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Madison Regatta 2018

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 4:17pm -- Tana Moore


Ohio River – Madison, Indiana

Media Headquarters:  201 E. Vaughn Dr, Madison, Ind. 47250 

Pit Area: W. Street & E. Vaughn Dr., Madison, Ind.     

Prime Viewing: Along W. and E. Vaughn Drive, Madison, Ind. 

B-Roll video including on-board footage and still photos available upon request.


68th ANNUAL MIDWEST TUBE MILLS INDIANA GOVERNORS CUP – Informal racing first took place in Madison, Indiana as early as 1911. The current streak of unlimited hydroplane racing in Madison began in 1950.  Five years after WWII.  The first race in Madison for the national points championship occurred in 1954.  The winner of that race was “Wild” Bill Cantrell driving Joe Schoenith’s Gale IV.  Nearly ever summer since, the hydros have been racing in Madison.  Over the years, the majority of the races have been 2-1/2 miles in length.  In the last few years, it has ranged from over 2-3/4 miles to most recently 2-miles long course on the Ohio River.  The 1971 race inspired a Hollywood motion picture released in 2005 titled “Madison,” which starred actor Jim Caviezel.


WEEKEND LINEUP FOR THE WORLD'S FASTEST RACE BOATS — Five boats from all over the U.S. will compete in this weekend’s Madison Regatta’s Indiana Governor’s Cup.  

1) U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison driven by driver Jimmy Shane (Maple Valley, Wash.)(Light Blue/White).

2) U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta Realtrac driven by Andrew Tate (Walled Lake, Mich.)(White, with neon red, neon yellow stripes).

3) U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s driven by Tom Thompson (Cambridge, Md.)(Neon Yellow, Red).  

4) U-99.9 CARSTAR powers Miss Rock driven by rookie driver Aaron Salmon (Bonney Lake, Wash.)(Black/Red). 

5) U-440 Bucket List Racing, driven by Dustin Echols (Sultan, Wash.)(Orange).


RACING FORECAST–Two weeks ago, Tate won the first race of the 2018 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series, the inaugural running of the Southern Cup in Guntersville, Ala. Thompson’s crew made many upgrades during the off-season and trails Tate by only 505 points in the national standings. Shane, who placed second in Guntersville following an exciting deck-to-deck duel with Tate in the final heat, will have the hometown fans of Madison behind him. Also look for last year’s rookie of the year, Dustin Echols in the orange U-440 Bucket List Racing, to improve throughout the weekend. The boat is slightly smaller and has a less powerful engine than the others and also sustained some hull damage in Guntersville when the boat threw a propeller. Finally, rookie driver Aaron Salmon should complete his rookie qualification in the U-99.9 CARSTAR powers Miss Rock.


WOMEN IN THE H1 UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE RACING... Cindy Shirley (Everett, Wash.) was named crew chief of the national champion U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison during the off-season. The first female crew chief was Carol Lee in 1975. Other prominent women participants this weekend include Lori Jones (Kent, Wash.), co-owner of the U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta Realtrac; Shannon Raney (Bothell, Wash.), co-owner of the U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s; Stacey Briseno (Kirkland, Wash.), team operator of the U-99.9 CARSTAR powers Miss Rock; and Sharon Stocklin (Edmonds, Wash), co-owner of the U-440 Bucket List Racing. The sport hasn’t had a woman driver compete since the 1981 and ‘82 seasons when Brenda Jones raced. Bianca Bononcini, now married to driver Jimmy Shane, attempted to qualify as a driver at several races in 2011.


HOMETOWN BOAT–The City of Madison, Indiana, became the owner of an unlimited hydroplane in 1961 when industrialist Samuel DuPont donated his boat named Nitrogen to the city. When that boat was destroyed in a racing accident a year later, DuPont sold his second boat, the Nitrogen Too, to the city for $5,000. Madison has been in the hydroplane racing business ever since. The world’s only community-owned hydroplane is administered by a board of directors that is appointed by the city’s mayor. The Miss Madison race team is the oldest name in the sport, having competed in their 58 consecutive season. The team’s current boat is the seventh to be owned by the city and was built in 2007. The motion picture “Madison” was based on the true story of the under-dog hometown racing team as they tried to win the big race against long odds in front of their hometown fans. Actors Jake Lloyd and Jim Caviezel starred in the 2005 movie, which is now available in DVD.


ROCKET MEN - When two H1 Unlimited hydroplane drivers at this weekend’s Indiana Governor’s Cup are not driving their hydroplanes, they are working and dreaming about space. Jimmy Shane, driver of U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, and Aaron Salmon, driver of the U-99.9 CARSTAR powers by Miss Rock, both work at Blue Origin, LLC, an aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company that is headquartered in Kent, Wash., and owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Also, Miss HomeStreet’s technical performance engineer, Jimmy Gilbert, is a retired NASA senior scientist who worked on the Apollo missions.



“After doing well in Alabama, we come to Madison (Indiana) hoping to our improvements in our performance and maintain our national high points status.  The fans at the Madison Regatta deserve a great boat race and we intend to be a major part of that.” –Tom Thompson, driver of the U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s.


“We came out with a perfect weekend in Guntersville, the most points that could be earned (1400).  We plan on continuing that consistency and repeat our success we had here last year at the Regatta,   The Madison Regatta team and community do a great job putting on this event and it always is fun to come experience the flavor of this great river community.” –Andrew Tate, driver of the U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta/Realtrac.


“As always, it will be an honor to represent the Miss Madison Racing Team and the citizens of Madison, Indiana during the 2018 Midwest Tube Mills Indiana Governor’s Cup. Last year, the national champion Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison led every lap until hitting a large hole in the first turn of the final lap. Andrew Tate came away with the win, but our team is poised to make a run for the Indiana’s Governors Cup this weekend.”

–Jimmy Shane, driver of the U-1 Miss HomeStreet.


“ I am confident that I will get my remaining six laps in to complete the rookie requirement. Driving an unlimited hydroplane for the first time two weeks ago was everything I expected and then some.  It felt comfortable, like I belong there. I am looking forward to my first race at the historic Madison Regatta race.”

–Aaron Salmon, rookie driver of the U-99.9 CARSTAR powers Miss Rock.


“I am already thinking of ways to spend the qualifying bonus. Ha, ha.  I am really excited to get on a short course.  We have a great short course set-up already in mind.  Our main focus will be on consistency.  We really need to start and finish every heat and have a good solid boat ride heading into the next race in Washington state.  The damage that we did has been repaired and we are ready to race.”

–Dustin Echols, 2017 rookie-of-the-year, driver of the U-440 Bucket List Racing.


MADISON RECORD BOOK -  Rick Russell, CEO of Midwest Tube Mills, has offered a personal challenge to the H1 Unlimited hydroplane drivers. The driver who breaks the existing Madison Regatta qualifying course record and posts the highest speed will receive $5,000 personally from Russell. The record speed they will have to beat is 148.837 mph, set in 2012 by Dave Villwock driving the U-1 Spirit of Qatar. “I love competition, and I wanted to give an added bonus to the drivers on the H1 Unlimited hydroplane,” Russell said. “Hopefully this will provide an incentive and create more excitement for the fans.” Russell’s company is also the title sponsor of the 68th annual Indiana Governor’s Cup.


WHO DOESN’T LIKE AN UNDERDOG? – U-440 Bucket List Racing is the smallest boat in the field this weekend. Their engine is smaller and less powerful.  Their driver, Dustin Echols is a blue-collar diesel mechanic. The team name, Bucket List Racing, comes from the boat’s owners Sharon & Kelly Stocklin’s dream of owning a H1 Unlimited hydroplane.   Kelly had been on various crews for nearly four decades before they purchased the team.  He got hooked on hydroplanes after sneaking into pit row late at night as a kid. “I was in heaven when I got in.  I was sneaking around in awe of these magnificent race boats.  Then a group on men in coveralls, smoking cigars around their boat, spotted me.  They asked what I was doing in the pits so late?   Then one of them gave me an old stainless-steel Allison spark plug.”  The spark plug literally sparked Kelly’s interest in boat racing, and began his “spark plug collection.”  Turned out the man that gave Kelly the spark plug was none other than Indy car and hydroplane driver “Wild” Bill Cantrell whose name is immortalized on the Madison Regatta racecourse.  A Madison resident, Cantrell won the first Madison Regatta in 1954.  The bright orange race boat’s team has made great strides in keeping up with the big dogs this season.  The Stocklins now have two things off their “bucket list.” To own an H1 Unlimited hydroplane and to race on the racecourse named after the man that gave him that first spark plug.


SALMON AT THE RIVER THIS WEEKEND — Aaron Salmon, rookie driver of the CARSTAR powers Miss Rock needs to complete his driver’s qualifications. Two weekend’s ago in Guntersville, Ala. he completed nine of his required 15 lap non-competition laps, 10 of those laps above 130 mph.  Then he has to begin at least two preliminary-heats in the provision position before he is suited for the starting grid by the chief referee Doug Shelton.  A first-generation boat racer, Salmon began racing smaller outboard hydroplanes at the age of 15. With the help of his mom and dad, he built his first boat through the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum’s Junior Hydro Program, which allows kids from 9 to 16 years old an affordable way to enter hydroplane racing.  Fast-forward 11 years, Salmon is now the team’s 16th rookie driver since 1978. Like the early days at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum building his first boat, both his mom and dad are on the crew of the U-99.9 CARSTAR powers Miss Rock.  When not at the Kirkland, Washington boat shop, Salmon is employed in the engine department at Blue Origin, where he works on turbo machinery for the aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company.




Dave Villwock, U-1 Spirit of Qatar, 148.837 mph (2012)

Fastest Preliminary Heat Lap

Steve David, Oberto, 140.402 mph (2012)

Fastest Heat Average (3-laps)

Dave Villwock,  U-1 Spirit of Qatar, 137.607 mph (2012)

Fastest Final Lap

Steve David,  U-6 Oberto, 150.933 mph (2012)

Fastest Final Average (5-laps)

Dave Villwock,  U-1 Spirit of Qatar,  136.105 mph (2012)


HYDROPLANE BASICS - Today’s H1 Unlimited hydroplanes are powered by a single Lycoming T-55 L-7 turbine engine, which once powered military Chinook helicopters from as far back as the Vietnam War. The engine rotates a shaft that is hooked to a gearbox that transfers the power to the propeller shaft and the propeller, which is located at the rear of the boat. The large tail pipe in the back of the boat is only there to allow heat to exit the engine; no thrust is created out of the exhaust pipe. The boats have a wing at the rear of the hull that stabilizes and trims the boat as it skitters across the water’s surface. The wing can only be adjusted when the boat is in the pit area. Ideally, when a hydroplane is running at optimum speeds, only one of its three propeller blades, the rudder, and a skid fin should be touching the water. A second wing is located at the front between the two “pickle fork” noses of the boat. Called a canard, the wing is controlled by the driver inside the enclosed cockpit. The driver manipulates the canard with foot pedals as he tries to control the boat’s attitude in the turns, or when the water is rough or windy conditions persist.



2017  U-9 Delta/Realtrac, Andrew Tate (exhibition)

2016  U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, Jimmy Shane

2015  U-5 Graham Trucking, J. Michael Kelly (exhibition)

2014  U-5 Graham Trucking, J. Michael Kelly

2013  No contest due to poor water conditions 

2012  U-96 Spirit of Qatar, Dave Villowck

2011  U-1 Oberto, Steve David

2010  U-1 Oberto, Steve David

2009  U-16 Miss Elam Plus, Dave Villwock

2008  U-5 Formula Boats, Jeff Bernard




Friday, July 6, 2018

    8:00am– 11:00 am     H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Set-up

    1:00pm– 4:00pm        Open Tours in the Pit area     

    5:00pm – 12:00am     Music on the River, Bicentennial Park 

                                     (Central Ave./W. Vaughn Dr.)

    7:00pm                      Madison Regatta Parade (Main St.)


Saturday, July 7, 2018

    9:00am –  4:00pm     Pit Tours

    9:30am – 10:30am    H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Testing

    10:30am –10:45am   Opening Ceremonies 

    11:45am – 1:15pm    H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Qualifying

    2:15pm – 2:45pm      H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Preliminary Heat 1A

    2:45pm– 3:15pm       H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Preliminary Heat 1B

    3:00pm – 4:00pm      Driver’s Autograph Session (201 E. Vaughn Dr.)

    4:30pm – 5:00pm      Awards Ceremony at Judge’s Stand  


Sunday, July 8, 2018    

    9:00am –10:00am     H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Testing    

    10:45am –  11:00am Opening Ceremonies

    11:00am–11:30am    H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Heat 2A

    11:30am–12:00pm    H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Heat 2B

    12:00pm–2:30pm      Grand Prix World Heat 3A 

    12:30pm–1:00pm      Grand Prix World Heat 3B

    1:00pm–1:30pm        H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Heat 3A

    1:30pm–2:00pm        H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Heat 3B

    3:00pm – 4:00pm     Midwest Tube Mills Indiana Governor’s Cup Final

    4:30pm– 5:00pm      Awards at the Judge’s Stand (finish line)



June 22-24 • Southern Cup • Guntersville, Ala. • Guntersville Lake

July 6-8 • Midwest Tube Mills Indiana Governor’s Cup • Madison, Ind. • Ohio River

July 27-29 • HAPO Columbia Cup • Kennewick, Wash. • Columbia River

August 3-5 • Albert Lee Appliance Cup • Seattle • Lake Washington

August 24-26 • Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers’ A.P.B.A. Gold Cup • Detroit • Detroit River

September 14-16 • HomeStreet Bank Bill Muncey Cup • San Diego • Mission Bay

YouTube videos available at H1 Unlimited channel