The Regatta, which currently owes H1 a “substantial” amount of money, has been in negotiations with the governing body since last fall on a way to lower its bills while also providing a good show for fans. Regatta President Dan Cole believes this agreement will do just that.
“H1 understands the position that we are in and they are giving us a chance to rebuild our race,” Cole told Regatta members at Wednesday’s monthly meeting. “This might be a one-year deal, this might last longer, we’ll just have to see how it goes.”
The Regatta’s move to a four-boat field has everything to do with finances. H1 charges race sites $165,000 to bring its boats and officials to a race. But with interest in the sport waning nationwide and sponsorships becoming harder and harder to find, the Regatta found itself in a position where it simply could not meet the asking price.
Bringing in four boats rather than the traditional eight will save the Regatta money. In fact, Cole said that the combined price of the H1 boats this year and a full field of Grand Prix West boats will be about $30,000 less than the H1 boats alone.
“GPW is thrilled to have this opportunity and look forward to supporting Madison Regatta and all of Boat Racing. We invite all Independent Grand Prix teams to join us in Madison and Evansville as we bring our “Roar to the Shore” in 2017. We are driven to exceed the expectations of race fans and our sponsors. I know that our GPW teams are excited to showcase supercharged automotive power.” Sam Cole, CEO of Grand Prix World.