Madison, Indiana, on the Ohio River, has sponsored powerboat racing since 1911 and began holding an annual race called the Madison Regatta in 1929. Beginning in 1954, the race became affiliated with the American Power Boat Association, held annually in July. Though Madison has a population of only 12,000, the Regatta maintains its place in the Unlimited hydroplane American Boat Racing Association series, whose other races are in Seattle, Detroit, and San Diego, among others.
The Regatta regularly draws about 70,000-100,000 people and is a tremendous source of pride for residents of the town. Also significant is that Madison has the world’s only community owned unlimited hydroplane, Miss Madison. The boat was traditionally near the bottom of the circuit. In 40+ years of racing, U-6 (its number regardless of its name) had won just six races before 2005.
One of those was an upset in the 1971 Regatta, which is the basis for the movie. Making that victory even sweeter was that it also for the APBA Gold Cup.
Caviezel’s character, Jim McCormick, was a real-life veteran racer and boat owner who drove the Miss Madison in 1966 and 1969–71, then raced his own boat until seriously injured some years later.
Cast and characters
- James Caviezel as Jim McCormick
- Jake Lloyd as Mike McCormick
- Mary McCormack as Bonnie McCormick
- Bruce Dern as Harry Volpi
- Paul Dooley as Mayor Don Vaughn
- Brent Briscoe as Tony Steinhardt
- Mark Fauser as Travis
- Reed Diamond as Skip Naughton
- Frank Knapp Jr. as Bobby Humphrey
- Chelcie Ross as Roger Epperson
- Jim Hendrick as Himself
- John Mellencamp as Narrator (uncredited)
Filmed in 2000 and completing post production in 2001, this film sat unreleased for nearly five years and was finally given a limited release on April 22, 2005. It ended up being the last film ever released by MGM as an independent company.