2008 Madison Regatta

Bernard surprises hometown favorite
for his first Unlimited win

Oh Boy! Oberto places second in close finish

Staff Report

(July 6, 2008) – Twenty-three-year-old Jeff Bernard out maneuvered salty veteran Steve David to claim the young driver’s first ever victory July 6 at the 58th Indiana Governor’s Cup Madison Regatta and end David’s quest to bring the City of Madison its first victory since 2003.

2008 Governor's Cup Regatta Winners

Photo by Don Ward

On July, 6, Indiana Gov. Mitch
McDaniels presented the Indiana
Governor’s Cup Madison Regatta
trophy to the victory, Jeff Bernard,
who piloted the U-5 Formulaboats.com.

“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.”
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels attended the event and presented Bernard with the victory trophy. Daniels is only the third sitting governor to attend the Regatta awards ceremony in its long history.
Bernard’s U-5 Formulaboats.com is based out of Decatur, Ind., located on Indiana’s northeast corner. The U-3 Cooper’s Motorsports of Evansville represents a third Indiana-based team competing in the national Unlimited circuit, sanctioned by the American Boat Racing Association.
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 of New Orleans piloted the U-7 Formulaboats.com to a third-place finish.

2008 Madison Regatta
Final results
July 6 at Madison, Ind.

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)
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.)

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, 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 was held the following week in Detroit.

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