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    H1 points race returning for 2018 Madison Regatta
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    Mark Campbell, Sports Editor,

    Madison Regatta has reached an agreement in principle with H1 Unlimited to stage a national high points hydroplane race at this summer’s Midwest Tube Mills 68th Indiana Governor’s Cup July 6-8.

    According to Dan Cole, president of Madison Regatta Inc., the race will involve at least six — and possibly as many as eight — of the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series’ top race teams over a two-day event with qualifying on Saturday, July 7 and heats on Sunday July 8 ending with the running of the 2018 Governor’s Cup.

    Cole declined to share financial details of the agreement but he’s previously said the Regatta offered H1 a fair and competitive compensation package that included performance requirements to ensure Madison Regatta race fans receive a quality event for their admission fee. He did say the compensation package was more than the Regatta paid for last year’s non-points exhibition and comparable to what he understands other race sites pay.

    The agreement was announced at the Regatta’s regular monthly membership meeting Wednesday night. After the session Cole said the deal was the product of lengthy negotiations involving several offers and counter-offers by both sides.

    “We went back and forth three or four times,” Cole said of the negotiations with H1. “The fact is they want to work with us and we want to work with them. We’ve now got a deal where they will bring quality boats and put on a great show.”

    Cole said the performance requirements were necessary because not all boats in the H1 fleet are competitively equal and the Regatta wants teams that can show up willing, ready and able to compete and put on a show.

    “There are certain teams we would not accept as viable,” he said, adding “we want race-ready, prepared teams who are not just going to show up and sit in the pits and not race.”

    Madison Regatta has sponsored the Governor’s Cup annually since 1951 and an Unlimited hydroplane series points race annually since 1954 with the exception of last year when the financially-strapped organization opted for the less-expensive, non-points exhibition while also staging a points race featuring the automotive-powered Grand Prix World series. The move left some fans wanting more and threatening to skip the 2018 event unless the site returned to a full H1 points race.

    Cole said Madison Regatta has always supported and appreciated Unlimited hydroplane racing and had every intention of returning to a points race as soon as that was financially feasible but only if H1 would make concessions in terms of the cost and offer guarantees in terms of the program. He said the negotiations were ultimately successful in both regards and he is glad the two organizations can move forward and provide the kind of show fans deserve.

    “It’s a points race and that’s what the people said they wanted so that should bring all those people back and we need them,” Cole said of the fans.

    The smaller, louder Grand Prix World Series that was added to the program last year was well received by fans — as well as by the Regatta’s 2018 title sponsor Midwest Tube Mills, Cole said, noting the series will be back for its second consecutive points race on the Ohio River this July. Cole said that between the H1 and Grand Prix boats, fans will be able to enjoy more racing than ever.

    Admission wristbands for the 2018 event will be priced according to which events fans attend. An all-access wristband that allows admission for the boat races and music festival will cost $35 while individual wristbands for either the boat races or the music festival will cost $20 per event. Children younger than 6 are admitted free to both events and children up to age 14 will cost $10 but that is for an all-access wristband to both events.

    In other business, the Regatta:

    * Announced that its new website should launch in the next two or three days, complete with the rebranding and features allowing online ordering of wristbands, camping, recreational vehicle parking and tarp sites as well as merchandise.

    * Asked the various committees to submit infrastructure projects they think should be addressed with portions of the $50,000 state grant the City of Madison received last year on behalf of Madison Regatta and earmarked specifically for such improvements. Cole said several projects are already under consideration but he’d like to hear from all aspects of the organization so that no need is overlooked when deciding which areas can be funded.

    * Had a moment of silence for U-1 HomeStreet Bank/Miss Madison crew chief Dan Hoover, his family and the Miss Madison Race Team. Hoover, 45, died unexpectedly last weekend.

    “Godspeed Mr. Hoover,” said Cole.


    https://madisoncourier.com/Content/N...178/961/107547
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    From Madison Regatta Website:
    2018 MADISON REGATTA JULY 6-JULY 8

    The Madison Regatta has been held annually for over 64 years. We host one of the largest hydroplane races in the United States. The regatta festival also consist of numerous other events throughout Madison. Including Air Shows during Regatta Weekend, the Regatta Pageants, Fire Station Waterball Fight, 10k run/walk, Street Dance, Music On The River, Riverfront Car Show, R/C Boat Race, and the popular Patriotic Regatta Parade held on Friday evening of Regatta Weekend.
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