Powerboat Racing

Regatta lining up sponsors

“We’ve had some rough times these past few years with the weather and everything, and it has hit us hard. This will go a long way toward getting us back to where we need to be.” — Regatta President Joe Hertz

The Madison Regatta has secured a presenting sponsor and is close to announcing a title sponsor, President Joe Hertz said on Wednesday.

The announcement was made by Hertz at the Regatta’s monthly general membership meeting, and although he declined to say who the sponsors were and when a formal introduction would be made, he did say that the deals are moving forward.

“The Sponsorship Committee has been doing a great job. We do have a presenting sponsor for $25,000 and we are nearing a deal for a title sponsor at $35,000,” Hertz said. “We still have to dig out of a big hole, but the foundation is going to be in a good place.”

The Regatta has operated without a title sponsor since Lucas Oil pulled out following the 2013 race and has run without sponsorship more times than not over the past 15 years. Coupled with high water two of the past three years, the Regatta has found itself in dire financial straits recently.

Hertz was quick to point out that while the pending sponsorships will be welcome, they are not a cure-all.

“We’ve had some rough times these past few years with the weather and everything, and it has hit us hard,” Hertz said. “This will go a long way toward getting us back to where we need to be.”

In addition, Hertz announced that the Regatta is close to a deal to bring several 5-Litre, National Modified and Grand National class boats to the race this season. Working closely with the APBA’s Region 6, Hertz said that the deal has an “80 percent” chance of being completed.

“Everything is in the ‘proposal’ stage right now. We had a board meeting about it today and we’re reasonably close to having a deal done,” Hertz said. “We expect to have a solid boat count. H1 has told us to expect 8–9 Unlimiteds and we’re preparing for as many as 16 Limited class boats as well. The fans have told us that they want to see more boats on the water and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

The Regatta played host the Grand Prix West class last season and although the boats proved to be wildly popular, Hertz said that financially, the Regatta simply can’t afford to bring them back.

“We attempted to make a deal but the cost of the GPWs is somewhat prohibitive,” Hertz said. “They put on an outstanding show last year and brought quite a bit of noise and excitement, but without full sponsorship, we had to look in another direction.”

In other news:

• The annual Madison Regatta Golf Scramble will be held at Belterra Resort Golf Course on Sunday, June 26 and is open to the public. Applications for the event should be online in the next week or two.

• Nominations for elected positions were held on Wednesday with a total of 12 people mentioned for possible posts. Nominations will be held again at next month’s meeting with elections following immediately.

• The next general membership meeting of the Madison Regatta will be held on Wednesday, May 4 at the VFW Post 1969 at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Originally published at madisoncourier.com.

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