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Marking 60 years

Madison Regatta has persevered
through good and hard times

City to celebrate a milestone
with this year’s race event

Staff Report

2010 Madison Regatta Logo

2010 Madison
Regatta Schedule

Friday, July 2:
8 a.m.: Course Set-Up
10:30 a.m: Opening Ceremonies
10:40 a.m - 4 p.m.:
Pit Tours
11 a.m. - noon: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
Noon-1 p.m.: River open
1-2:30 p.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
2:30-5 p.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane “Pole Position” Qualifying
5:15 p.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane Fastest Qualifier Award Ceremony
5 p.m.: River open

Saturday, July 3:
8 a.m.:
Course Set-Up
8 a.m.: Drivers’ Safety Meeting
8:45-10 a.m.: Grand National and National Modifieds Limited Class Qualifications
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Pit Tours
10:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies
10:45 - 11 a.m.: Air Show
11 a.m - noon: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
Noon-1 p.m.: River open
12:15-12:45 p.m.: Unlimited Drivers’ Autograph
Session No. 1
1:15 p.m.:
Heat 1A
1:45 p.m.: Heat 1B
2:15 p.m.: Heat 1C
2:45 - 3:45: p.m.: Grand National and National Modifieds Limited Class Heats
3-4 p.m.: Pit Tours
4-5 p.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
5 p.m.: River open
9 p.m.: River closes
9:30 p.m.: Twilight Air Show
10 p.m.: American Legion Post 9 Fireworks Show

Sunday, July 4:
8 a.m.:
Course Set-Up
8-9 a.m.: Grand National and National Modifieds Limited Class Heat
9-9:30 a.m.: Chapel Service
9:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies
10-10:20 a.m.: Air show
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
11:30 a.m. River open
11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Unlimited Drivers’ Autograph Session No. 2.
1 p.m.: Heat 2A
1:20 p.m.: Heat 2B
1:40 p.m.: Heat 2C
2:40 p.m.: Heat 3A
3 p.m.: Heat 3B
3:20 p.m.: Heat 3C
3:30 - 3:50 p.m.: Grand National and National Modifieds Limited Class Final Heat
3:50-4:10 p.m.: Air Show
4:20 p.m.: Lucas Oil Indiana Governor’s Cup Unlimited Final Race
5:15 p.m.: Awards Presentation
Information: Unlimiteds race information: www.H1unlimited.com

(July 2010) – For 60 years, the City of Madison, Ind., has played host to the Indiana Governor’s Cup race for Unlimited hydroplanes. First contested in 1951, the cup will be sponsored in 2010 by Lucas Oil.
Madison is steeped in a competitive tradition that dates back to the 1800s when steamboats raced each other on the legendary Ohio. 
Boats with internal combustion engines began racing at Madison as early as 1911. That was when the steamship “Princess” from Coney Island tied up in the middle of the river. Power launches ran an oval course roughly around the boat. This was one of the earliest examples of competition as it is characterized today around a closed course.
A series of races sanctioned by the now-defunct Mississippi Valley Power Boat Association was conducted at Madison between 1929 and 1936. But then a disastrous flood in 1937 and the onset of World War II brought down the curtain on power boat racing in southern Indiana for many years to come.
Between 1951 and 1953, the Indiana Governor’s Cup was offered to boats in the 7-Litre and above classes.
Two boats of that description appeared in 1951: the Unlimited Class Gale II, driven by Lee Schoenith, and the 725-Cubic Inch Class It’s A Wonder, handled by George Davis. Due to the sparseness of the field, boats from the smaller classes were invited by the race committee to “step-up” to race for the Governor’s Cup. These included the Hornet, a 225-Cubic Inch Class hull, owned and driven by Marion Cooper of Louisville, Ky. The race consisted of a single heat of 15 miles on three-mile course.
Hornet ultimately won the race at 65.886 mph when the larger boats experienced mechanical difficulties.
The victorious Cooper would, in later years, achieve fame as the original pilot for the community-owned Miss Madison Unlimited hydroplane.
Beginning in 1954, the Governor’s Cup became an exclusive Unlimited affair. This was also the first year in which a multi-heat format was used. 
“Wild Bill” Cantrell won the 1954 race with Joe Schoenith’s Allison-powered Gale IV. Cantrell won the Final Heat at 91.556 mph in spite of a large hole in the port sponson.
The first heat to be timed at more than 100 mph in Ohio River history was recorded in Heat 1 of the 1955 Governor’s Cup. Danny Foster did the honors with bandleader Guy Lombardo’s Tempo VII at a speed of 102.079 mph.
Record speeds and a record entry list highlighted the 1957 classic, which saw Jack Regas score a sensational victory over eight other contenders with Edgar Kaiser’s “Pink Lady” Hawaii Kai III with a three-heat, 45-mile average of 106.061 mph.
The Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered “Pink Lady” was arguably the best race boat of the 1950s and was the epitome of the all-conquering Ted Jones design.
The 1958 and 1959 races were lean years, both in the number of participating boats and in the area of regatta finances.

2010 Madison Regatta Logo

2010 Madison Regatta
Schedule of Events

• Saturday, June 26: Little Miss Pageant (ages 5-8). noon at the Madison Consolidated High School Auditorium.
• Saturday, June 26: Miss Teen Pageant (ages 14-17).
6 p.m. the Madison Consolidated High School Auditorium.
• Saturday, June 26: Kickoff Party presented by the Madison Moose Lodge. 1 p.m.-? at the Madison Moose Lodge.
• Monday, June 28: Xi Beta Upsilon Miss Madison Regatta Beauty Pageant (ages 18-26). 7 p.m. at the Madison Consolidated High School Auditorium.
• Tuesday, June 29: Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp. Bed Race. 5:30 p.m. on Main Street in front of Jefferson County Courthouse.
• Tuesday, June 29: Movie sponsored by the City of Madison. Dusk at Bicentennial Park.
• Wednesday, June 30: Fillin’ Station Liquors Waterball Fight. 5:30 p.m. on Vaughn Drive and Broadway Street.
• Wednesday, June 30: WORX 96.7 FM Street Dance. 8-11 p.m. at Fireman’s Park, foot of Jefferson Street & Vaughn.
• Thursday, June 30: Media Party & Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the VIP Tent at the riverfront. (Open to the media, race drivers, team owners, race officials, chamber members and their guests only.)
• Music on the River, sponsored by Arvin Sango Inc., Big-O Tires, Ghostnote Mucis and Northside Liquors at Fireman’s Park on the riverfront. 7-11 p.m.
• Thursday, July 1: Radio 96.3 WJAA Battle of the Bands 7-11 p.m.
• Friday, July 2: 95.3 WIKI presents Josh & Holly, Nashville recording artist J.D. Shelburne and more TBA.
7-11 p.m.
• Saturday, July 3: WORX 96.7 FM / WXGO 1270 AM present bands TBA, 2-11 p.m.
• Friday, July 2: Madison Regatta Parade. 6 p.m. on Main Street beginning at Jefferson Street.
• Saturday, July 3: The Madison Courier Firecracker 10k Walk/Run. 8 a.m. walk; 8:30 a.m. run, beginning at the Madison Consolidated High School
• Saturday, July 3: R.C. Boat Races. 10 a.m. at Krueger Lake inside Jefferson Proving Ground.
• Friday-Sunday, July 3-4: Grote Industries Air Shows. Times TBA at the riverfront.
•  Saturday, July 3: American Legion Post No. 9 Fireworks Spectacular. approximately
10 p.m. at the riverfront. (Free admission)
• Tickets: $20 through June 27. $25 thereafter. To order, call (812) 265-5000 or visit: www.madisonregatta.com. Tickets also available at several local stores. VIP and other passes available. Souvenir buttons $5. Pit Tours $3. Programs $5.

When one less than the minimum number of four entries was received in 1958, industrialist Samuel F. DuPont came to the city’s rescue with his new and unprepared Nitrogen from Wilmington, Dela. With assistance from other boat crews, the DuPont craft did more than just start the race. It finished in second-place behind Don Wilson in Miss U.S. I and scored a victory in the Final Heat with Bob Hayward driving. 
Two years later, DuPont would make an outright gift of the Nitrogen to the City of Madison. This is the boat that became the original community-owned Miss Madison in 1961.
Two months prior to the 1960 Indiana Governor’s Cup, the Madison Regatta was badly in debt. A $5,000 bank loan, more than 20 local groups, and more than 150 individual members all figured in the organizational retrenchment.
The 1960 Indiana Governor’s Cup was run as scheduled – and so were the next half-century of Governor’s Cups at Madison – in a tradition that continues to the present day.

• Fred Farley is the H1 Unlimited Historian and a resident of Milton, Ky. Email him at fredf@hotmail.com.

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