A group of vintage hydroplane owners formed a club called 5 to the 5 that will put on the second annual Madison Vintage Thunder Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 23-24.
Visitors can see these refurbished hydroplanes that raced over the years and are now on the water again with the roar of the engines and water “roostertails” flying high in the air.
With support of the Madison community, the group obtained the APBA sanctioning necessary to sponsor vintage hydroplanes on the Ohio River. The event sponsors are expecting between 40-50 hydroplanes to provide spectators with hours of hydroplane action on the water. There will be also be hydroplanes and several classes of vintage limited race boats on display.
Additionally, on the shore there will be a vintage car show with over 50 cars currently committed to be in attendance, including a Corvette club and a Mustang auto club. On Saturday evening, there will be live bands performing music on the riverfront. Food vendors and activities for the kids will be on hand for a complete family-oriented event.
Honored at this event will be the late Graham Heath, former owner of the Miss Kentuckiana Paving hydroplane. He was also the lead mechanic on the very first Miss Madison hydroplane back in the 1960’s.
Additionally, the late “Wild” Bill Cantrell will be honored as the former Gold Cup winning driver of My Sweetie and driver of Miss Kentuckiana Paving. He was also an Indianapolis 500 auto driver and his Indy car will be on display on the riverfront.
Another honor will be given to Ken Warby, the “Fastest Man on Water.” In 1978, he set the world’s speed record on water with a speed of 317.58 mph. Madison Mayor Damon Welch will be giving the “Key to the City” to Warby because he will be retiring from race boat driving. His future plans are to go to Australia to assist his son, David, who is building a hydroplane in…