1929 APBA Gold Cup
Imp Wins Gold Cup Race at Red Bank
Hoyt's Flyer Takes All Three Heats with Ease
Outboards and Runabouts Thrill Thousands with Speed and Spills
By Samuel Wetherill
Beautifully driven by her owner, Richard F. Hoyt, the Purdy-designed, single-step hydroplane Imp ran away with the 26th annual Gold Cup Regatta staged on August 24th by the Red Bank Yacht Club, of Red Bank, N. J. Taking the lead in the first lap of the first 30-mile heat, Imp easily distanced her three competitors, Scotty, Miss Los Angeles and Jersey Lightning. Accidents of one kind or another befell all but Imp, but the white and gold racer never faltered, her Wright motor humming prettily from start to finish, and she finished under wraps in both the second and third heats.
In the first heat Sam Dunsford's Scotty, a shining mahogany creation of John Hacker's, with a Packard motor, gave Imp a good race, and forced her to complete the 30 miles at a rate of 50.49 miles an hour with her fastest lap at a 51.96 rate. Miss Los Angeles hung on gamely, but was no match for the leaders. Jersey Lightning, the ill-fated craft belonging to Commodore Gerald Holbrook, of the Red Bank Yacht Club, which had capsized the day before and broken her owner's leg, seemed to have little speed in her, and failed to finish the fourth lap when she dropped her rudder off.
Miss Los Angeles furnished the real thrill of the race when, on the fourth lap of the second heat, she hit Scotty's wake on the far turn of the course and capsized like a flash, throwing Ralph Snoddy and his mechanic 30 feet in the air before they hit the water. After making the turn, Sam Dunsford, Scotty's owner-driver, saw what had happened, and immediately swerved around and ran back to help rescue Snoddy and his companion. Coast Guard cutters were ahead of him, however, so Scotty resumed her stern chase of Imp, the latter having slowed down to a 45-mile clip as her competitors lagged behind. Jersey Lightning was back in this heat, and, profiting by Scotty's loss of time, finished second to Imp.
The third heat was a walk-away for Imp, which was never extended. Scotty was running second until the last lap, when her motor went wrong, and she was passed by Jersey Lightning, which was plodding steadily around the course at a 44-mile clip.
Between heats of the Gold Cup event outboards and runabouts flashed around the course in swarms, their motors humming like angry bumble bees, and a fine fleet of 151-Class hydroplanes "did their stuff" in excellent fashion. A whole flock of Class B outboards, Division 2, cavorted around the choppy waters in fine style, the winner turning up in Mercury, a Ludington craft powered with a Johnson motor, and owned by W. B. Tuck, of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Class C, Division 2 Outboards
The Class C, Division 2 outboards put on a hot battle. Earl Gresh, of St. Petersburg, driving Lightning, with an Evinrude motor, took the first heat after a hot battle with J-54, a Boyd-Martin boat with Evinrude motor, driven by W. L. Fismer, of Verona, N. J. In the second heat Miss Cuff, driven by E. H. Patterson, winner of the Yachting trophy in the Albany-New York marathon last April, was leading the field when her steering gear went wrong and she was forced to withdraw. Gresh, in Lightning, was running second but dropped out at the end of the first heat for unannounced reasons, leaving the heat and race to Fismer in J-54. Second place went to Baby Whale, driven by W. C. Schanz, of Lake Hopatcong.
Class D, Division 2 Outboards
The Class D, Division 2 outboards had it out hot and heavy. L. E. Preston, driving a Penn Vann Ceestepper, took the first heat at a 40-mile clip, with Hilton Fraser's Why Not, a Boyd-Martin boat, close on his heels, and several others threatening every moment. Fraser turned the tables in the second heat, and came home a winner over Preston. The two were even on points, but Fraser was adjudged the winner, as his total elapsed time was less than Preston's. The same two boats and drivers fought it out in Class E. Fraser again winning.
Little One II, owned by James Sheldon, took the first heat of the 151-Class, limited hydroplanes, with Frank Ripp's Miss Meadowemere II second. Sheldon turned over in the second heat, however, so Miss Meadowmere II romped in a winner of the heat and the race.
Elmer H. Johnson drove the Hacker-designed Sparrow to victory in all three heats of the 151-Class, unlimited.
In the Grand Free-For-All Wilgold III, owned by C. Roy Keys, of Buffalo, and driven by H. W. Flickenger, covered the 15-mile course in fine style at a 47.6 mile clip, followed by D. A. Proal's Rascal, Buckeye II and Louis Adler's Snap Sea.
(Reprinted from Yachting, October 1929, pp. 72-73)