Madison appealing Gold Cup penalty to APBA
Penalty reversal could change results of Detroit Gold Cup, 2013 high points championship
Wednesday, October 02, 2013 11:00 AM
Miss Madison Racing is appealing a penalty it was assessed in the final heat of this year's APBA Gold Cup, a move that could send shockwaves throughout the sport.
The team filed its appeal with the American Power Boat Association shortly after the season finale in San Diego last month. If upheld, the appeal could change not only the results of the Gold Cup, but the National High Points Championship as well.
"We've sent in our $1,000 to the APBA and we are proceeding," Miss Madison President Bob Hughes said Tuesday. "We had 30 days from Sept. 15 to appeal."
The Miss Madison team has retained Los Angeles-area attorney Ernest Ching to represent it in the dispute.
The appeal stems from the penalty assessed to driver Steve David and the Oh Boy! Oberto-sponsored hydroplane during the final heat of the Gold Cup on July 14 in Detroit.
During the incident, David was penalized one lap for encroachment and ended up finishing fourth in the race. Kip Brown won the Gold Cup aboard the Spirit of Qatar.
The Miss Madison team appealed to H1 Unlimited as soon as the race was over, arguing that no penalty should have been called. David maintained that he had the proper seven boat-lengths required to switch lanes.
H1 Unlimited, which oversees that APBA division, denied the appeal almost immediately. As a result, Miss Madison Racing was forced to appeal to the APBA, the overall sanctioning body for powerboat racing in the United States.
"Once an appeal is denied by H1, any of the teams can go to the APBA. It's called the 'Final Appeal,'" H1 Chairman Sam Cole said on Tuesday. "I look forward to seeing what happens. This is a first time for us."
According to Cole, the decision of the APBA will be final and binding.
"Once APBA requests it, we'll put together our documentation and send it to them," Cole said. "From there, they'll decide what course to take."
Hughes said that given some of the rulings against David and the team in the Gold Cup, he had no choice but to appeal.
"Steve David retired this year and the only reason he kept coming back was to win the Gold Cup," Hughes said. "Two years in a row we felt like we had it taken away from him."
If the APBA upholds the appeal, it will literally rewrite the record books. Jimmy Shane won the national championship by just 68 points aboard the Graham Trucking in one of the closest points races in history.
But if David and the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison team are awarded a win for the Gold Cup rather than the fourth place finish the team received in July, it will add 231 points to their season-point total. Such a point swing will give the team not only the Gold Cup but also the national title by 163 points.
There is no timetable for when the APBA will render its decision although it could be by the end of the month.
This is not the first time that an appeal has been issued to challenge the final result in a Gold Cup. In 2004, Miss Budweiser owner Joe Little appealed to the APBA after his boat - driven by Dave Villwock - was assessed a one-lap penalty, also for encroachment. That appeal was denied.
The most famous case of a Gold Cup appeal came in 1956 when Bill Muncey and the Miss Thirftway were awarded the win 85 days after the race. Muncey was initially penalized for striking a buoy but television cameras showed that no buoy was hit. A lawsuit not pertaining to the buoy issue held up final results until November.