budweiser (center) pulls
ahead of Miss Elam plus (left)
and Miss Llumar Window
Films in an early heat.
With last spring's announcement that Anheuser-Busch would
pull out of the sport next year, Villwock was asked what the Madison
victory meant to him, considering it may be his last race here.
"Personally, it means a lot to me because I know how much Bernie
loved this place," Villwock said, showing some emotion in his voice
as Little patted his knee. "Bernie would have been very happy today."
Little, who many credit for keeping the sport going in its lean years,
eventually selling his share to Hydro-Prop four years ago, died in April
2003 at age 77.
Villwock won all three heats earlier in the day, and even overcame a
more difficult Lane 4 assignment in final after being penalized for
flagrant fuel violation after winning his third heat. The penalty stripped
the team of its 40 points in that heat, lowering its lane assignment
from 1 to 4 for the final. The Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison, which had
won a heat earlier in the day, instead got the top assignment. But driver
Steve David hit a buoy in Turn 1 of the first lap, resulting in a one-lap
penalty. He finished fourth in the final, behind second-place Terry
Troxell in the U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus and third-place Greg Hopp in the
U-100 Miss Mariann Travel Inn.
by Don Ward
owner Joe Little (right)
congratulates driver Dave
Villwock in the Bud pits.
J.W. Myers in the U-8 Miss Llumar Window Film earned Lane
3 for the final but the escape hatch underneath the boat opened as he
was racing down the backstretch and had to pull off the course. He was
Mike Weber in the U-10 Miss Emcor also had his escape hatch open at
the start of the race. He managed to steer off the course after crossing
the starting line but complained of back injury resulting from the mishap.
He was taken to King's Daughters' Hospital for observation.
David said he had a "great boat" this weekend in the Oh Boy!
Oberto-Miss Madison and was sorry he couldn't place any higher for the
Regatta/UIM World Championship
July 2-4, 2004 in Madison, IN.
Driver, Boat, Ave. Speed
1. Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser 130.021
2. Greg Hopp Miss Mariann Travel 124.250
3. Terry Troxell Miss Elam Plus 114.063
4. Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto 128.414
5. J.W. Meyers Llumar Window Film (DNF)
6. Mike Weber Miss Emcor/York (DNS)
7. Dr. Ken Muscatel Mr Home Loan (DNS)
World Championship Points
(after one event):
Dave Villwock 120
Steve David 110
Terry Troxell 99
JW Meyers 87
Mike Weber 77
Dr Ken Muscatel 63
more information, visit: www.hydroprop.com
"In Lane 1, you can't drift out any farther than
15 feet," said David, who resides in Lighthouse Point, Fla. "Going
in that turn it was hard hold the lane. I came in and veered to the
left and hit the buoy, which was unfortunate because it cost me a lap
The Madison Regatta was the second race of the 2004 season
but only the first under the control of the American Power Boat Association
and Hydro-Prop Inc., the sanctioning body that owns the circuit. Villwock
won a week earlier in Evansville, Ind., where race officials pulled
out of Hydro-Prop a few weeks before the race. No APBA points were awarded
for the Evansville race and the event was not televised on the SPEED
Channel, as are the sanctioned races.
The Budweiser team, now two-for-two, is on its last tour of the circuit.
But team owner Joe Little has left the door open regarding the future
of the team. Although Budweiser won't be the sponsor next year, it appears
possible that the Littles may decide to keep racing with a new sponsor.
"We will wait until after the season to make a decision on that,"
Little said after Sunday's race in Madison.
Villwock added, "The team, myself and the Little family are a unit,
and whatever we do, we'll do as a unit."
Channel: Hydro fans can watch this weekends Budweiser
Madison Regatta race on the Ohio River on the Speed Channel on Sunday,
July 18, at 5 p.m. EDT-fast time. For complete information and schedules,
Race: The 2004 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series takes
a weekend off before heading to the Chrysler/Jeep Superstores APBA Gold
Cup race in Detroit, July 15-18. This year will mark the historic 100th
running of one of the most famous trophies in motorsports history. The
Miss Budweiser team has won 14 APBA Gold Cups and will look to win one
more to cap off its 42-year racing history.
by Don Ward
Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison
leads an early heat at Sunday's
Speaking: The Miss Budweiser team has a record in unlimited
hydroplane racing that is unrivaled with 138 victories, 23 world championships
and 14 APBA Gold Cups. The team has entered a record 361 races and finished
in the top-three a total of 236 times in 41 years of competition. The
crew of the Miss Budweiser has a combined 300 years of experience. Dave
Villwock who has been racing unlimited hydroplanes since 1992, has 43
wins, seven series championships and five APBA Gold Cups to his credit.
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