1948 National Sweepstakes

Red Bank Regatta Set for Aug. 21-22

Record Number of Starters is Seen for National Speed Boat Sweepstakes

By Clarence E. Lovejoy

Red Bank, which once a year piles out of its homes and either shuts up shop or lets junior errand boys take care of its offices, stores and factories while it flocks down to the banks of the North Shrewsbury (Navesink) River for its two-day speed boat National Sweepstakes, is getting eager and fidgety for 1948's big celebration.

Here is a town that really goes all out with unfettered enthusiasm when headliners such as Guy Lombardo, Danny Foster, the inimitable dare-devil grandfather Jack (Pop) Cooper, and other famous pilots arrive with their craft.

This year's dates are Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 21 and 22 and the tense excitement is already gripping this metropolis of Monmouth County. The little Molly Pitcher Hotel, named, of course, for Monmouth's famous woman of Revolutionary times, has been sold out for days with reservations from speed boat people from most parts of the country.

The Red Bank classic is a revelation of how non-commercial civic-minded boosters can get behind a project in unison. There are no gimmicks, angles or fixes in this sports spectacle.

Probably nobody makes any money on it unless the markets and grocers should be excepted because of the ships' stores they sell to the fleets of spectator yachts which cruise to the North Shrewsbury from all over the east and anchor for two days around the regatta oval, in a setting of unusual attractiveness with the lawns of the Red Bank, Fair Haven and Middletown estates sloping down to the river usually crowded.

They are expecting to surpass last year's record of 409 starters and a committee talks optimistically about having 500 this year in the thirty-five racing hats over the two days. In addition to most of the Gold Cup boats, which will be entered in the National Sweepstakes, the leading event, an unusual number of 225 Class craft, will tear off at the starter's cannon this year because Red Bank was designated last week as one of the regatta for the new Trimper Trophy, presented by Charles Trimper of Buffalo for 225s.

On each of the two days the outboard events have been scheduled to begin right after noon and the inboard races will have the river from mid-afternoon 'til the final 5:30 pm heats.

(Reprinted from the New York Times, August 1, 1948)