Joe Schaeffer

Pilot of Delphine IX Killed as Boat Sinks

Schaeffer is Hurled From 'Hard Luck' Gold Cup Craft

DETROIT, Aug. 28 [1939] (AP).--Joe Schaeffer of Detroit, pilot of the Gold Cup challenger Delphine IX, was killed tonight when the boat leaped from the water and sank during a test run on the Detroit River.

Schaeffer and his mechanic, Ed Mackenzie, also of Detroit, were thrown clear as the craft hurtled over the water at an estimated 90 miles an hour. Picked up by a race committee boat, Schaeffer was rushed to a hospital, where he died several hours after his arrival. Mackenzie received bruises.

The Delphine IX was owned by Horace Dodge and was leased by Schaeffer for the race.

An eye witness said that the boat seemed to hit a small wave. "She jumped up, turned two flip-flops and went over on her side," he added.

The Delphine IX has been known as the "hard luck" boat of the Gold Cup races because she never finished one of them, engine trouble or some other mishap always have forced her out.

Her sinking removed a second entry from the list. Count Theo Rossi of Italy, who won with his Alagi last year, has informed race officials that he cannot leave for America to defend the cup because of the "international situation."

(Associated Press, August 28, 1939)