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Madison, Indiana, 1971. The Ohio river port is in full economic decline, its last pride and obsession being its uniquely town-owned power boat, although the raggedy old donation from a millionaire decades ago never comes close to a win. With his doted son Mike as most devoted fan, air-conditioner repairman Jim McCormick, who had to stop piloting it after a near-fatal accident, devotes all his 'spare' time to it, turning down professional opportunities as that would mean moving, as his wife suggests. Things climax when he realizes the town will either be scrapped from the national racing circuit or host the Gold Cup itself, requiring $50,000 fund raising. Written by
The year that the film was set in was significant for a number of things: for being the first and only time that a community-owned boat has ever won the Gold Cup. It also broke the Rolls-Royce powered boat dominance of the APBA's Crown Jewel race as an Allison powered boat had not won a race since 1966. The race marked the end of an era in terms of boat design, as the Miss Madison of 1971 was the last Unlimited hydroplane with the old-style rear cockpit-forward-engine, shovel-nosed bow configuration to ever achieve victory. See more »
During the Gold Cup race, aerial shots show modern cabin-forward closed canopy hydroplanes sitting in the pits when it is supposed to set in 1971. See more »
I have lived in and around Madison for 47 years. In the movie the voice over says that the Miss Madison had not won a race since 1973. Well that all changed in 2001 (30 years after the movie was set) when the Miss Madison won the Gold Cup in front of the hometown crowd a second time.
In that race Steve David brought the Miss Madison to the win in his first appearance in our hometown. He has since stayed with the team and they are showing quite respectfully.
The sport has meant a lot to the town but unfortunately the fan basis seems to have tapered off. As a youngster I remember the river bank being filled like it was portrayed in the movie. I hope this movie helps breath some life into both the sport for the Miss Madison and the town of Madison.
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