MADISON, IN (WAVE) - If you think a blue sky, sun and cooler temperatures make up a perfect recipe for your holiday weekend, you're not alone. Fewer people are happier to see the perfect holiday weekend forecast than the folks at the Madison Regatta.
Morgan Howard is no stranger to the regatta.
“This is my 49th year,” he said. Since he was six years old, he's gotten to the Madison Regatta just about any way he could, “We've come by boat, car, truck, motorcycle, motor home.”
He was one of the largely reduced crowd who showed up last year, despite a blow from Mother Nature.
“We sat here for three days last year in the pouring rain and never got to see a boat run,” he said.
Regatta President Tim Torrance says actually the past two years have been tough.
“Last year we got weathered out, too much rain, high water, we couldn't run for the first time in 63 years,” he said. “Two years ago, it was a 110 heat and 120 degree heat index.”
This year, he couldn't have asked for more with a forecast of sunny skies, pleasant temperatures and the river at just the right level.
Former hydroplane racer Ann Fitzgerald now sells official regatta merchandise. She says the fans in Madison deserve the type of regatta this year promises.
“The people here are true regatta fans,” she said.
And those fans love their hometown boat, which means Jimmy Shane, who will be driving the Miss Madison for the first time, knows he has to deliver.
“It is a lot more responsibility than just driving a race boat. The Miss Madison fans and fans of the race team, they are extremely passionate,” he said.
Torrance says he's expecting the crowds to be back and says everyone is welcome.
“There's a little something for everyone when they come down here so bring the family down and have a good time,” he said.
Friday morning, the hydroplane crews will open the pits for a few hours, something that's normally closed to the public. Saturday will be testing and qualifying followed by racing all day Sunday.
For more information about the Madison Regatta, click here.