2004 Budweiser Madison
Regatta/World Championship

Villwock withs 15th
Madison Regatta for Bud

He overcomes rough water,
winning from Lane 4

By Don Ward

MADISON, Ind. (July 4, 2004) – Pounded "like a linebacker" by rough water and awash in emotion, Dave Villwock emerged from the cockpit of the Miss Budwesier on Sunday with a crackle in his voice as he recalled how the late Bernie Little would have loved to have been there to share in the joy of the team's second consecutive Budweiser Madison Regatta victory on the Ohio River in Madison, Ind.

Dave Villwock trophy

Photo by Don Ward

Dave Villwock (right) receives
the Madison Regatta Indiana
Governor's Cup. With him are (from
left) State Rep. Markt Lytle, Miss
Madison Regatta Queen Donatta Taylor
and Regatta president Mike Adams.

Villwock, accompanied by Little's son, team owner Joe Little, sat on the edge of the Bud boat trailer and soaked in the exuberance of the team's 15th victory in Madison, Villwock's 43rd career win and fifth in Madison. The victory had an added bonus for Villwock by having also earned the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) World Championship. UIM, the international boat racing sanctioning body out of Monaco, hasn’t presented the UIM World Championship in the Unlimited Class since 1984.
But the real story of the race was who could handle the Ohio River's rough water conditions caused by 15 mph wind gusts.
“It was like being hit by 20 linebackers every lap,” said Villwock, 50, who won with an average speed of 130.021 mph. He had qualified the boat on Saturday with a top speed of 151.527 mph.
“The river was very rough, and that definitely was an advantage for me and the Miss Budweiser team. We were able to set up the boat right for the conditions, and I guess I just did a better job picking my way through the rough water.”

Miss Bud, Elam, Llumar

Photo by Don Ward

Miss Budweiser (center) pulls
ahead of Miss Elam plus (left)
and Miss Llumar Window
Films in an early heat.

With last spring's announcement that Anheuser-Busch would pull out of the sport next year, Villwock was asked what the Madison victory meant to him, considering it may be his last race here.
"Personally, it means a lot to me because I know how much Bernie loved this place," Villwock said, showing some emotion in his voice as Little patted his knee. "Bernie would have been very happy today."
Little, who many credit for keeping the sport going in its lean years, eventually selling his share to Hydro-Prop four years ago, died in April 2003 at age 77.
Villwock won all three heats earlier in the day, and even overcame a more difficult Lane 4 assignment in final after being penalized for flagrant fuel violation after winning his third heat. The penalty stripped the team of its 40 points in that heat, lowering its lane assignment from 1 to 4 for the final. The Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison, which had won a heat earlier in the day, instead got the top assignment. But driver Steve David hit a buoy in Turn 1 of the first lap, resulting in a one-lap penalty. He finished fourth in the final, behind second-place Terry Troxell in the U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus and third-place Greg Hopp in the U-100 Miss Mariann Travel Inn.

Villwock, Little

Photo by Don Ward

Team owner Joe Little (right)
congratulates driver Dave
Villwock in the Bud pits.

J.W. Myers in the U-8 Miss Llumar Window Film earned Lane 3 for the final but the escape hatch underneath the boat opened as he was racing down the backstretch and had to pull off the course. He was uninjured.
Mike Weber in the U-10 Miss Emcor also had his escape hatch open at the start of the race. He managed to steer off the course after crossing the starting line but complained of back injury resulting from the mishap. He was taken to King's Daughters' Hospital for observation.
David said he had a "great boat" this weekend in the Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison and was sorry he couldn't place any higher for the hometown fans.

Budweiser Madison
Regatta/UIM World Championship

July 2-4, 2004 in Madison, IN.

Final Results
Driver, Boat, Ave. Speed

1. Dave Villwock Miss Budweiser 130.021
2. Greg Hopp Miss Mariann Travel 124.250
3. Terry Troxell Miss Elam Plus 114.063
4. Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto 128.414
5. J.W. Meyers Llumar Window Film (DNF)
6. Mike Weber Miss Emcor/York (DNS)
7. Dr. Ken Muscatel Mr Home Loan (DNS)

O'Doul's High Point
World Championship Points
(after one event):
Greg Hopp 123
Dave Villwock 120
Steve David 110
Terry Troxell 99
JW Meyers 87
Mike Weber 77
Dr Ken Muscatel 63

For more information, visit: www.hydroprop.com

"In Lane 1, you can't drift out any farther than 15 feet," said David, who resides in Lighthouse Point, Fla. "Going in that turn it was hard hold the lane. I came in and veered to the left and hit the buoy, which was unfortunate because it cost me a lap penalty."

The Madison Regatta was the second race of the 2004 season but only the first under the control of the American Power Boat Association and Hydro-Prop Inc., the sanctioning body that owns the circuit. Villwock won a week earlier in Evansville, Ind., where race officials pulled out of Hydro-Prop a few weeks before the race. No APBA points were awarded for the Evansville race and the event was not televised on the SPEED Channel, as are the sanctioned races.
The Budweiser team, now two-for-two, is on its last tour of the circuit. But team owner Joe Little has left the door open regarding the future of the team. Although Budweiser won't be the sponsor next year, it appears possible that the Littles may decide to keep racing with a new sponsor.
"We will wait until after the season to make a decision on that," Little said after Sunday's race in Madison.
Villwock added, "The team, myself and the Little family are a unit, and whatever we do, we'll do as a unit."

Race notes:
Speed Channel: Hydro fans can watch this weekend’s Budweiser Madison Regatta race on the Ohio River on the Speed Channel on Sunday, July 18, at 5 p.m. EDT-fast time. For complete information and schedules, visit www.speedtv.com.

Next Race: The 2004 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series takes a weekend off before heading to the Chrysler/Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup race in Detroit, July 15-18. This year will mark the historic 100th running of one of the most famous trophies in motorsports history. The Miss Budweiser team has won 14 APBA Gold Cups and will look to win one more to cap off its 42-year racing history.

Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison

Photo by Don Ward

The Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison
leads an early heat at Sunday's
Madison Regatta.

Statistically Speaking: The Miss Budweiser team has a record in unlimited hydroplane racing that is unrivaled with 138 victories, 23 world championships and 14 APBA Gold Cups. The team has entered a record 361 races and finished in the top-three a total of 236 times in 41 years of competition. The crew of the Miss Budweiser has a combined 300 years of experience. Dave Villwock who has been racing unlimited hydroplanes since 1992, has 43 wins, seven series championships and five APBA Gold Cups to his credit.

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