Hydro Racing

Madison will play host to ABRA awards dinner

The 2009 American Boat Racing Association annual meeting and Awards Banquet will be held Feb. 13-14 in Madison, Ind., home of the 2008 national champion team -- Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison.

In a joint announcement, Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong and ABRA Chairman Sam Cole were in agreement that Madison is the perfect place to honor its hometown team along with the 2008 ABRA series awards recipients.

“We are excited to be able to host this annual event,” Armstrong said. “We will do everything possible to roll out the red carpet and show the Hydroplane aficionados and racing fans that Madison is the best place in America to celebrate our first national championship.”

Cole agreed, stating, “We have been looking for the right place to hold this year’s dinner and this will give our fans in Madison and the Midwest an opportunity to attend a celebration they’ve waited more than forty years to have. We plan on this being one of the most memorable evenings in the sport’s history.”

The Feb. 14 dinner will be held at Madison’s Livery Stable on Broadway. A crowd of 250 is expected. The ABRA meetings will be held Feb. 13-14 in the City of Madison office building.

“I really want to acknowledge the efforts of Tim (Mayor Armstrong) for really getting behind this idea and making it work. He has personally called hotel and motel owners to help arrange accommodations, he’s opened up City Hall and who knows what else,” Cole said.

This is the first time that the powerboat association’s annual gathering has been held in Madison, site of the annual Indiana Governor’s Cup Regatta. Previous ABRA meetings have been held in Seattle, Indianapolis and Las Vegas.

Both Armstrong and Cole have pledged to try and do more for this event, including possible live streaming of the dinner and annual meeting on the ABRA Web site, broadcasting the awards celebration on the internet via WORX and WIKI radio web sites.

“We want to showcase Madison as the destination that it is and embrace our tradition around hydroplane racing,” Armstrong continued. "What our racing team accomplished last year ranks right up there with our high school sports championships and the 1971 Gold Cup victory by the Miss Madison. It is a tradition we want to preserve.”

Details about tickets for the Awards Banquet, lodging information and specifics on the annual meeting are pending.

Interested fans may contact the ABRA office at 877-783-RACE or via email taryn@abrahydroplanes.com.