Madison Regatta will feature racing on two separate days this year, but will have a more compact race schedule, the race chairman announced Wednesday.

With a field of 12 Unlimited hydroplanes expected for the July 3-5 race, race chairman Pat Brooks opted to runs Heats 1A, 1B and 1C on Saturday, July 4 with the rest of competition set for Sunday, July 5. Madison has traditionally run all heats of racing on the same day.

The side effect of the new schedule is a later starting time on Sunday and a much shorter race program. Heat 2A is set for a 1 p.m. start, with the final scheduled for about 4:30 p.m. In the past, racing on Sunday has started around 10 a.m.

"We're still waiting to see if we'll have a 'Dash For Cash' or an air show, but the schedule is set," Brooks said at the monthly Regatta membership meeting Wednesday. "It's going to be a tight day of racing, but there won't be much of a lag."

On Friday, July 3, testing for the Unlimiteds will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Heat 1A will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, with the rest of the heats Sunday. There will be no other class of racing.

The move was made in part because of Madison's need to run three flights per heat, rather than two like at other sites. Madison's tight race course allows only four boats to run side by side, and with 12 Unlimiteds expected, three flights are needed.

The other reason for the move is an effort to close up the schedule and give fans less down time in between racing. Eight heats of racing will be run on Sunday in a span of three and a half hours.

In other news from the monthly meeting:

• Madison Regatta representatives and government officials will meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday afternoon.

Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong, State Rep. Dave Cheatham, State Sen. Jim Lewis and a representative from Congressman Baron Hill's office will meet with the Corps' public affairs officer in an attempt to clear up any confusion over control of the Ohio River on race weekend.

During each of the past three years, either Markland Dam upriver from Madison or McAlpine Dam below Madison has been opened or closed, causing water levels to change dramatically during race weekend. The result has been massive debris that has caused delays and cancellations of heats.

Regatta President Crystal McHargue has made clearing up the debris her top priority for 2009.

"We are hoping to get this issue resolved," McHargue said. "Three years in a row is too much to handle."

• Four new members were elected to the Madison Regatta board of directors, but all officers will remain in their same positions for the 2010 race.

Sue Fisher, Connie Whitney, Mike Adams and James Thompson will each serve two-year terms. Adams and Whitney were re-elected to the post, while Fisher and Thompson replace outgoing board members Merle Horton and Kelly Brooks.

Each of the officers agreed to stay in the same positions they have held for the past two years. Officers for 2010 will be: Crystal McHargue, president; Herb Parker, vice-president; Jeff Chandler, treasurer; Pat Brooks, race chairman; Loring Adams, secretary; Kim Washer, festival chairman; and Scott Tebbe, sponsorship chairman.

The officers' decision means that McHargue will become the first person since Nelson Boicourt (1952-54) to hold the presidency for three consecutive years. Bob Snelling is the only person who has held the presidency four times. McHargue joins Boicourt, John Knoebel and Denny Jackson as the only three-time presidents.

• The Country Music Television act Josh and Kelly will perform Friday, July 3 on the riverfront as part of a nationwide tour.

• Items from local businesses are needed to fill the pit tour goody bags. For more information, contact the Regatta office at (812) 265-5000.

• Applications for event staff are available in the Regatta office on Vaughn Drive.

• The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 20 at the American Legion.