Unlimiteds Season Preview

2011 season poses
interesting challenges
for a strong field

David, Villwock return
as drivers to beat after stellar year

By Fred Farley
Special to RoundAbout

2011 Regatta Logo

2011 Lucas Oil
Madison Regatta
Race Schedule

Friday, July 1:
8 a.m.: Course Set-Up
9:30 a.m: Opening Ceremonies
10 a.m - 4 p.m.:
Pit Tours
10 a.m. - noon: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
Noon-1 p.m.: River open
1-2 p.m.: P1 USA Superstock Series
2:30-4:30 p.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane “Pole Position” Qualifying
4:30-5 p.m.: P1 USA Superstock Series
5:15 p.m.: Unlimited Qualifier Awards Ceremony
5 p.m.: River open

Saturday, July 2:
8 a.m.: Course Set-Up
8 a.m.: Drivers meeting
8:30-10:30 a.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Pit Tours
10:30-10:45 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies
10:45 - 11 a.m.: Air Show
11 a.m - noon: P1 USA Superstock Series
Noon-1 p.m.: River open
Noon-12:30 p.m.: Unlimited Drivers’ Autograph
Session No. 1 along Vaughn Drive
1 p.m.: River closes
1:15 p.m.: Heat 1A
1:45 p.m.: Heat 1B
2:15 p.m.: Heat 1C
2:30 - 4 p.m.: P1 USA Superstock Series
3-4 p.m.: Pit Tours
4-5 p.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
5 p.m.: River open
9 p.m.: River closes
9:30 p.m.: Twilight Air Show
10 p.m.: American Legion Post 9 Fireworks Show

Sunday, July 3:
8 a.m.: Course Set-Up
8-9 a.m.: Unlimited Hydroplane Testing
9-9:30 a.m.: Chapel Service
9:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies
10-10:20 a.m.: Air show
10:50 a.m.: Heat 2A
11:10 a.m. Heat 2C
11:30 a.m.: River open
11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Unlimited Drivers’ Autograph Session No. 2
12:30 p.m.: River closes
12:30-1 p.m.: P1 USA Superstock Series
1:20 p.m.: Heat 3A
1:40 p.m.: Heat 3B
2 p.m.: Heat 3C
2:40 p.m.: P1 USA Superstock Series Final
3 p.m.: Provisional Heat
(if needed)
3:50-4:10 p.m.: Air Show
4:20 p.m.: Lucas Oil Indiana Governor’s Cup Unlimited Final Race
5:30 p.m.: Unlimited Awards Presentation behind the Judges Stand

Madison Regatta 2010 Results
1. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison, (Steve David)
2. U-7 Graham Trucking (J. Michael Kelly)
3. U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus (Dave Villwock)
4. U-37 Miss Peters & May (J.W. Myers)
5. U-21 Miss Albert Lee Appliances (Brian Perkins)
6. U-96 Spirit of Qatar (Dave Villwock)
7. U-22 Miss Broadway (Mike Webster)

• Unlimiteds race information: www.H1unlimited.com

(July 2011) – If the results of last season are any indication, the 2011 Madison Regatta shapes up as an exciting event with plenty of competitive action for the fans.
A fleet of 12 Unlimited hydroplanes will converge on Madison, Ind., this Fourth of July weekend for the 61st running of the Indiana Governor’s Cup, sponsored for the second year by Lucas Oil.
The two teams that garnered most of the glory last year are expected to pick up where they left off on the H1 Unlimited hydroplane tour, sponsored nationwide by the Air National Guard. The community-owned Oh Boy Oberto-Miss Madison (U-1) and driver Steve David took first-place at Madison, the Tri-Cities and Seattle in 2010. The Ellstrom family’s Spirit of Qatar (U-96) and pilot Dave Villwock claimed victory at Detroit, San Diego and Doha, Qatar.
When the roostertails subsided after the last race of the season at Doha, the Oh Boy! Oberto had 9,444 accumulated National High Points, compared to 9,053 for Spirit of Qatar. This entitled the Oberto to carry the coveted U-1 designation throughout 2011 to indicate the team’s status as defending National Champion – for the third consecutive year. 
David and Villwock are the two winningest active drivers in the APBA Unlimited Class. David has been High Point Champion Driver in five of the last six years. Villwock is on the threshold of becoming the most victorious Unlimited driver of them all with 62 race wins between 1992 and 2010. Dave is currently tied with the late Bill Muncey who likewise won 62 races between 1956 and 1981.
Clearly, David and Villwock will take a lot of dethroning. But in boat racing, nothing can be taken for granted. And there are several top-notch teams that are bound to make things interesting in 2011.
Owner Ted Porter plans to bring not one but three boats to Madison. These are the Graham Trucking (U-5), the FormulaBoats.
com (U-7), and the FormulaBoats.com II (U-57). The U-5 and the U-57 will be driven by veterans Jeff Bernard and Mark Evans, respectively. Bernard won the Madison Regatta in 2008; Evans won it in 1991. The U-7 will be handled by rookie Scott Liddycoat, who has made quite a name for himself in the APBA Limited Inboard category.
In addition to Liddycoat, Porter will also be introducing another new member of his team. She is Bianca Bononcini, a part of Porter’s recently announced driver-development program. Bononcini will be mentored by Evans in 2011. Bianca will test and attempt to qualify in the U-57 at races this summer.
J. Michael Kelly, who placed second at last year’s Madison Regatta with Ted Porter’s team, has transferred to the Billy Schumacher organization for 2011. The boat is brand new and replaces a previous Schumacher hull that was destroyed in a crash at Detroit in 2010. Sponsored by Degree Men, the new hull is the only hydroplane in the fleet that will not use the letter “U” in its registration number. Rather, it will be designated as simply the “88” in order to fit the sponsoring company’s corporate image. Kelly won the Oryx Cup-UIM World Championship at Qatar in 2009 driving Porter’s U-7.
Brian Perkins, another of the sport’s “young guns,” will return to Madison as pilot of the Go Fast-Turn Left racing team’s Miss Lakeridge Paving (U-21), which is a hull copy of the Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison. Perkins, a graduate of the Unlimited Light Class hydroplane wars, guided the U-21 to third-place in the Albert Lee Cup on Seattle’s Lake Washington in 2010.
When the Great Scott! Presents Broadway Tavern (U-22) hydroplane rolls into town, Madison fans will notice something familiar. That’s because the U-22 is the former 1988 vintage Miss Madison. Purchased last winter by Mike Webster of Reading, Pa., the boat last raced as Miss M in 2006. The family-owned Webster team is now in its third season of Unlimited racing.
Former Miss Madison pilot Nate Brown will be back in town in the hope of repeating his 2002 Madison success when he won the Indiana Governor’s Cup as driver of Miss E-Lam Plus. Brown now owns his own boat, which he also built. That is the Miss Red Dot (U-17), which his nephew, Kip Brown, primarily drives.
What would a Madison race be without an entry from the Leland Unlimited (U-100) camp? Fred Leland and his driver, Greg Hopp, will be back for another try in 2011. Mechanical difficulties prevented the turbine-powered U-100 from starting in last year’s Madison Regatta. But the team bounced back a week later to take a solid fourth at the Gold Cup in Detroit. Owner Leland has for several years been tinkering with an experimental automotive-powered project, which he may or may not bring to a race one of these days.

Miss Madison Racing

Photo by Joe Saba/RoundAbout

Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto
raced to a Governor’s Cup victory
last year, beating out competitors
like J. Michael Kelly in the U-7
Graham Racing boat.

This past offseason saw a parting of the ways in the Billy Schumacher Racing Team. Crew Chief Scott Raney and driver J.W. Myers left to form their own organization and acquired the hull and equipment inventory of Ken Muscatel’s Superior Racing (U-25) team. Raney and Myers will campaign as the Miss Peters & May (U-11), sponsored by Peters & May USA, the well-known global marine logistics firm.
You can’t keep a good man down. Not even experimental heart surgery this past winter could prevent Dr. Ken Muscatel, “the world’s fastest forensic psychologist,” from doing what he enjoys best in the cockpit of an Unlimited hydroplane. Despite selling his boat and equipment after 2010 to the newly formed U-11 team, Muscatel turned around and leased the former U-48 hull from the U-21 team. Madison is one of Muscatel’s favorite race sites. He finished second here in 1998 driving Miss Northwest Unlimited.

• Fred Farley is the H1 Unlimited Historian. Contact him via email at: fred@hotmail.com.

Back to 2011 Madison Regatta Articles.



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