The Miss Madison Racing Team was established in 1961 when industrialist Sam DuPont donated his unlimited hydroplane known as Nitrogen to the people of Madison, Indiana. The Miss Madison has been campaigning on the unlimited circuit ever since – the longest running continuous team in the sport.
When the original Miss Madison hydroplane was destroyed in a racing accident in 1962, DuPont sold his second boat, Nitrogen II, to the city for $5,000. The world’s only community owned hydroplane is administered by a board of directors appointed by the city’s mayor. Charlie Grooms serves as President of the Miss Madison, Inc. Board and Team Manager.
The team has amassed 34 race victories, 6 A.P.B.A. Gold Cup victories (1971, 2014, ’15, ’17, ‘19, ’21) and 10 National High Points Championships (2008, ’09, ’10, ’12, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’19, ’21). Throughout the years the team has raced in partnership with sponsors including American Speedy Printing, Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Valvoline, DeWalt Power Tools, Kellogg’s and Oberto Beef Jerky. In 2020, Miss Madison Racing will field 2 hydroplanes. Seattle based Goodman Real Estate will sponsor the Miss Madison hull built in 2007 as the Miss Goodman Real Estate. Some of the biggest names in the sport of hydroplane racing have raced with the Miss Madison Team.
Miss Madison’s most iconic win came in 1971 when Jim McCormick captured the A.P.B.A. Gold Cup in front of the hometown fans on the Ohio River. The story of the victory became the movie, Madison released in 2005. Current driver, Jimmy Shane drove the Miss Madison to an A.P.B.A. Gold Cup victory in 2014 on the Detroit River, the team’s first since 1971 and has added Gold Cup wins in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021.
More information about the historic hulls of the Miss Madison can be found on the Team Timeline page.
Specifications for the current Miss Madison
- Designer-Builder: The Miss Madison Crew
- Year Built: 2007
- Length: 30 ft.
- Width: 14′ 5″
- Weight: 6575 pounds
- Gearbox: 50% reduction
- Fuel: 60 gallons / Jet A or kerosene
- Propeller: 13-8-MO Stainless / 3 Blade – 26″ Pitch – 16″ Diameter (pitch will vary)
- Construction Material: Composite materials (Honeycomb aluminum, Fiberglass, carbon fiber)
- Engine: The Lycoming T-55 L-7 engine is a shaft turbine, rated at 2,650 horsepower at the output shaft. This engine was used in the Vietnam era by the twin engine Chinook Helicopter.
- Manufacturer: Avco Lycoming
- Output Shaft: 15,300 RPM
- Compressor Ratio: 7:1
- Weight: 600 pounds
- Oil Capacity: 5 gallons
The Madison Racing hydroplane utilizes a canopy from an F-16 jet fighter to protect the driver. The canopy is attached to a roll cage, which is bolted to a normal core cockpit. The driver sits in a form fitted seat utilizing a five-point harness to hold him in the seat. He also is supplied with compressed air and an oxygen mask to facilitate breathing should the cockpit fill with water.