1946 President's Cup

Californian Wins First Heat In Cup Race, Lombardo Second

Miss Great Lakes Comes Close to Record; Truman Plans to See Two Events Today

By Malcolm Lamborne, Jr.

Dan Foster drives Miss Great Lakes to victory in the 1946 President's Cup
Dan Foster drives Miss Great Lakes to victory in the 1946 President's Cup

A 28-year-old West coast driver who perfected his racing skill at the controls of a P-38 fighter plane during the war thrilled thousands of spectators and surprised five other competitors yesterday by taking the opening heat of the President's Cup event, feature race of the 15th running of the President's Cup Regatta.

Roaring over the 15-mile course at a near-record speed of 67.771 miles an hour, Miss Great Lakes, driven by Dan Foster of San Francisco, led the field for the entire six laps, and beat out Guy Lombardo's favored Tempo VI by five seconds.

President Truman will view the second and third heats today from the deck of a Navy day cruiser, and will be joined on board by Miss Edith "Prude" Snyder, the regatta queen.

Even larger crowds than the 50,000 persons estimated by the Park Police as present yesterday were expected for the running of the two feature races today, the first at 1:40 p.m. and the second at 4:20 p.m.

Lombardo, maestro of a famous dance band, tried without success to move his fast Gold Cup boat ahead of the spray-tossing Miss Great Lakes, but he could not get past the boat's big wake. But in their fight, the two racers came close to setting new lap and heat records for a President's Cup race.

Miss Great Lakes' fastest lap speed was 69.338 miles an hour, just a mile and a half below the all-time record set in 1938 by Count Theo Rossi of Italy. Tempo's best lap speed was 69.23 miles. For the 11 miles, the winner's average of 67.771 was 1.9 miles under Rossi's speed that same year.

Driving with young Foster was Albin Fallon of Detroit, owner of Miss Great Lakes, which was built this year by another West Coast youngster, Dan Arena.

Foster's triumph had added significance which was missed by the crowds lining East Potomac Park, the Mount Vernon boulevard and aboard more than 200 assorted pleasure craft.

Under the name of Miss Golden Gate III, the Fallon boat came close to winning the Gold Cup classic at Detroit on Labor Day. Driven then by Arena, the racer was on its way to taking the prize when a broken connecting rod forced her out near the finish of the last race. Lombardo came through intact and won the prize. Fallon purchased the Arena boat only a few weeks ago.

Only Four Racers Finish

Six racers came out for the start of the President's Cup event, but only four finished. Gibson Bradfield's Buckeye Baby from Barnesville, Ohio, a 225 cubic-inch hydroplane, dropped out on the second lap and was content to enter other events for 225s.

William Cantrell's Why Worry from Louisville. Kentucky, a Gold Cup job, turned in a good performance for four laps, pressing both Tempo and Miss Great Lakes for a time. But on the lower turn off Hains Point on the fifth circuit, the boat took a terrific pounding from the combined wakes of the leading two boats, broke off a pontoon, tore off its engine hatch and then gave up. Cantrell said later it would be impossible to have the boat repaired in time for today's races.

A sixth Gold Cup racer, E. A. Wilson's Miss Canada III from Ingersoll, Ontario, developed engine trouble on the way out for the first heat and had to be towed back to the launching pits at the Naval Gun Factory by the Coast Guard. Wilson promised to be on hand for today's races, however. An earlier Miss Canada of the Wilson family won the cup here in 1939.

While the spectacular Gold Cup boats held the spotlight, a modest Essex (Md.) automobile dealer came away with a new world record for class D racing runabouts and came within four one-hundredths of a mile of setting a new mark in the class E racing runabouts. He was Frank Foulke, who comes from a suburb of Baltimore.

Foulke Breaks His Old Mark

In his brand-new class D Sagana VIII, Foulke won both heats for inboard runabouts. In the second heat he finished a good half mile ahead of the next boat. When the timers finished their calculation on the Coast Guard cutter Dione it was found Foulke had broken his old mark for the class with a speed of 52.083 miles an hour.

Foulke, in winning the first heat for the class E runabouts with his older Sagana VII was timed at 53.635 miles an hour for the 5 miles. This was better than the former mark of 53.571 miles set by George Ward jr., at Red Bank. N. J., in 1940, but the rules require that a new speed must be one-tenth of a mile faster to be recorded as a record.

The Maryland racer said his wife would take the Sagana VII out this morning for a try at a one-mile speed mark over a special course above the Fourteenth street bridge.

The 225 hydroplanes gave the crowd their next big show, when 12 of the speedy racers came out for the two heats for the American Power Boat Association championships. Winner each time was Albert Brinkman, Jr. of Grand Island, N.Y., driving Seabiscuit. C. Frank Ripp's Meadowmere III from Rockville Centre. N. Y., was second in both races and Joe Van Blerck, of Freeport. L. I., was just as consistent for third place.

Brinkman's best speed was 62.198 miles an hour recorded in the first heat, but it was more than 10 miles below the record.

All-Washington Race

Another event that provided close racing was in Washington's own sweepstakes, open only to boats owned and raced by metropolitan area drivers. George Brinckerhoff of College Park led the field of five boats in his Monk II. In the same boat, Brinckerhoff placed second to Foulke in the Class E racing runabouts.

John Zevely, driving Miss Nash, was No. 2 in the all-Washington sweepstakes and Tom Keane, with his son as crew, placed third.

Other finishers in the President's Cup event were W. J. Stroh's Pepsi Cola III, driven by Pat Hughes of Detroit and Henry Slocum's So-Long of Freeport. L. I. They were third and fourth respectively, but well behind the leaders at the end of the grind.

Regatta Summaries

Class E Inboard Service Runabouts (first heat)—Won by Sagana VII (Franklin Foulke, Baltimore Md.); second, Monk II (George C. Brinckerhoff, College Park. Md.); third, Hells Angel Too (Sherman Crichfield, Miami. Fla.). Winning time — 33.635 m.p.h.

Class E Outboard Runabouts (first and final)—Won by Z-5 (J. W. Bradley Plymouth, N. C.); second, E-69 (John S. Cooper, Richmond. Va.); third, Victoria (Edwin P. Berger, Sidney. N. Y.). Winning time — 36.392 m.p.h.

91 cubic inch hydroplanes (first heat) — Won by Another Little Bea, Gordon H. Knapp, Great Neck, N.Y.); second, Ho-Mo (Edward D. Campanella, Benison., N. J.). Winning time 43.269 mph.

C and F Class Outboard Runabouts Won by J-104 (Charles G. Mack, New Milford. N. J ); second, Barnstormer (Byron Shannon, Audubon N.J.); third, J-76 (Lotsie Toth, East Paterson. N. J.). Winning time—45.454 mph

Inboard Runabouts (all except Classes A-E-K) — Won by Sagana VIII (Franklin Foulke, Essex, Md.); second. Flossie (William Hampton, Somers Point. N J.); third, Senorita (Louis Burke, Philadelphia). Winning time — 50.647 m.p.h

President's Cup (first qualifying heat) Won by Miss Great Lakes (Dan Foster, Detroit. Mich.); second; Tempo VI (Guy Lombardo. Freeport. L. I.. N. Y.); third, Pepsi Cola III (W. J. Stroh, Detroit. Mich.). Winning time — 67.771 m.p.h

135 cu. in hydroplanes — Won by Yankee Doodle II (Merlyn Culver, Dayton, Ohio); second, Gooch II (Dr. Martin A. Haurin, Philadelphia); third, Phyllis I, R.J. Stein, Dayton, Ohio). Winning time — 50.619 miles per hour.

225 cubic inch hydroplanes American Power Boat Association championship (first heat) won by Seabiscuit (Albert Brinkman, Jr., Grand Island, NY); second, Meadowmere III (C. Frank Ripp, Rockville Centre, NY); third, Aljo V (Joe Van Blerck, Jr., Freeport, L.I., N.Y.). Winning time — 62.198 mph.

All-Washington Sweepstakes (first and final) — Won by The Monk II (George Brinckerhoff, College Park, Md.); second, Miss Nash (John Zevely, Washington); third, 32-E (Tom T. Keane, Washington). Winning time — 37.122 mph.

Inboard runabouts (second heat) — Won by Sagana VIII (Franklin Foulke, Essex, Md.); second, Sea Sled V (Charles C. Shuler, Hamilton, Ohio); third, Flossie (William Hampton, Somers Point, N.J.). Winning time — 52.083 mph (new world record).

225 cubic inch hydroplanes American Power Boat Association Championship (second heat) — Won by Seabiscuit (Albert Brinkman, Jr., Grand Island, NY); second, Meadowmere III (C. Frank Ripp, Rockville Centre, NY); third, Aljo II [??], (Joe van Blerck, Freeport, L.I., N.Y.). Winning time — 60.934 mph.

Division II, 225 cubic inch hydroplanes (final result) — Won by Betty IV (Vincent L. Schwing, Baltimore); second, Eight Ball II (Frank E. Speargrass, Baltimore); third, O-We-Go (Carl E. Lanman, Baltimore), Winning time — 49.046 mph.

(Reprinted from Motor Boating)