1948 President's Cup

Fast Fleet Ready For Potomac Race

President's Cup Event Next Week-End Draws Nation's Top Speed Boats

By Clarence F. Lovejoy

Although speed-boat racing will continue spasmodically for another month or two, with such fixtures on the calendar as the Magnolia Y.C. regatta early in October at New Martinsville, W. Va., and the below-sea-level regatta late in October at Salton Sea, Calif., and may even extend into November if another pair of regattas in Mexico is held, the last of the Northern events will be the President’s Cup Regatta on Saturday and Sunday at Washington, D.C.

As usual, this will be the third of the so-called "Big Three" which in some years have brought a triple string of victories to the hottest boat in sight. This year, of course, the Gold Cup has already gone to Danny Foster in Miss Great Lakes and the Red Bank Sweepstakes to Joe Van Blerck Jr.

Washington is expecting an impressive fleet for its eighteenth President’s Cup. James Councillor and Hap Walker, along with such other Potomac moguls as Eric Greenleaf, Jack Hyde, Harry Smith and Jack Anadale, anticipate that at least seven entries will start.

Included may be Miss Great Lakes; E.A. Wilson’s Miss Canada, which won the Detroit Silver Cup; Lou Fageol’s So-Long, which with Wild Bill Cantrell at the wheel won last week’s Harwood trophy race around Manhattan; Dan Arena’s Will-o-the-Wisp; the Dossin brothers’ Miss Pepsi; Harry Lynn’s Lahala, and the mystery ship of the regatta world, W. Melvin Crook’s Betty, which has been tuned on Lake George during the past fortnight and is ready for big-league competition.

Four other Gold Cup racers may put in an appearance. These are My Sweetie, Skipalong, Such Crust and Astraea II, all of which were damaged in the Gold Cup holocaust last month.

If more than ten boats are ready it will be necessary to hold two qualifying heats Saturday afternoon at the usual fifteen-mile distance, in which case qualifiers will race the second and third fifteen-mile heats for the President’s Cup Sunday.

Although in a brave moment a couple of hours after his Detroit accident Guy Lombardo assured Councillor and Walker he would be ready for the President’s Cup, this was simply not physically or surgically possible. The bone-setters have estimated it will take another four or five weeks before the cast on Lombardo’s broken left arm can be removed. The nearest he will come to racing will be a spectator’s seat along the Potomac’s Hains Park. He is now playing a ten-day engagement in Washington as part of some schedule-making that he planned would permit him to compete.

There is some doubt whether Lombardo ever again will resume speed-boat racing. He wants to badly enough, although his wife, his brother and sister and the whole Lombardo band organization are arguing otherwise.

(Reprinted from the New York Times, September 19, 1948)