Five boats ready for racing in Madison, but one hydro is done for the weekend

MADISON, Ind. — The fastest race boats in the world were running on the Ohio River in Madison, Indiana, today in preparation for this weekend’s Madison Regatta, the season’s second stop on the H1 Unlimited Racing Series. Six boats saw action, but the Miss Beacon Plumbing suffered damage in a test run that will eliminate it from the remainder of the event.

Miss Beacon Plumbing, which is driven by Dave Villwock, 68, of Monroe, Washington, was skittering across the water at over 150 mph when it struck debris in the river that broke a blade off of its propeller. The propeller, spinning over 150 times a second, was then instantly thrown out of balance and caused extensive damage the hull.

Jimmy Shane, 36, of San Antonio, Texas, was the day’s fastest qualifier when he drove Miss HomeStreet to 156.857 mph. Second fastest was Corey Peabody, 43, of Kent, Washington, who was the winner of last weekend’s Gold Cup in Guntersville, Alabama. Peabody drove Lynx Healthcare to an average of 152.501 mph.

Also qualifying today were J. Michael Kelly, 43, of Bonney Lake, Washington, who drove Miss Tri-Cities to 148.079 mph; Jeff Bernard, 37, of Kent, Washington, who drove Goodman Real Estate to 146.799 mph; and Jamie Nilsen, 37, of Gig Harbor, Washington, who drove Miss Colleen to 145.466 mph.

More qualifying attempts are scheduled for tomorrow morning before the boats compete in a semi-feature match race in the afternoon. In that event, the H1 Unlimiteds will compete in two-boat match races of just two laps, a last-chance heat, and then a final heat. The boats will take part in the weekend’s main event, the Indiana Governor’s Cup, on Sunday.

Tickets to the “Greatest Show on H-2-O” are still available for those who want to watch the action in person at Madison. For those who can’t attend, ther race also will be streamed live on the H1 Unlimited YouTube Channel. You can find the link at