When Mike got there and was writing the check for the entry fee. Billy told him there was no "King of the Hudson" this year, no trophy or anything else. Mike then said 'Why am I here then? Entry fee, launch fee, meal tickets fee, etc..
Mike said he would just leave his boat on the trailer then and not run.
Billy told him to run the run for free so that Mike could "Put on a good show" for the event. And this Mike did but Billy did not tell him the others would not be "going for it".
So, the first boat to the bridge was Jet Set.