VIDEO: ABRA Awards Ceremony and Meetings

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ABRA Awards: National High Points Driver, Team

National High Points Championship - Driver
Steve David, U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison

"In 41 years of boat racing, I never competed against a higher caliber of racing colleagues. I'm honored to race with you guys," said U-6 driver Steve David. "Driving for Madison reminds me we need to honor our past, be thankful for what we presently have, and be hopeful for the future."

"You can't win the National Driver's championship without a great crew."

David said he's 55 now and "I don't think I've got maybe more than 40 or 50 years of driving left."

National High Points Championship - Team
U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison

Mike King: "It only takes 47 years to become an overnight sensation."

"It's been a wonderful ride," said U-6's Charlie Grooms. "We look forward to next year."

"Thanks to the Obertos," Grooms said. "We've had a lot of sponsors in the history of Miss Madison, but none of the family values and family attitude of the Obertos. Let's have fun." Grooms announced they have signed their contract for 2009.
"We love racing against all of you," said Larry Oberto. "Can't wait for next year."

ABRA Awards: Crew Chief, Rookie of the Year

Crew Chief of the Year:
Mike Hanson, U-6

Rookie of the Year:
Kip Brown, U-17

ABRA Awards: Race Site, Owner, Crew of the Year

Chairman's Award:
Fred Leland

Race Site of the Year:
Tri-City Water Follies

Owner of the Year:
Greg O'Farrell, U48 & U-50

First full year with the U-50 Navy boat and they made the championship heat in every event.

Crew of the Year:, Ted Porter (Owner) Mark Hooton (Crew Chief)

Awards of Excellence

Award of Excellence:
Art Oberto

Fans Choice Award:
Gregory Family, on behalf of Kim Gregory

Official of the Year Award:
Wes and Diane Patton, Seattle

Mike King: This is important

It's the only sport that gives something back to everyone, said ABRA awards ceremony host Mike King. The advances in technology that are made on behalf of race teams in auto racing and boat racing create a safer environment for everyone.

"Football gives us nothing. Baseball gives us nothing. Hockey gives us nothing. It's great entertainment," said host Mike King. "This is important. Racing matters in this world."

ABRA Awards - Marketing, Special Contributions,

Marketing Excellence Awards

  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Oh Boy! Oberto, Larry Oberto
  • US Navy
  • Lamb Weston
  • Chrysler Jeep
  • San Diego Union-Tribune
  • Chevrolet

Special Contributions to the Sport Awards

  • Billy and Jane Scumacher
  • Dave Bartush
  • Jim Simpson

Outstanding Contributions to the Sport Awards

  • Race Marketing Partners, Ken Muscatel
  • Boeing

"The Boeing Company has stepped up in a huge way," said Dr. Ken Muscatel. "It's more than just money. You love the boat, you love the sport. They're very committed. The Bio-Jet A is a big initiative for Boeing. They're going to be with us for a long, long time."

Mayor of Madison gives key to Steve David, Sam Cole

Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong handed over keys to the city to U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison driver Steve David for the National Championship win and for being a "great ambassador for the city of Madison."

Sam Cole (pictured right) was also honored by Mayor Armstrong for his committment to the sport and to the city of Madison.

Live Blogging the 2008 ABRA Awards - First set of awards

Season Newspaper Coverage:
Madison Courier

Race Event Newspaper Coverage:
Seattle Times

Season Radio Coverage:
WORX Radio, Madison

Race Event Radio Coverage:
KONA Radio, Tri-Cities, WA

Season Television Coverage:
KNDU-TV, Tri-Cities, WA

Television Production/Live Race Day Coverage:
KIRO-TV. Seattle, WA

Magazine Coverage:
Powerboat Magazine

Best Magazine Article:
H20 Full Throttle, Bill Osbourne

Best Internet Website:

Best Team Website:
U-3 Racing, Kirk Duncan

Best Race Website:
DDRA Detroit

Sports Writer of the Year:
Gordon Englehardt, Evansville Courier-Press

Reaction to new starting procedures

ABRA announced it will used assigned lanes for 2009.

Read details >>

Ken Muscatel: "Some of these trolling starts have been perceived as a problem. Going back to procedures we used in the past might be a little more positive and even more competitive."

ABRA Growth Plan

ABRA's Sam Cole: "Within five years, (we'd like to be) adding 5 or 6 events in North America and 5 or 6 abroad."

ABRA announces Chief Referee for 2009

"No layoffs at ABRA," said Sam Cole. There's still a staff of one. Sam was re-affirmed as Chairman of ABRA with Ken Muscatel as Asst. Chairman. "He declined," joked Sam, "but then accepted."

Mike Noonan was retained as Chief Referee. Cole also said they expect referees to do "a better job of calling thigns in black and white.”

ABRA aligned with APBA/UIM

"We have voted today to create a new allegiance with APBA," said Sam Cole. They are still working out details. "We would not be a class or category within APBA, but will be aligned with them which will allow us to qualify for the UIM designation."

ABRA: One minute clock, Fuel Flow changes

ABRA has announced it will keep the one minute clock for 2009. They are also reducing fuel flow from 4.3 to 4.1 to help exgtend the life of equipment. No change to the N2.

ABRA: New starting procedures

ABRA announces new starting procedures. For 2009, lanes will be assigned for heats. In heat 1A and 1B, final qualifying order will determine the first choice of lanes. “We'll do the draw at each race,” said ABRA's Sam Cole. “The top qualifier will have first choice of lane assignment, the second will get the next pick, etc.”

In Heat 2A and 2B, lane assignments will be based on reverse order from finish in the first set of heats. In other words, the winner of Heat 1A or 1B will pick last in Heat 2A or 2B.
In Heat 3A and 3B, choices will be based on points earned in the first two heats with final qualifying order determining ties.

PHOTOS: Madison celebrates U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison championship

PHOTOS: James Crisp

Tony Steinhardt, right, listens while Charlie Grooms holds his phone to the mic allowing Bob Hughes to speak to the 200 people attending the party which celebrated the Oberto/Madison championship. Hughes, calling from Florida, expressed his desire to be there with the crowd which included members of several race teams, ABRA officials and many current and past Miss Madison/ Oh Boy! Oberto crew members.

Driver Steve David firmly held the Championship trophy. David spoke to the crowd about racing and his love for the city of Madison. Always a crowd favorite, David signed autographs and posed for photos for those in attendance.

Current Oberto crew chief Mike Hanson, center, spoke to the gathered crowd about his crew and introduced all those on hand.