Madison Regatta qualifying delayed until Saturday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Madison Regatta qualifying delayed until Saturday

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Testing and qualifying for the Madison Regatta hydroplane race have been delayed until Saturday.  Heavy rain is the problem.

The rain has caused the river to rise and the current to run swiftly.

This year is the 63rd annual Madison Regatta where the fastest hydroplanes in the world reach speeds of up to 200 miles an hour.

But on Friday the hydroplanes remained on land.

"Unfortunately the river is up just a bit due to the weather, so we are doing a scramble to move the docks around and so we are running a little late," owner and driver Mark Evans told WDRB News.

Added Evans, "Another thing we worry about is all the debris in the river; logs, sticks, and stuff so we are hoping they can take care of that too."

Tim Torrance, the vice president of the Madison Regatta, says officials are closely watching the river.

"It is something we can deal with," says Torrance, "we have dealt with it before, it can be a little bit difficult for the rescue boats and the boats that are going to be running to deal with, but I think they will be all right."

David Kerry and his son Nicholas came down from Cincinnati to watch the regatta, hoping racing can resume on Saturday.

"We are very disappointed that there are no races today," says David Kerry, "so we are looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday."

The regatta and the events surrounding it draw up to 50,000 race fans to the small, scenic Southern Indiana town.

Losing a day of racing affects the bottom line.

"We usually see a big crowd on Friday," says Torrance, "nothing today so it is a very sparse crowd, tomorrow we hope it will pick up as the weather gets better that the crowd will get better as well."

Other events scheduled on the riverfront will not be affected.  The regatta also features a music program, parade, air show and fireworks spectacular, happening around 10 Saturday night.

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