MADISON 2008: Jeff Bernard and U-5 win the Governor's Cup - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

MADISON 2008: Jeff Bernard and U-5 win the Governor's Cup

PHOTOS - Jim Simpson PHOTOS - Jim Simpson

MADISON, Ind. - 23-year old Jeff Bernard said he was excited just to be in the final alongside teammate Mike Allen.  The boat had been running well all weekend and  had won a heat earlier in the day.  But he sure wasn't expecting to win. 

"I never expected that," he said, after winning the Governor's Cup at Madison, outlasting high water, logs and other debris on the course, and beating six other drivers.  Going into the final race, the boat teams were battling the river and new rules as much as each other. 

That doesn't mean he won't be celebrating.  "We'll be partying hard tonight," said Bernard.

Steve David won two heats in the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison.  Bernard won a Heat in the U-5  David Bryant also won a heat in the U-10 Ahern Plumbing, but the boat was done for the day.

That set up the winner-take-all final. 

Mike Allen grabbed lane one around the exit pin of the first turn as the boats scored up at the 1:00 minute mark.  At the start/finish line, though, it was Steve David grabbing the lead with Jeff Bernard and Mike Allen just behind.

Bernard pulled out a roostertail lead at the start line to lap two.  David had fallen back to third, but ran down Allen to go back into second place.

David pushed the U-6 hard, getting some air and running tight in the corners, but couldn't make up the distance between his boat and Bernard's.

Meanwhile, Jean Theoret had the U-37 dialed in.  He ran down the U-50 to pull into 4th place from the trailer position, then moved up to 3rd when Mike Allen had to run an extra lap to move to last place.

UPDATE:  The U-7 was penalized and made to run an extra lap, dropping Mike Allen into last place.  However, after the race, the penalty call was reversed.  That gave Allen third place, pushed Jean Theoret to 4th, Brian Perkins to 5th and Greg Hopp to 6th.

"Jeff Bernard flat out beat us," said U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver Steve David during the awards ceremony.  "I congratule the Formula guys, but next week they're mince meat," he said.

"Our team threw everything at this whole set-up all weekend long," said third place finisher Mike Allen. 


  1. U-5 - Jeff Bernard
  2. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison - Steve David
  3. U-7 - Mike Allen
  4. U-37 Beacon Plumbing - Jean Theoret
  5. U-50 Spirit of the Navy - Brian Perkins
  6. U-100 - Greg Hopp

It was a good day for the Hoosier state as the first three finishing teams call Indiana home.  The second place U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison is based in Madison.  The first place U-5 and third place U-7 teams are based in Decatur, Indiana.

"Congratulations to all three Hoosier teams," said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.  "Sam (Cole) gave us an assignment for next year. We'll talk to whoever runs that damn dam," said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, referring to the high water and debris that was released from the dam Sunday morning.

Earlier Results

High water brought logs and more debris to the river, holding off test time and delaying the races until late in the day.  The late time and boat damage led to cancellation of Heats 3A and 3B.  ABRA's Sam Cole said "we probably wiped out $150,000 worth of gear this weekend, but we came here to put on a show."

Heat winners:

1A  U6 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David -

1B  U10 Ahern Rentals - David Bryant

2A  U5 - Jeff Bernard

2B  U6 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David

That set up a final run with the U-6, U-5, U-7, and U-50 on the front line and U-37 and U-100 in the trailer positions.