Madison Regatta is close to finishing deals with both H1 Unlimited and Grand Prix World Supercharged for next year’s race weekend and is looking at bringing in other classes of boats as well.

Regatta President Matt True made that announcement at the group’s monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, which was held at the Clifty Six Firehouse due to an issue at The Boneyard Grill. True said that he has a meeting scheduled with H1 Interim Chairman Charlie Grooms and has a proposal from GPW Chairman Sam Cole expected by the end of the week.

“We believe we have our debt worked out (with H1) and have a good plan in place and hopefully tomorrow we can say that we are debt-free and ready to move on,” True said. “Both Charlie and Sam have said that they would like to get plans hammered out by the end of the year and that is our plan as well.”

The Madison Regatta had worked out a deal with H1 this past summer to bring six Unlimiteds to its annual race, but only five boats actually showed up leaving some hard feelings between the two sides. But True and Grooms, who is also President of Miss Madison Inc., have worked hard since July to repair the rift and bring a full field of boats to Madison next year.

The Regatta also ended up having an issue with GPW, which objected to the Regatta’s decision to charge the hydroplane organization for extra admission wristbands. But that issue too has apparently been settled and True and Cole, a Madison native, have committed to having a race next year.

Meanwhile, the Regatta has talked to the Kentucky Drag Boat Association about putting on a race the Friday of race weekend and is hopeful of reaching a deal with the group. The Regatta has also been in talks with several vintage groups about bringing older hydroplanes to the race.

The Propwalkers Model Boat Club, a local radio-controlled boat racing organization that holds races on Krueger Lake at the former Jefferson Proving Grounds, has also expressed interest in holding a race on the Ohio River.

True said that the Regatta is looking at any and all ways of bringing more excitement to the riverfront, and that he has already talked to the City of Milton about using their boat ramp near the bridge as an overflow pit area.

“Several of these classes would be on Friday when it’s free admission so that would be a great deal for fans,” True said. “And it would be good for us.”

In addition, True said that he has been in contact with representatives from both the Guntersville, Alabama, and Detroit race sites about a possible alliance to help shore up the three “eastern” races on the H1 tour. Neither of the three sites fielded more than seven boats this year, causing much consternation among promoters.

“Both have been very receptive of ideas on helping each other out,” True said. “Guntersville is already moving their race back a week so that it will be back-to-back with ours and hopefully that convinces some teams to come out and hang around rather than going back west. Detroit is not planning on moving their event this year at least and had talked to us about possibly moving ours (to August), but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. We’ll talk about it and nothing is off the table, but we’ve been doing this for awhile now and I don’t think we’re planning on moving our date.”

The 2019 Madison Regatta is scheduled for July 6-7.

In other news:

• Music chairman Brent Turner said that the Regatta has already signed one major headliner for next year’s Roostertail Music Festival and is close to a deal with a second. He declined to announce the name of the band until all contracts have been signed.

The Regatta will have a one night only music show at the Red Bicycle Hall this Friday when Brother O Brother will perform starting at 8 p.m. The cost is $10 in advance or $13 at the door with proceeds to benefit the Regatta.

• The Regatta has put out a call for local sponsors who may be interested in joining with the organization next year.

“If you have any interest, please get in contact with me or anybody at the Regatta,” Sponsorship chair Mike Lichlyter said. “We will be happy to put together a package that will fit you to get you involved.”

• The Regatta also announced its wristband prices for next year’s race and music festival. Racing-only wristbands and music-only wristbands will cost $25 each, but will also include a free cold pit pass. A combo pass for both events will be $40. Kids ages 6-14 are $10 and kids 5 and under are free.

The Regatta is hopeful that wristbands will be available starting Dec. 1.

• The Regatta is currently looking for new members for the 2019 season. True said that the organization is seeking volunteers to not only help on race weekend, but throughout the year.

“We need ideas and input and if you’ve some, please come in and help see things through,” True said. “We’re looking for people to take hold of ideas and run with them. If you’ve got an idea, come on over.”

The next general membership meeting of the Madison Regatta will be Feb. 6 at The Boneyard Grill. But volunteers can contact the Regatta through its website at www.madisonregatta.com.