I don’t care what language you are reading this in, or what country you’re sipping on your favorite quaff in, or even the name of your six cats, two dogs, and the one-eyed parakeet you keep in your bedroom.  Everything significant has a birthday, in my native land of the United States, we celebrate it on July 4th.  We call it Independence Day, and we all dress up like Will Smith & Jeff Goldblum and thwart alien attacks until we save the planet from creatures from other worlds……ouch, dammit Blueberry Muffin, quit throwing wine bottles at me, that was an example of satire!

What I meant to say is that two centuries ago we became unruly tenants in the British slumlord empire and decided to do something about it.  I’m not completely sure on the accuracy of this little tidbit, but a little birdie told me that General George Washington actually planted the seeds for Brexit in 1776 also.  Maybe some revisionist history on my part, maybe not, but the point is on July 4th, 1776 the United States was born, and now we celebrate by using the finest in Chinese gunpowder pyrotechnics and having the annual backyard bbq/cookout.

At least I thought that is how Independence Day was to be celebrated, then I moved to Madison, Indiana back in January.  Being a native of southern Indiana, I was very familiar with the Madison Regatta.  Living in Madison, Indiana now, I found out I really had no idea (a very common theme with me) what the Regatta actually entailed.  This city goes coo-coo for cocoa puffs over a simple little boat race!  Hell, they even made a movie about it, starring Mr. Reese (Jim Cavaziel) and it ranks up there with Hoosiers & Breaking Away for must see Indiana movies so I’ve been told.  I still haven’t lost my Madison viewing virginity.


This image is more popular around here than Pokeman Go! (Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_(film))

While my Miss Madison was on yet another road trip after our inept attempt to locate badgers in Wisconsin, and Sloane was away trying to figure out why in the hell the grass isn’t actually blue in Kentucky for the week, Mr. Skipah decided to foray downtown to the riverfront to see what the actual commotion was all about with these unlimited hydroplanes and this city’s own Miss Madison racing vessel.  It’s a weeklong party is what I found out!

I didn’t venture down to the might Ohio River until Thursday, June 30th, and by then the festivities were well on their way.  I tried to use my super-duper bloggy ninja connections for some media credentials (not to brag, but certain metrics at times list me bigger than the local newspaper), but evidently the social media manager for the Regatta found me repulsive or heard about the time I partied with 98 Degrees and didn’t invite him.  Bear with me, I’m kind of delusional; it’s literally been 98 degrees in these parts of the world at times the past week.

With no kick ass lanyard to flash at the crack pot security (think something along the lines of Hell’s Angels/Rolling Stones concert) like I was really important, I dropped my $30.00 USD and ventured into a different realm that I ever envisioned.  Then I laid eyes on one of these behemoths and instantly felt a little tingle in my britches.  Thursday was nothing more than unloading the boats and setting up camp for the next three days of racing fun.


I’ve seen better security at a 4-h fair cake walk!


Since I had to make sure I contributed to Uncle Sam and his Social Security Ponzi Scheme, plus to ensure the children of Indiana have books to read at school (I had to work), I didn’t get to witness qualifying or practicing when the vessels starting turning 3,000 horsepower on the open water on Friday.  I did however make it downtown for the parade that evening.  I’m not a parade kind of guy, but this whole community loves it!  I stayed long enough to realize that I was missing my Miss Madison, and the real Miss Madison is a community treasure.  I did run into Miss Madison Jr. (daddy time for her that week), so it felt nice to see somebody I know in my foreign land.  If anybody knows of anyone that has typed Miss Madison this many times in one paragraph please introduce me to them, for the record…. the REAL Miss Madison is the name of the Hometown Bank Unlimited Hydroplane; the fake Miss Madison is the love of my life.  Coincidence I gave her that name eleven months ago, you must be a new reader or haven’t quite gotten my style of humor!


The locals have been known to get rowdy over the parade, hence, the S.W.A.T. team is on standby!

Saturday, July 2nd, I fell in love all over again.  No, Katy Perry didn’t send me a text, but it was day one of racing and I was giddier than a fat man at The Golden Corral.  Seeing and hearing with my own eyes a watercraft go damn near 200 mph on open water is something I can’t even describe.  As for the crowd, let’s just say it’s a combination of drunken glory and racing enthusiast!


It’s 11:30 a.m. when this picture was taken!  Gives new meaning to “liquid” lunch!


The O.G. Miss Madison, that’s original gangster for anyone born before 1970!


No wonder everybody was eating Funyuns and calling me “dude.”


I had no idea the Cornhole championships were being held that weekend also!

My Miss Madison did make it home in time to be my rock star eye candy later in the evening, she was excited to see how I had adopted the Regatta culture and actually got a chuckle out of it.  I’m not a gear head at all, but again, I can’t describe the full fury of seeing machines navigate the waters of the Ohio River.  The shark sized hook embedded in my jaw (that’s a cool way to say I was hooked on it) after spending a day watching unlimited hydroplane racing is something any guy (or girl) should witness at least once.  Hopefully this won’t be my last time seeing it!  The weather on the final day of the event scared us off, but this isn’t exactly a “safe” sport at times.  The Miss Madison hydroplane was declared the winner after this happened, granted she was leading by a good margin.

About it for now, plenty more to catch up on in the coming days.  I’ve turned my Miss Madison into a Breaking Bad junkie and reliving the plight of Walter White and Jessie Pinkman with her is something I didn’t get to experience in a previous life when I was some boring married dude.  Last week with Sloane was one for the record books, and believe me, loyal reader, when you see my newest experience with Karma, your heart is going to melt!

BJ’s wholesale website - DHGate.com
Send Skipah Sailing!


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  4. I’ve never been to a regatta. I now have the idea in my head that I have to dress as Jeff Goldblum to attend one, but I may have misunderstood… I’ve also never seen Breaking Bad, but keep meaning to.

    • You will not be disappointed in Breaking Bad :). Just don’t dress like Pokemon, I would hate to see you walk into the river and get run over by one of the hydroplanes!

  5. And I thought Miss Madison was the real Miss Madison? I’m so confused.

  6. Looks like a lot of summer time fun!

  7. Love all those beers…my hubby was jealous, LOL!

  8. having never been to a regatta your description was both interesting and funny love your writing

  9. Soooo, basically NASCAR on water? Bet that made for great people watching. Oh, and of course the boats are cool. 🙂 Glad fun was had by all!

    • Boats were beyond cool. People watching could have been a whole different post. Not everybody, but imagine a free bbq in a Walmart parking lot and you get the idea!

  10. You could really be a local entertainment writer.
    I went to the regatta once, a long time ago, early 90s. it was lovely. I haven’t seen anything about that movie…

  11. Glad to hear you actually got to spend time with your daughter! She need you in her life as much as possible.

  12. I had no idea that Madison was such a hotbed of July 4th fun! Who knew? You didn’t and I didn’t either. Now I need to see that movie since I now know what the heck it’s about!!

  13. You need a fake press pass. seriously. Get a lanyard and do one. I’d do it for you, except that I went out of business in 1967 after making so many fake IDs when 18 was the drinking age. I was16.

  14. Well, that was weird. The moment I sent my last post talking about how all the pictures were small, the page suddenly refreshed and all the pictures became normal size! Having had a quick look at them, the event looks like a lot of fun!

    • That was weird I already replied to the other comment LOL! It was a blast, although the amount of liver damage done that day was unfathomable! I’m all for having a good time, but damn I haven’t seen that many people hammered by noon since my last trip to the courthouse!

  15. First of all, congratulations on typing “Miss Madison” some many times in a single paragraph, Gary. I think you are the undoubted world record holder

    I enjoyed reading the description of the regatta, but for some reason the photographs appeared smaller than usual and I couldn’t seem to click on them.

    The video was dramatic, though, and the one on the newspaper page you linked to was even more so. I’m glad the guy inside the boat was okay. (It was nice of him to go all out to entertain the crowds like that.) 🙂

    • Not sure what is up with the photography, I’m seriously about to hang up my “photo” blogger shoes, editing is a major time suck!!!! I do have a call into Guiness to see if I am the new record holder on number of times Miss Madison has been typed in a single paragraph!

  16. Sounds as though you had great fun…

Tell Skipah all about it!

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