1949 National Sweepstakes and Red Bank Gold Cup

Cantrell Captures National Sweepstakes Speed-Boat Title with My Sweetie

Louisville Driver Sets Heat Record

Cantrell Pilots My Sweetie at 87.464 mph as He Wins the Sweepstakes Crown

Sarant Next With Etta Feature Winner Also Annexes Red Bank "Gold Cup"

By Clarence E. Lovejoy

Red Bank, NJ, Aug. 14 [1949] -- Skimming past some of the fastest boats in the country and even lapping them as if they were tied to mooring buoys, the amazing combination of Wild Bill Cantrell behind the steering wheel of My Sweetie captured the National Sweepstakes title for 1949 on a flat, fast perfect North Shrewsbury River regatta course today.

This Louisville business man who, when he can't find a speed boat to drive, spends his hobby time racing autos at Indianapolis and elsewhere, was sensational. In blanketing the final sweepstakes 10-miles heat he shot the heat record up to a dizzy 87.464 miles an hour to erase the 9-year-old speed mark of 76.14 mph, set here in 1940 by Dan Arena in Notre Dame. On his third lap the timers gave him a speed of 89.108.

Today's victory, added to the runner-up place he earned yesterday when he was penalized an extra 2½ mile lap, gave Cantrell 700 point to 625 for George Sarant of Freeport, L.I. who won yesterday's fluky heat and finished third today in his Etta.

Third honors in the sweepstakes field of seven starters went to Harry Lynn of Lake Hopatcong, NJ, in Lahala. After flying over the finish, Lynn found his motor compartment on fire and had to steer sharply inside the racing oval while Coast Guard patrol craft converged from several directions to smother the blaze and prevent an explosion.

Eager for More Triumphs

Cantrell was still eager for more conquests as the afternoon wore on. The final event on the two-day program was the so-called Red Bank "Gold Cup" a free-for-all that brought out from the pits fourteen assorted speed ships, from the super-powered expensive unlimiteds and Gold Cuppers down to the lowly Jersey sea skiffs. By now Governor Alfred E. Driscoll of New Jersey, Dr. Jose Lelo Larrea, Mexican Consul General in New York, and other dignitaries were among the 50,000 spectators ashore and on anchored yachts.

Again it was Cantrell in My Sweetie who led from the start, tearing around ten miles at a speed of 82.08 mph.

* * *

The Summaries
National Sweepstakes
Second Heat, 10 Miles

1. My Sweetie, William E. Cantrell, Louisville KY
2. LaHaLa, Harry Lynn, Lake Hopatcong, NJ
3. Etta, George E. Sarant, Freeport, L.I.
4. Sunshine Baby, Ray Gassner, St. Petersburg, FL
5. Mercury, Oliver M. Elam Jr., Ashland KY
6. Spot Cash, Al Sunshine
Aljo, Joe Van Blerck, Freeport, L.I. did not finish
Time: 6:51.3, Speed: 87.464 mph

Total Point Score
Cantrell, 700
Sarant, 625
Lynn, 525

Red Bank Gold Cup
One Heat, Ten Miles

1. My Sweetie, William E. Cantrell, Louisville KY
2. Z-z-zip, Sid Street, Kansas City
3. Etta, George E. Sarant, Freeport, L.I.
4. Tempo VI, Guy Lombardo, Freeport, L.I.
5. Aljo, Joe Van Blerck, Freeport, L.I.
6. Blitz II, John M. Bogie, Saranac Lake, NY
7. Sunshine Baby, Ray Gassner, St. Petersburg, FL
Bon Bon, Frank Dubeshter, Bayside L.I.,
Barracuda, Lou Butler, Zanesville OH,
LaHaLa, Harry Lynn, Lake Hopatcong NJ and
So Long, L.J. Fageol, Cuyahoga Falls, did not finish.
Time: 7:18.3, Speed: 82.080 mph.

Total Point Score
Cantrell, 400
Street 300
Sarant 225


(Reprinted from the New York Times August 15, 1949)