Madison Regatta Inc. has officially booked the Grand Prix World supercharged hydroplane series for this year’s event and has reached agreements with the local 5-to-the-5 vintage club and the Prop Walker Model Boat Club for appearances as well. All that is left is to get the big boys — H1 Unlimited — on board.

Mike Noonan, GPW Director of Competition, was on hand at the Regatta’s monthly membership meeting on Wednesday at the Boneyard Grill to make the announcement about his series’ return to Madison. Noonan, a Louisville native who now lives in Lexington, Ky., was thrilled to be returning to what he considers his “home race.”

“We’re so happy to be coming back to Madison. We put on a really good show and we had a great time,” Noonan said. “We expect the top four boats on our circuit and a total of eight boats, but we’re pushing for 10. I know all of our guys can’t wait to come back.”

The Madison Regatta and GPW ran into a few issues over expenses after last year but Regatta President Matt True and GPW Chairman Sam Cole ironed those details out over the winter. Cole’s signed contract reached the Regatta just prior to Wednesday’s meeting.

In addition to the GPW series, two local race groups will be on hand to put on a show on the first day of race weekend, on Friday, July 5.

The Prop Walker Club will stage a race at Krueger Lake on the former Jefferson Proving Grounds the weekend before the Regatta but will also race on the Ohio River Regatta weekend. The Prop Walkers’ Kevin Lichlyter said that up to three classes of boats will be ready to race east of the pit area, pending insurance.

The 5-to-the-5’s Dave Johnson said that 12 vintage hydroplanes and possibly more will be ready to run race weekend. That group’s stand-alone event in Madison was rained out last September and True said he was thrilled to give the vintage group a venue in which to showcase their historic race boats.

“We’re all racers here and we love this sport,” True said. “I think this is a great addition to our event.”

True also said that the Regatta is negotiating with the Kentucky Drag Boat Association about a possible race. The KDBA, which recently lost its sponsorship with Lucas Oil, is sending representatives to Madison in the next few weeks to look over the site.

The final piece to the puzzle is the H1 Unlimited boats, which have headlined the Regatta since 1954. True said he and vice-president Curtis Chatham have been in talks with H1 interim chairman Charlie Grooms and is hopeful that an announcement can be made by next month.

“We had a great meeting with Charlie. We made an offer to them but we haven’t heard anything back yet but we’re confident that it will come,” True said. “I’ve seen a noticeable change in our relationship with H1 over the past several years. In the past it was a painful relationship, let’s be honest, but now I think everybody is on the same page.”

True said that the Regatta’s offer to H1 was similar to the one that was submitted last year but he is hopeful that Madison will have a full field of boats.

Wednesday’s meeting was the first general membership meeting that the Regatta has held since November but meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of each month from now until race weekend. The meetings are held at the Boneyard Grill and begin at 7 p.m. and the general public is invited.

In other business:

• The Regatta announced a new pricing structure for its admission wristbands. Music-only bands will cost $25 while race-only bands will also be $25 and include pit access. A combo pass for both events and pit access will be $40.

• The Regatta has received its $50,000 grant from the state’s motorsports bureau and has already applied for a grant for 2019. True said that the Regatta plans to construct a second floor on the judges stand in order to create more space.

• True said that all pertinent paperwork with the states of Indiana and Kentucky as well as the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Coast Guard has been filed.

• The Regatta’s Facebook page saw a reach of over 52,000 last month, an increase of 228 percent over last year, with more than 16,000 post engagements, a 269 percent increase. The announcement of Whiskey Myers to headline the Roostertail Music Festival drew more than 12,000 hits.