Madison Regatta organizers hope for big crowds despite heat - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Madison Regatta organizers hope for big crowds despite heat

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Crews putting a boat in the water for practice. Crews putting a boat in the water for practice.
The damaged boat from last year's race. The damaged boat from last year's race.

MADISON, IN (WAVE) – Despite triple digit record breaking heat, the show must go on and organizers are hopeful the crowds will not turn away from the 62nd Madison Regatta.

"The fans that come are custom to this," said Herb Parker, Madison Regatta president. "It could be this hot or it could be 63 degrees. You never know which it's going to be."

It has not been the easiest year of preparation for the race, since its insurance costs more than doubled after three rescue divers were hurt during the 2011 race.

"We have an opportunity this year, with a new insurance company, to prove to them that we are capable of having safe events," said Parker. 

Last year, a hydroplane driver missed a buoy and crashed into a rescue boat during the race.

"We've taken a lot of extra precautions. The boat drivers are well aware of the incident," said Parker. "They've trained over the winter for that type of situation."

It did not stop Harry and Esther Sheridan from coming back. For them this year, it is all about trying to stay cool.  

"You know, fortunately along the river here, we have some trees and that will give us about 10 degrees and that helps a lot and lots of water," said Harry Sheridan, spectator.

The vendors are ready to cater to the over-heated fans. "We got Gatorade and waters and all that stuff," said Alex Jessie, vendor.

While the scorching temperatures may be a given, organizers said a fun and safe race is as well.

"Heat or no heat, the people are going to be here," said Parker. "This is a racing town."

For a list of all the events at the Madison Regatta, click here.

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