1950 National Sweepstakes

Etta Defeats Tempo VI and Aljo in Sweepstakes Heat at Red Bank

by Clarence E. Lovejoy

1950 National Sweepstakes Regatta Programme Guide
1950 National Sweepstakes Regatta Programme Guide

RED BANK, N. J., Aug. 5 [1950] -- A forlorn Gold Cup creation that had motor stoppages and other bad luck at Detroit regattas last month came back East and today with a patched-up gear box on her Allison aircraft engine led a reduced and unimpressive field in the feature event of the opening afternoon of Red Bank's eighteenth annual national sweepstakes regatta.

This was Etta, the 29-foot gray entry of George Sarant, a Freeport LI, business man, who led home two other Freeport townsmen in the ten-mile scramble. They were Guy Lombardo in his Tempo VI, another Allison-powered Gold Cupper and Aljo, the smaller 7-litre craft owned and piloted by Joe Van Blerck Jr.

Tomorrow afternoon the second and final ten-mile heat will be the program's feature, and in the meantime the fleet here in the pits will have its corps of mechanics working through the night on new experiments and alterations to coax more speed out of the mammoth marine plants.

Lombardo, for instance, is trying first one thing, then another, to give his lethargic Tempo VI a new lease on fast life. At noon today he removed an oak wedge that had been riveted with some 200 brass screws under the stern, although similar wedges added under the starboard and port sponsons in Detroit seem to be giving Tempo a lift.

Dee Jay Forced Out

Danny Murphy's Dee Jay V from Philadelphia and the Ocean City Y.C. which capsized and sank at Detroit, appeared today with a new topside planking and apparently none the worse for her dunking in the Detroit River.

She came out for the sweepstakes heat with Norman Lauterbach at the wheel, only to conk out just before reaching the starting line.

Another Gold Cupper left on the beach was Jim Davis' Stubby VI, from Keansburg, NJ, which broke a shaft in pre-race practice and had to sit the first heat out, but may be ready tomorrow.

Etta had things her own way for the entire ten miles, jumping into a lead it the flying start and opening 100 yards, then 200 and at the dash at least 300 yards of open water ahead of the ailing Tempo.

Half Mile Behind Tempo

The under-powered Aljo was never a serious contender and got the black and white checkered flag at least a half mile behind Tempo.

Etta's ten miles of four 2½ mile heats were clocked at a modest 8:13 4/10 for a speed of 72.964 on a waterway that was getting rougher every minute from a freshening northwest wind.

Lombardo's chagrin in losing the sweepstakes had its compensation in the last event of the long racing day, a ten-mile free-for-all affair for any and all comers for a trophy labeled the Red Bank Gold Cup.

Here the bandmaster, after a couple of hours of tinkering, found new speed in Tempo VI and not only won from a larger field than the sweepstakes mustered but with Sarant's Etta taking Tempo's wash all the way, although Etta was closing at the finish when she was less than one hundred feet astern.

National Sweepstakes Ten-Mile Heats
1. Etta George E. Sarant, Freeport LI
2. Tempo VI Guy Lombardo, Freeport LI
3. Aljo Joe van Blerck Jr., Freeport LI
Norman Lauterbach, Lower Red Bank NJ did not start in Dee Jay V. Time: 8:13.4, Speed 72.964 mph.

(Reprinted from the New York Times August 6, 1950)