The Miss Madison Race Team was established in 1961 when industrialist Sam DuPont donated his unlimited hydroplane known as Nitrogen to the people of Madison, Indiana. The U-6 Miss Madison has been campaigning on the unlimited circuit ever since – the longest running continuous team in the sport.
When the original Miss Madison hydroplane was destroyed in a racing accident in 1962, DuPont sold his second boat to the city for $5,000. Madison has been in the hydroplane racing business ever since. The world’s only community owned hydroplane is administered by a board of directors appointed by the city’s mayor. Robert D. Hughes currently serves as the Owners’ Representative for the team and Charlie Grooms is Team Manager.
The team has amassed 20 race victories and 4 National High Points championships. Throughout the years the team has raced in partnership with sponsors including American Speedy Printing, Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Valvoline, DeWalt Power Tools, Kellogg’s and Oberto. Some of the biggest names in the sport of boat racing have raced with the Miss Madison Team.
Miss Madison Racing Hulls
(1961 – present)
U-6 Miss Madison (1st) 1961 – 1963 (Former U-79 Nitrogen)
U-6 Miss Madison (2nd) 1963 – 1971 (Former U-79-2 Nitrogen Too)
U-6 Miss Madison (3rd) 1972 – 1977
U-6 Miss Madison (4th) 1978 – 1988 (Former U-25 & U-1 Pay ‘n Pak & U-76 Atlas Van Lines)
U-6 Miss Madison (5th) * 1988 – 2007
U-6 Miss Madison/Oh Boy! Oberto (7th) ** 2007 – present
* The Miss Madison sustained significant damage in a crash during the San Diego race in 1988. The Miss Madison team leased the U-3 hull from Ed Cooper, Sr. and Ed Cooper, Jr. for the final race of the year in Las Vegas. The U-3 was officially the U-6 Miss Madison at this one event.
** The Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison was damaged in an accident during the 2011 Madison Regatta. Jon Zimmerman and the U-9 owned by Mike and Lori Jones substituted as the Miss Madison at the Detroit APBA Gold Cup.
Specifications for the current Oberto/Miss Madison:
Designer-Builder: Dale Van Weiringen, Rick Bowles, Mike Hanson, Larry Hanson, Madison crew
60 gallons / Jet A or kerosene
Propeller: 13-8-MO Stainless / 3 Blade – 26″ Pitch – 16″ Diameter (pitch will vary)
Construction Material: Composite materials (Honeycomb aluminum, Fiberglass, carbon fiber
Engine: The Lycoming T-55 L-7 engine is a shaft turbine, rated at 2,650 horsepower at the output shaft. This engine was used in the Vietnam era by the twin engine Chinook Helicopter.
Manufacturer: Avco Lycoming
Output Shaft: 15,300 RPM
Compressor Ratio: 7:1
Weight: 600 pounds
Oil Capacity: 5 gallons
Cockpit design: The Madison Racing hydroplane utilizes a canopy from an F-16 jet fighter to protect the driver. The canopy is attached to a roll cage, which is bolted to a normal core cockpit. The driver sits in a form fitted seat utilizing a five-point harness to hold him in the seat. He also is supplied with compressed air and oxygen mask to facilitate breathing should the cockpit fill with water.