Big thanks to the HydroInsider.com team

My personal thanks to Joe McCord, Kirk Duncan, Mike Fetscher, and Ben Burchfield for another incredible effort reporting on Unlimited Hydroplane racing from Madison, despite being nearly crippled by the power and internet issues in the pits.

In the past three days, the five of us have posted more than 130 stories from Madison, countless photos and seven videos... with more to come! And a special thanks to Bruce Madej for lending Joe a wireless card so he could keep blogging when the internet went down.

Thanks guys! It's folks like you that are helping grow the fan base.

Paul Dughi

Sunday Photos

Check out Craig Barney's Unlimiteds.net site for Sunday photos from Madison. He's posted some with a promise to add more later...

Go to Unlimiteds.net's 2008 Madison photos >>

Complete list of Madison Videos

Madison Videos posted as of Sunday night:
Videos courtesy ABRA, ABRAHydroplanes.com & HydroInsider.com

FINALS - Music Mix

FormulaBoats.com team celebrates win

Dash for Cash

Jean Theoret Interview

Brian Perkins Interview

Steve David Interview

Jeff Bernard Interview after win as celebration breaks out

Debris on the Water

Heat 1A

PHOTO: Bernard holds up trophy

We assume the trophy is staying in Madison this year...

VIDEO: Jeff Bernard Interview, more celebration

"I just can't believe this. Never in a million years did I think this would ever happen," said (U-5 FormulaBoats.com driver Jeff) Bernard, fighting back tears..."
ASSOCIATED PRESS

"We've got a boat that can finally run over rough water," Bernard said.
ABRAHYDROPLANES.COM

VIDEO: Here's what Bernard told Jeff Ayler before the celebration broke out.

video

Jeff Bernard: "Never in a million years..."

ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORT

Jeff Bernard won the Indiana Governor's Cup hydroplane race on the Ohio River on Sunday, outmaneuvering Steve David for his first career victory.

The victory made the 23-year-old driver from Kent, Wash., one of the youngest winners in the history of hydroplane racing. He piloted the Formulaboats.com of Decatur, Ind.
Working with teammate Mike Allen, Bernard stole the inside lane from David and the Madison-based Oh Boy! Oberto at the start and held on.

"I just can't believe this. Never in a million years did I think this would ever happen," said Bernard, fighting back tears.

More from Seattle PI >>

VIDEO: Finals at Madison Mix

The start, finish and celebration for the U-5 FormulaBoats.com team!

video

VIDEO: Sights and Sounds of the Madison Regatta

Madison Courier Staff photographer Ken Ritchie spent some time watching the fans after the races on Saturday evening and captured the sights and sounds of the nightlife on Vaughn Drive. (c) 2008 The Madison Courier

VIDEO: FormulaBoats.com team celebrates win

The suds are flying on the award stand.

video

Indiana Governor

"Sam (Cole) gave us an assignment for next year. We'll talk to whoever runs that damn dam," said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, referring to the release of water from the dam Sunday morning that caused water levels to rise 4 feet at the race site and let loose debris and logs.


"We probably wiped out $150,000 worth of gear this weekend," said ABRA's Sam Cole.
PHOTO: The Governor with Steve David, Larry Oberto

Final, Official Results

FINAL RESULTS - Official

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com - Jeff Bernard
  2. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison - Steve David
  3. U-7 FormulaBoats.com - Mike Allen
  4. U-37 Beacon Plumbing - Jean Theoret
    STARTED AS TRAILER
  5. U-50 Spirit of the Navy - Brian Perkins
  6. U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp
    STARTED AS TRAILER

Mike Allen U-7 moved to third place

It's official. The call was reversed and Mike Allen moves up to third.

Photos by Jim Simpson


Call against Mike Allen

Jeff Bernard just said the call against Mike Allen has been reversed, giving the U-7 a third place finish... stay tuned...

Final Madison Regatta Release by Donovan Estridge

Bernard Surprises Hometown Favorite For First Unlimited Hydroplane Win

MADISON, IND., --- Twenty-three-year-old Jeff Bernard out maneuvered salty veteran Steve David to claim the young driver's first ever victory Sunday at the 58th Indiana Governor's Cup in Madison, Ind., and end David's quest to bring the City of Madison its first victory since 2003.

"I want to say sorry to the fans that their boat didn't win," Bernard of Kent, Wash., said following his surprising victory. "But I want to remind everyone this is an Indiana boat as well." Bernard's U-5 Formulaboats.com is based out of Decatur, Ind., located on Indiana's northeast corner.

Before the young driver claimed victory, he managed to unseat the perennial favorite U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto driven by David, the Lighthouse Point, Fla., native. In the second lap of the five heat winner-take-all race, Bernard edged past David to claim the lead. After that move, David could do little to catch the streaking red boat.

Bernard's teammate and former national champion Mike Allen (New Orleans, La.) piloted the U-7 Formulaboats.com to a third place finish.

As Bernard was fending off the hard-charging David, he also contended with rough waters caused by heavy debris in the Ohio River. Throughout the day Sunday, the Unlimited Hydroplane fleet was whittled away by the debris. Despite the obvious hurdles, Bernard managed to be standing by day's end.

"We've got a boat that can finally run over rough water," Bernard said.

While Bernard and his team managed to beat the debris, other drivers had a much different outlook.

"It is the equivalent of throwing marbles on the Indy 500 track," David said earlier in the day. "this was rough day for everyone."

Earlier in the day, the U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals driven by David Bryant of Mesa, Ariz., voluntarily withdrew from the field due to the debris.

"We are hearing about solid wood from one end to another on the river," Kim Gregory, owner of the U-10 said following the withdrawal. "We have already lost a rudder. I want to go to the Gold Cup." The 100th running of the coveted American Power Boat Association Gold Cup will be run next week in Detroit.

RESULTS INDIANA GOVERNOR'S CUP

1-U-5 Formulaboats.com, Jeff Bernard (Kent, Wash.)

2-U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David (Lighthouse Pt., Fla)

3-U-7 Fomrulaboats.com, Mike Allen (new Orleans, La.)

4-U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing, Jean Theoret (Maple Grove, Que.)

5-U-50 Spirit of the Navy, Brian Perkins (Kent, Wash.)

6-U-100 Mirageboats.com, Greg Hopp (Snohomish, Wash.)

Governor's Cup Unofficial Final Results

FINAL RESULTS - UNOFFICIAL

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com - Jeff Bernard
  2. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison - Steve David
  3. U-37 Beacon Plumbing - Jean Theoret
    STARTED AS TRAILER
  4. U-50 Spirit of the Navy - Brian Perkins
  5. U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp
    STARTED AS TRAILER
  6. U-7 FormulaBoats.com - Mike Allen
    HAD TO RUN AN EXTRA LAP

Indiana Governors Cup Final

The 58th running of the Indiana Governors Cup in Madison, Indiana is best described as a survival of the river race. Debris, high water and controversial tactics in driving created one of the most interesting race in recent history. Nine teams started the weekend and six made it to the big dance.

The U6 Oh Boy! Oberto, the community owned boat driven by Steve David from Lighthouse, Florida, took top honors as the fastest qualifier for the weekend. Then Sunday morning we had debris from the Kentucky River, about 12 miles up river from Madison, in Carrollton, Kentucky, flood the course. Heat racing was delayed by three hours as the course was cleaned and the racing water was given a go ahead by American Boat Racing Officials.

Racing in the final it was:

Front Line:

U7 formulaboats.com Mike Allen
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins
U5 formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David *Fastest Qualifier*

Trailer

U37 Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret
U100 mirageboats.com Greg Hopp

The race before the race, scoring up, proved to be an even more exciting time as the U6 Oberto was the first boat on the Wild Bill Cantrell Race Course. A NASCAR style racing move from the U7 and U5 pushing the Oberto out to lane 3 as they came down the backstretch and at the start it was Jeff Bernard taking it all the way to victory as the youngster wins his first ever Unlimited Hydroplane race! Oberto takes second place Mike Allen takes third. Forth went to Beacon Plumbing fifth to Brian Perkins and sixth place went to Greg Hopp.

Official Line up for Madison Regatta

Front Line:

U7 formulaboats.com Mike Allen
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins
U5 formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David

Trailer

U37 Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret
U100 mirageboats.com Greg Hopp

Final (possible starters)

Possible front line for the final

U7 formulaboats.com Mike Allen
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins
U5 formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David

Possible Trailers

U37 Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret
U100 mirageboats.com Greg Hopp

3A/3B Cancelled

Just received word, from ABRA officials, that heats 3A and 3B has been canceled. The final will have four boats on the front line and two trailers. Racing must be completed by 6pm local time.

Heat 2B Official Results

Heat 2B Results

  1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison - Steve David
  2. U-7 FormulaBoats.com - Mike Allen
  3. U-37 Beacon Plumbing - Jean Theoret

2B

Heat 2B was a three boat heat as the U3 decided to not run in this heat. Ed Cooper has not withdrawn, however they are sitting it out due to mechanical issues. The U6 Oh Boy! Oberto, the U7 formulaboats.com and the U37 Beacon Plumbing, the older generation of racers here on the circuit, gave us one very hot heat.

Scoring up it was Theoret looping the course in the middle to try and take the first lane. Coming close to the U6 Oberto as he did it one more time. Lane one Beacon, two Oberto,and Allen in three. Theoret was over and had to cross over again . That allowed David to take what ever lane he wanted.

David took one Allen two. both boats running hard up the back stretch taking a five boat lead as Theoret is about 3/4 of a lap behind. David crosses SF line about 1/4 of a lap down. Oberto stretches it out running in clean water as Allen falls back further. Theoret not even in this race after that start. David first in lap two Allen second and Theoret a distant third. Crossing the finish line first it was Steve David taking first place honors as Mike Allen takes second and Jean Theoret a distant third.

Heat 2A Official Results

Heat 2A Results

  1. U-5 Formulaboats.com - Jeff Bernard
  2. U-50 Spirit of the Navy - Brian Perkins

    U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp
    DNS

    U-10 Ahern Rentals - David Bryant
    DNS/WITHDREW

VIDEO: Madison Heat 1A

Courtesy ABRA & HydroInsider.com

video

Heat 2A

Once again we restarted the count and the boats made it to the water as Unlimited Heat 2A was ran after delays. Kim Gregory, owner of the U10 Ahern Rentals, made the difficult decision to with draw his boat after sustaining damage to the rudder in an earlier heat. This meant a two boat heat as the U5 formulaboats.com, the U50 Spirit of the Navy answered the call.

Scoring up in lane one it was formulaboats.com and lane two it was Brian Perkins. These are the two youngest drivers on the circuit. Good start for both drivers as they run deck to deck up the back stretch pulling Bernard. Into turn two they are side by side as they come down the IN shoreline Perkins drags him by half a sponson. U5 takes the lead up the back stretch and slowed a little as he hit a hole. Perkins takes the lead again as the exit the turn. Lap two it was dead even, through the turn they were deck to deck again in this shoot out style race. Final turn, coming down the front stretch, Perkins pushing Bernard hard as they cross the finish line Bernard pulls just ahead to take first, and Brian Perkins second.

U10 Ahern Rentals Withdraws

Kim Gregory, owner of the U10 Ahern Rentals informed the ABRA that they are withdrawing due to wood in the water. Gregory made this comment minutes before the start of the race.

After sustaining damage to the boat in an earlier heat, Gregory made the decision to withdraw. They had put the boat in the water prior to the heat, but pulled it back off.

U6 Oh Boy! Oberto meets the Governor of Indiana


Steve David driver, and Larry Oberto sponsor of the community owned U6 Oh Boy! Oberto, meet the governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels.

Heat 2A

Accolades to the U10 Ahern Rentals team as they repaired a rudder, damaged from the earlier heat, and got the boat into the water for their next heat. With the start issues from the earlier heat the U5, U10, U50 and the U100 all answered the call for the heat.

A five minute delay just as we were approaching the five minute gun. Debris in the water just in front of the pit docks.

Then just as they were going to the five to the five again yet another delay. This is also do to debris in the water.

We will be back.

U10 damage

Just heard that the U10 Ahern rentals had some rudder damage. They are at this moment changing it out.

Exit pin rule causes confusion

With debris on the river, there was not much chance for drivers to get their boats out on the water and do timing runs. "It's left a lot of people confused out there," said Steve David, U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver.

In Heat 1B, David Bryant in the U-10 Ahern Rentals timed it perfectly. But he was the only one. "We hit the start," Bryant told WORX. "Nobody else did. We hit our marks and everybody else was a little off."

Being a "little off" meant all Bryant had to do was take the boat on a nice 3-lap run, hold it together, and he had an easy win.

The new rules, and the delays, affected the U-37 Beacon Plumbing team. Jean Theoret hit the exit pin early in Heat 1B and had to circle back through the infield.

"It left everybody confused. I was pretty late with the start," said U-50 Spirit of the Navy driver Brian Perkins.

Read the rest of the article on HydroInsider.com >>

U3 Update

Jimmy King decided to return to the dock do to a loss of engine oil pressure. According to the U3 team.

Heat 2A

Heat 2A

U5 formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
U10 Miss Ahern Rentals David Bryant
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins
U100 mirageboats.com Greg Hopp

5 to the 5 at 3:00pm EDT

Heat 1B Official Results

Heat 1B Results

  1. U-10 Ahern Rentals - David Bryant
  2. U-50 Spirit of the Navy - Brian Perkins
  3. U-37 Beacon Plumbing - Jean Theoret

    DNF. U-3 Master Tire - Jimmy King

Live Stream Update

If you were watching the Max and Jax live stream and saw it go down, you can switch to WORX to hear audio >>

Heat 1A Official Results

Heat 1A Results

  1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison - Steve David
  2. U-5 Formulaboats.com - Jeff Bernard
  3. U-7 Formulaboats.com - Mike Allen
  4. U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp

Heat 1B

Heat 1B

U3 Miss Chrysler Jeep Jimmy King
U10 Miss Ahern Rentals David Bryant
U37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins

Rookie driver Brian Perkins in the U50 Spirit of the Navy took on two veterans, Jimmy King in the U3, and Jean Theoret in the U37, David Bryant, driving Kim Gregory's U10 Ahern Rentals rounded out the field.

First out on the course was the only piston powered boat in the fleet the U3 Chrysler Jeep driven by Jimmy King. Followed by the U50 Spirit of the Navy driven by Brian Perkins. Scoring up for the start of the heat it was the mayhem, this being that U37 cut the course up the back stretch and came back to the front stretch. Jimmy King was way off the mark, so it was David Bryant leading Brian Perkins across the start line. Bryant running in first at the end of lap one followed by Brian Perkins in the U50. Then Jean Theoret in third. Jimmy King had something let go in the engine compartment and came back into the dock. Bryant on his second lap still in first with Perkins way back almost a half a lap down in second. Theoret way off the pace after the unusual start. Bryant slowed dramatically in the second turn as he came down to the finish line. Perkins came in second. Theoret Third.

Here we go racing!

With the Internet down for the rest of the day, we want to thank Bruce Madje ABRA Media relations for the use of his air card.

The first heat was reset about three hours late, as debris from the Kentucky River locks were released this morning and floated down the river and into the Ohio River. Officials and owners went out several times to assess the situation as they want to be sure there will be no damage to their boats.

Heat 1A

U6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David
U100 mirageboats .com Greg Hopp
U7 formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
U5 formulaboats.com Mike Allen


Heat 1B

U3 Miss Chrysler Jeep Jimmy King
U10 Miss Ahern Rentals David Bryant
U37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins

Heat 2A

U5 formulaboats.com Mike Allen
U10 Miss Ahern Rentals David Bryant
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins
U100 mirageboats.com Greg Hopp

Heat 2B

U3 Miss Chrysler Jeep Jimmy King
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David
U7 formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
U37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret

Heat 3A

U5 formulaboats.com Mike Allen
U7 formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard
U37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret
U100 mirageboats.com Greg Hopp

Heat 3B

U3 Miss Chrysler Jeep Jimmy King
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David
U10 Miss Ahern Rentals David Bryant
U50 Spirit of the Navy Brian Perkins

With the delays, the teams were anxious to go racing as drivers and crews waited patiently for the countdown. The first heat featured the fastest qualifier, Steve David in the U6 Oh Boy! Oberto, owned by the 13,000 citizens of Madison, Indiana. Also, both (a double whammy) of the formulaboats.com, the U5 and the U7 owned by Ted Porter, and rounding out the field was the Fred Leland owned boat, the U100 mirageboats.com. This was the first time that the hometown boat was the fastest qualifier for the Indiana Governors cup.

Madison’s' mayor, Tim Armstrong was the honorary flag person for the first heat. As the countdown work its way down, the first boat on the water was the hometown enter Oh Boy! Oberto.

Water conditions were very good for the first heat as the boats lined up for the start. It was the U6 taking the lane 1 U5 lane 2 lane 3 it was the u7 and on the outside it was the U100. Steve David right before the start went through the U5 rooster tail.Bernard went to lane 1.

Coming down to the start of the race it was a legal start as Jeff Bernard came across the line first with David in pursuit. Up the back stretch Oberto takes the lead as they pull up the KY side of the course. David holding Bernard close to the pins as he comes through the start of the heat as they crossed the start finish line it was Oberto with a 6 boat lead. stretching it out to over a half a lap lead. Third was U7 with Mike Allen driving mirageboats.com was fourth. Settling in with a comfortable lead, David took the checkered flag as he cruised to an easy victory. Second to Jeff Bernard. Third to U7 driven by Mike Allen and U100 mirageboats.com fourth.

Racing scheduled for 1:55pm Madison time

Racing now scheduled for 1:55pm Madison time.

U-25 update

"We came here to race, not to sit," said Ken Muscatel, U-25 Jarvis Fire and Water Repair on WORX radio. But it wasn't in the cards.

Muscatel said the boat was floating pretty well and they had picked up speed at Evansville. "About 8 mph from last year, so we know we did something right." So the team had reason to be optimistic.

"We had a really big bust up in Evansville," said Muscatel. They took the week between races to patch the boat back together. They brought the boat to Madison and got it out on the water. "We weren't really trying to qualify, just a shake down trip," he said. But then things went bad.

"The wings had shaken loose," said Muscatel. "The V brace bent like a pretzel. The pad holding the wings was cracked." The crew worked until late into to night on Saturday, but it was determined the boat couldn't run without risking serious - and dangerous - consequences.

If the team could run it with more than 50% chance of it holding together, Muscatel said, they would have raced. "We didn't come 2500 miles to sit on the beach."

River conditions improving

"The river looks a hundred times better than it did at 9 o'clock."
TIM TORRANCE on WORX

Tough course at Madison

"It's easier to pass in the turns. It's almost impossible for pass in the straightaways."
- STEVE DAVID talking about the Madison race course

"You need both acceleration and top speed because of the small corners."
- JEAN THEORET talking about why drivers are pushing the N2 limits

"You come out here and the river's kind of narrow, and you've got the bridge, and - no way, they don't run boats out here. Sure enough, they do. It's pretty crazy."
- BRIAN PERKINS on his first impressions of the Madison course


"You're fighting the fastest boats in the world, the best drivers, and the river. It's kind of like a blind date. Until you have it, you don't know what you've got."
- STEVE DAVID on the river at Madison
PHOTO: Jim Simpson

Welcome Dubai!

Within the last 15 minutes on the LIVE BLOG, we've had visitors from Dubai, Australia, Arizona, Illinois, Idaho, Washington, California, Michigan, Indiana, Oregon, Maine, Nevada, Kentucky, Alaska, and British Columbia....

So far this weekend, we've had visitors from 28 states and 8 countries.

VIDEO: Jean Theoret Interview

Courtesy ABRA & HydroInsider.com
video

VIDEO: Brian Perkins interview

Courtesy ABRA and HydroInsider.com
video
Brian Perkins talks about the unique history of Madison - not just boat racing...

VIDEO: Steve David interview

Courtesy ABRA & HydroInsider.com
video

Sunday photos

Less than ideal conditions greeted the teams Sunday morning as the water rose 4 feet, covering up some things. PHOTOS - Jim Simpson




PHOTOS: Logs on the river



More from HydroInsider.com, including archive stories from past encounters with logs at Madison >>

VIDEO: High water = some debris

Video of the Sunday morning river conditions. The hold on the river was due to... logs rolling by.

Video courtesy ABRA and HydroInsider.com



video

ABRA and HydroInsider.com interviews

ABRA and HydroInsider.com are working together this year on videos from each race site. You can interviews with drivers Steve David, Jean Theoret and Brian Perkins on the ABRA website >>

Live Stream is now available

Max and Jax are doing the live video stream this year using the WORX play-by-play for race action. You can watch at HydroInsider.com >>

VIDEO: Saturday action

"Oh no, there's five of us that are within literally a whisker of each other," (Steve) David said. "We're the top qualifier, but only by half a mile an hour. We're as good as anyone out there. It's going to be a combination of water conditions and driving skills to win this thing."
LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL

VIDEO from the Lousiville Courier-Journal from Saturday's action on the water >>

Saturday Photos

Craig Barney has photos from Saturday's action >>

Heat Draws

MADISON REGATTA INDIANA GOVERNOR'S CUP
Heat draws

Heat 1A

* U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison
* U-5 Formulaboats.com
* U-7 Formulaboats.com
* U-100 Mirageboats.com

Heat 1B

* U-37 Beacon Plumbing
* U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals
* U-50 Spirit of the NAVY
* U-3 Miss Chrysler Jeep

Heat 2A

* U-5 Formulaboats.com
* U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals
* U-50 Spirit of the NAVY
* U-100 Mirageboats.com

Heat 2B

* U-37 Beacon Plumbing
* U-7 Formulaboats.com
* U-3 Miss Chrysler Jeep
* U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto

Heat 3A

* U-37 Beacon Plumbing
* U-5 Formulaboats.com
* U-7 Formulaboats.com
* U-100 Mirageboats.com

Heat 3B

* U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto
* U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals
* U-50 Spirit of the NAVY
* U-3 Miss Chrysler Jeep

Update

We are currently under a holding pattern until they reset the buoys for the race course. We have had a new draw for the heats and the U25 has withdrawn from racing today do to damage to their transom.

Water Conditions

The morning water conditions are less than desirable. The dam upriver released a large amount of debris and it is currently floating past the pit area here in Madison. The ABRA officials are monitoring the conditions and things should be good to go soon. There is no foreseeable reason that racing will be affected today. More updates as we find out.

Pictures





Indiana Governors Cup Sunday Morning.

Good morning race fans. A dense fog enshrouds the Wild Bill Cantrell Race course here in Madison, Indiana. Optimism that we can get started on time is widely speculated. Officials are patiently waiting for the fog to lift. The race teams are working on their respective boats.