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    Hydros return for 68th annual Madison Regatta
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    The tiny town of Madison, Indiana is known for its vast historic district – the largest in the country – as well as its quaint shops and its beautiful views of the Ohio River. But on the first weekend of July, the city comes alive with the sights and sounds of H1 Unlimited hydroplanes racing on the river.

    The race boat series swings into Madison this weekend for the 68th running of the Indiana Governor’s Cup at the Midwest Tube Mills Madison Regatta.

    Madison has deep roots in the sport, putting on its first boat race in 1911. Since 1951, the city has hosted the Indiana Governor’s Cup race with H1 hydroplanes making their debut at the site in 1954.

    The clear local favorite will be Jimmy Shane (Maple Valley, Wash.) and the U-1 Miss HomeStreet, which is owned by the citizens of Madison. The only community-owned team on the circuit, the Miss Madison Race Team has campaigned a boat every year since 1961.

    With 16 career wins, Shane is already one of the best drivers in the sport’s history and sits tied for eighth on the all-time list. He has won the past five National High Points championships and the Madison race twice, in 2015 and 2016.

    Andrew Tate (Walled Lake, Mich.), driving the U-9 Delta/Realtrac, is the defending champion of the regatta, winning the non-points race a year ago. In just 11 starts on the H1 Unlimited tour, Tate already has four wins and has quickly established himself as one of the rising stars in the sport.

    Tate drove the Lori and Mike Jones-owned U-9 Delta/Realtrac to victory in the season opener at Guntersville, Ala., two weeks ago by four-tenths of a second over Shane and the U-1 Miss HomeStreet in one of the most exciting finishes in recent years.

    Another close duel between the two drivers is expected this weekend.

    “I’m not trying to think about it too much. If I drive my race, the points will come and we will make the final,” Tate said.

    Thanks to a perfect weekend in Guntersville, Tate holds the lead in the National High Points standings with 1,700 points. Shane is currently third in the standings, 520 points back, with 1,180.

    “We came out with a perfect weekend in Guntersville, the most that could be earned. We plan on continuing that consistency and repeat our success we had here last year at the regatta,“ said Tate.

    Sitting in between Tate and Shane in the standings is Tom Thompson (Cambridge, Md.) and the U-11 J&D’s, which had a strong opener in Guntersville with three second-place finishes in preliminary heats and a third in the final. Thompson has 1,195 points, 505 behind Tate and 15 ahead of Shane.

    “We come to Madison hoping to improve our performance and maintain our points status. The fans deserve a great boat race, and we intend to be a major part of that,” said Thompson.

    Madison marks the second stop on the 2018 H1 Unlimited tour. Two other teams are expected to compete in Madison.

    Dustin Echols (Sultan, Wash.) and the U-440 Bucket List Racing posted the fastest qualifying speed in the team’s history at Guntersville at 140.265 mph, but blew a propeller blade off during preliminary Heat 1A and had to withdraw due to boat damage.

    Rookie Aaron Salmon (Bonney Lake, Wash.) was well on his way to completing his rookie qualifications at Guntersville aboard the U-99.9 Miss Rock but electrical issues forced the team to withdraw without competing in a preliminary heat. Salmon needs just six more laps, two at over 130 mph, to qualify for the circuit.

    Qualifying for the Governor’s Cup will be Saturday from 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. and will feature an added incentive for drivers and teams. Midwest Tube Mills CEO Rick Russell has offered a $5,000 cash prize out of his own pocket for any driver that beats the existing course record of 148.692 mph on the 2-mile Ohio River course.

    “I love competition and I wanted to give an added bonus to the drivers on the H1 Unlimited series,” Russell said. “Hopefully this will provide an added incentive and create more excitement for the fans.”

    It always adds a little excitement when there is some money at stake,” said Shane, who narrowly missed the record four years ago. “We certainly give it our best and this year will be no different. Madison is the hometown for the Miss HomeStreet so breaking this record would be very rewarding.”

    All preliminary heats of racing will be on Sunday with the winner-take-all final scheduled for 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the weekend.


    http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.c...8a9fb82dd.html
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    Boats, hydroplanes and visitors fill riverfront for annual Madison Regatta

    MADISON, IN - "I've been coming here all my life," said Rob Holt, a Madison, Indiana resident. Holt grew up in the riverfront community and says he's never missed a regatta.

    Thousands of people come to Madison, Indiana over the weekend for the annual Madison Regatta. Some travel a few miles, others a few thousand.

    "I was working will call yesterday and we checked in some people from New Zealand," said Regatta board member Curtis Chatham.

    Officially, it's the 68th year. But local race historian Dave Taylor says the Madison Regatta really began in 1911.

    "I have photos of some of those early races where we had steamboats lined up along the river with the motorboats in the background," Taylor said. "And that time, the boats were outboard, some of them were inboard boats with automotive engines and they plowed through the water. Today's hydroplanes actually plane over the surface of the water. They're essentially a water-bound aircraft when you get down to it."

    More than a century after the first regatta, boat racing is still the draw here for visitors and locals alike.

    "Well the best part is the boats," Holt said.

    This year, they're expanding the weekend with more live music.

    "We added it last year on a much smaller scale and this year, expanded it to a lot more national talent," Chatham said.

    The Madison Regatta runs through Sunday evening. Tickets are available for purchase for both the races and for the live music. For more information, visit the Madison Regatta on their website here.

    On Friday, it's pretty slow boating out on the Ohio. But on Saturday, the big boats and hydroplanes will hit the water going up to 200 miles per hour, much faster than in 1911.

    "Going back to the teens, some of the speeds were an average of around 14, 15 miles an hour," Taylor said.

    Drivers and their boats guard their riverfront spots, getting ready to hit the water Saturday morning.

    "Words really don't do it justice. There's really nothing quite like it," said hydroplane driver Andrew Tate.

    Tate and his crew stay busy, making sure their gear is ready to race.

    "The left pedals, there's actually two for my left foot, no brakes," Tate said.

    He won a race down in Alabama just two weeks earlier against some of the drivers he'll take on again this weekend. The boat he drives is just two years older than he is, practically family.

    "Definitely a working relationship, sometimes she's happy, sometimes she's not. So I guess it'd be more like a sister, a little bit more temperamental than a brother," Tate said.

    And together, they're hoping to take home another win this weekend.

    "We're hoping to have another go out and drag 'em out boat race," Tate said.


    http://www.wave3.com/story/38590555/...adison-regatta
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    Madison Regatta a successful homecoming for Louisville's Cindy Shirley

    MADISON, Ind. – As the Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison boat cruised to a comfortable win in the 68th annual Midwest Tube Mills Madison Regatta Governor’s Cup Sunday afternoon, Louisville native Cindy Shirley joined in on the celebration.

    Shirley, one of the few female crew chiefs in the history of the sport, recorded her first win in her new role.

    Miss Madison is the defending series champion.

    “It’s a big task to put this whole thing together,” said Shirley, a member of the crew for the past 15 years. “Everybody is working together really well. This race was fantastic ... It was a great outcome.”

    With veteran Jimmy Shane driving the boat, Miss Madison took an early lead on the first straight-away and the advantage grew.

    Andrew Tate, driving the Delta/Real Trac U-9, never threatened.

    “If you make to the first turn first, you have a better chance of a good outcome,” Shirley said.

    Shirley, who now lives in Everett, Washington, said she still has a home in Oldham County and plenty of her family and friends came to cheer for Miss Madison.

    She took over after the former crew chief, Dan Hoover, 45, passed away at his home in Washington.

    “It was a huge loss,” Shirley said. “He was a great friend of all of ours.”

    Earlier: Madison Regatta implements changes to draw younger crowd

    Shirley said Hoover, the crew chief for the past few years, left his mark on the team.

    “When he came on board as our crew chief, he brought this atmosphere of family and fun that he hadn’t had in the past,” she said. “We miss Dan greatly.”

    Shirley admitted she feels pressure but not because of her gender.

    “For her to fill that role was fitting,” said Shane, one of the top drivers on the circuit who won his second Madison Regatta in five years. “Not much has really changed. Cindy is making the ultimate decisions now. What is going on the boat. What gear combinations will be used ... She’s doing a great job.”

    Shane said it isn’t an easy job. “Cindy does a great job of keeping everybody calm and reserved,” he said.

    “I want to do well,” she said. “I want to do well for the city (of Madison). It’s daunting sometimes.”

    Shirley said her gender never comes up.

    “Cindy is all woman but she’s all professional,” Shane said. “She’s here to do her job as the crew chief and everybody knows that.”

    Shirley said it takes the entire team to succeed.

    “A lot of people make more of it than we do,” she said. “We don’t. I’m just another person to the crew, just as I have for the past 15 years. They don’t see me as the female ... I just want everyone to know you don’t have to fit into a specific mold. You can do whatever you want.”

    Shirley, 47, who came to her first Madison Regatta with her parents in 1988 as a spectator, said she’s glad the weather finally cooperated.

    “Madison really needed this (great weather),” she said. “I grew up on this river, so I know how it can be.”

    As she reminisced, Shirley said she lost her parents last year and never saw her work as a crew chief.

    “This is what we did on family vacations,” she said. “We went to boat races.”

    Now Shirley and the rest of the team, including her sister Kim, will continue the series in Washington later this month.


    https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...son/766698002/
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    Shirley becomes first woman crew chief in Victory Lane at Madison Regatta

    MADISON, IND. –July 8, 2018— The fans packed the shore of the Ohio River to watch history on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    Cindy Shirley (Everett, Wash.) became the first woman crew chief to win a H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series championship final after her driver, Jimmy Shane (Maple Valley, Wash.) was victorious driving the U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison in the 68th annual Indiana Governor’s Cup in front of what appeared to be a record crowd.

    Shane, behind in national points prior to this weekend’s event came racing with vengeance on Sunday. He won one of his two preliminary heats against Andrew Tate in the U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta/Realtrac.

    The pressure was on to gain some valuable points over Tate.

    In the championship final, the two continued their season-long duel as expected.

    Shane grabbed the inside lane and made a picture-perfect start over Tate. Shane pulled the early lead, but Tate charged back on the second lap, gaining within two mph of Shane. Shane held Tate off for the remaining three laps. On the last lap Tate again gained ground on Shane and went two mph faster than Shane on the fifth and final lap.

    In the end, there just were not enough laps for Tate to gain enough ground and settled for second place. Shane average 140.089 mph on the five lap Indiana Governors Cup and Tate averaged 135.716 mph.

    “We are ecstatic to come home and win in front of our fans,” Shane said after climbing out of the cockpit. “What a great win for the citizens of Madison, Indiana.”

    Shane said, “We threw everything we could at it and I am really thankful for Cindy (Shirley) for the great set-up.”

    Shirley, a long-time crewmember of the Miss Madison race team was promoted to crew chief in the off-season. The victory Sunday marks the first time a woman has won as a crew chief.

    “I am ecstatic“ a happy Shirley said. “We fine tuned all day and came up with a set-up we were happy about,” she said. Jimmy made the most amazing start I think I have ever seen. So many were just dragging back, and he nailed it full speed.”

    Third place went to Tom Thompson (Cambridge, MD) n the U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s and Dustin Echols (Sultan, Wash.) came in fourth driving the U-440 Bucket List Racing hydroplane.

    Local festival officials feel the event was a success after selling out of admission wristbands on Sunday.

    Preliminary Heat 2A saw three boats make the starting line. Shane, Tate and rookie driver Aaron Salmon (Bonney Lake, Wash.) in the U-99.9 CARSTARS powers Miss Rock. Salmon completed his required rookie laps and saw his first completion as a driver. In the end Shane won averaging 136.154 mph, followed by Tate at 127.431 mph, and Salmon in third averaging 116.848 mph.

    Preliminary Heat 2B

    Thompson in the U-11 easily beat Echols in the smaller U-440. Thompson won with an average almost 10 mph faster than Echols. Echols’ smaller boat seemed to struggle in the notorious rough turn one.

    Preliminary Heat 3A

    Tate shellacked Shane after Shane drove through the roostertail of Tate and momentarily went dead-in-the-water. After restarting, Shane was able to fend-off Thompson for second. In the end, Tate averaged 140.576 mph over three laps, Shane averaged 114.240 mph and Thompson jumped the start and was penalized one minute.

    Preliminary Heat 3B

    2017 rookie-of-the-year, Dustin Echols won his first heat after Salmon in the U-99.9 failed to make the heat with electrical problems.

    MADISON REGATTA RESULTS

    Midwest Tube Mills Indiana Governor’s Cup final
    1) Jimmy Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, 140.089 mph
    2) Andrew Tate, U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta/Realtrac, 135.716 mph
    3) Tom Thompson, U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s, 118.803 mph
    4) Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, 94.168 mph

    Preliminary Heat 3A
    1) U-9 Delta/Realtrac, Tate, 140.576 mph
    2) U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, Shane 114.240 mph
    3) U-11 J&D’s, Thompson, 129.100 mph

    Preliminary Heat 3B
    1) U-440 Bucket List Racing, Echols, 110.478 mph
    2) U-99.9 Miss Rock, Salmon, DNS

    Preliminary Heat 2A
    1) U-1 Miss HomeStreet, Shane, 136.154 mph
    2) U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 127.431 mph
    3) U-99.9 Miss Rock, 116.848 mph

    Preliminary Heat 2B
    1) U-11 J&D’s, Thompson, 111.321 mph
    2) U-440 Bucket List Racing 102.131 mph

    Preliminary Heat 1A (Saturday)
    1) U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta/Realtrac, Andrew Tate, 119.126 mph average
    2) U-440 Bucket List Racing, Dustin Echols, 93.44 mph average

    Preliminary Heat 1B (Saturday)
    1) U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, Jimmy Shane, 133.134 mph average
    2) U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool present J&D’s, 132.141 mph average

    Qualifying (Saturday):
    1) U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta/Realtrac, Andrew Tate, 148.166 mph
    2) U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, Jimmy Shane, 146.983 mph
    3) U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s, Tom Thompson, 141.925 mph
    4) U-440 Bucket List Racing, Dustin Echols, 130.792 mph

    NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HIGH POINTS
    1) Andrew Tate, U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta/Realtrac
    2) Jimmy Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison
    3) Tom Thompson, U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s
    4) Brian Perkins, U-21 Go Fast, Turn Left Racing
    5) Cal Phipps, U-27 Wiggins Racing, 625 points
    6) Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing

    2018 H1 UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
    + June 1: Preseason Testing • Kennewick, Wash. • Columbia River
    + June 22-24: Southern Cup • Guntersville, Ala. • Guntersville Lake • Winner Andrew Tate
    + July 6-8: Midwest Tube Mills Indiana Governors Cup • Madison, Ind. • Ohio River • Winner Jimmy Shane
    + July 27-29: HAPO Columbia Cup • Kennewick, Wash. • Columbia River
    + August 3-5: Albert Lee Cup • Seattle • Lake Washington
    + August 24-26: Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Gold Cup • Detroit • Detroit River
    + September 14-16: HomeStreet Bank Bill Muncey Cup • San Diego • Mission Bay


    http://www.wave3.com/story/38596273/...adison-regatta
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    Organizers Hope Changes To Madison Regatta Will Help Tradition Survive

    Organizers are hoping changes to the Madison Regatta this year will ensure the decades-old boat race has a future. The annual event draws thousands of people to the small city on the Ohio River’s banks.

    But the regatta is several thousand dollars in debt following years of bad weather and declining attendance. That has many worried about whether the race is sustainable.

    Its survival is vital to the community.


    David Johnson points to one of his favorite pictures in a room full of Madison Regatta memorabilia (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News).

    Boat Racing In Madison Dates Back Decades

    When you step into the back room at David Johnson’s boat shop, it’s like stepping into a museum.

    “Everything means something to me,” he says.

    There isn’t an empty space on the wall. The room is covered in pictures, buttons and shirts from the Madison Regatta. It’s a hydroplane race that takes place every year on the Ohio River.

    “Boat racing’s always been my coup de gras you might say,” Johnson says.

    His room of memorabilia represents decades of Madison history. Boat racing here dates all the way back to 1911, when a group of local motorboat enthusiasts decided to have a spontaneous race on the river. It drew a crowd of several hundred people.


    The excitement from that event led to a short series of organized races starting in 1914. But they stopped with the United States entering World War I.

    Races resumed in Madison in the 1920s and continued to draw large crowds. In 1930, the Mississippi Valley Power Boat Association decided to have its national regatta in Madison. It brought a lot of attention to the community, and a local committee continued to host races through the 1930s.

    A devastating flood along the Ohio River valley in 1937, coupled with the Great Depression, caused boat racing to end for more than a decade.

    But the sport returned to the river in 1949, with the current series of the Madison Regatta dating back to the 1951 Governor’s Cup.

    “The unlimiteds at that time were powered by WWII aircraft engines,” says local historian Dave Taylor. “The Allison engine, which was built in Speedway, Indiana, powered several of the WWII fighter craft.”




    The race is such a big deal here, the city even owns a boat that competes. It’s fondly called Miss Madison, but these days it’s decked out in sponsorship logos and referred to as Miss Homestreet.

    It’s one of several changes that’s occurred over the years, as the regatta has become less financially stable.

    “The attendance usually would be about 30,000 people in the early 60s,” Taylor says. “By 1971 when Madison hosted the gold cup race for the very first time, we drew about 100,000 people. ABC’s Wide World of Sports was here to film the event. ABC was back in ’79 we had the gold cup again in ’79 and ’80. But since then the crowds have somewhat declined.”

    That worries many people in Madison because they depend on the regatta to attract tourists.

    Organizers say it brings about $1 million into the local economy in just one weekend.

    “The regatta brings people into town that normally wouldn’t come obviously,” says Madison Mayor Damon Welch. “They’re going to shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants.”


    Thousands of people line the banks of the Ohio River to watch the races every year (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News).

    Changes Aim To Attract Younger Crowd To Regatta

    Changes are coming to the event in an effort to preserve – and ideally boost – attendance.

    This year the regatta is offering tickets online for the first time. And, organizers are adding a full-fledged music festival to try and appeal to younger crowds.

    “What we’re hoping to do is crossover,” says Madison Regatta President Matt True. “We’re hoping boat fans become music fans and music fans become boat fans. And, really what we’re trying to do is just make sure we have a lasting event. And, we needed to reinvent ourselves.”

    Because what drew people here in the first place may no longer be enough to sustain the regatta. Older generations grew up with the sport, but the regatta needs to attract young people to survive.

    “This is the 68th year and you have to always constantly review what you’re doing and change and adjust because the level of interest of a really old sport has gone down, but we’re wanting to bring that back,” says Sarah Prasil, director of marketing and advertising for Visit Madison.

    But for many people in Madison, the regatta’s survival is about more than just the money. Just about everyone you talk to has endless stories about the race.

    “I saw my first race in 1959,” Taylor says. “I was seven years old. And it got into my blood then, it has been very thick in my blood since then.”

    Johnson says boat racing is Madison.

    “You know about the movie, you know about the Miss Madison in ’71 that won the gold cup, the Cinderella story.”

    He hopes to add new memories to that list. Believe it or not, he still has some room for more buttons and photos on his walls.

    Like the city of Madison, the regatta is part of his history.

    “It’s like a lifeline. It’s like two pieces together. I think it’s just important that it has to go on.”
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