1953 Mapes Mile High Gold Cup

Lake Tahoe Gold Cup Regatta

 

 

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R. Stanley Dollar's Short Snorter was the first to pass the finish line in all three heats in Lake Tahoe's Sky High Regatta
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Ruby Lankford, photographer, declares that this picture of hers presents an epoch in boat racing when Kenny St. Oegger in his tiny 16' Ruthless gave Hurricane IV, in foreground, some thrilling competition. This picture shows the position on Lake Tahoe when the checkered flag fell.

 

 

Some 15,000 spectators saw R. Stanley Dollar, Jr. of San Francisco take the Gold Cup Sky High Lake Tahoe Regatta in mid-September, with a three-heat win and a best time of 92.176 miles an hour.

Second place went to Bill Stead in his Hurricane IV, formerly owned by Morlan Visel of Los Angeles. Surprise and thrill of the day, and a performance that won the sincere applause of the spectators, was that of Kenny St. Oegger in his little 266 cu. in. hydro, Ruthless II, third place winner. The boat and driver gave Hurricane IV constant competition, passing the larger boat on the turns. Then with a blast of speed on the straightaway, Stead would again be out in front. Tahoe residents now speak of this the first annual regatta, as "Kenny St. Oegger's Day at Tahoe:"

So impressed was he with the boat's showing, that Henry Kaiser, whose wife entered the women's competition, bought the boat the moment it entered the pits.

Richard Davis of Castro Valley, Calif. placed fourth, Jay Murphy, Piedmont, fifth.

Winner of the women's championship was Mrs. Phyllis Meek, Piedmont, driving Baby Skipalong, owned by Dollar. Mrs. Kaiser was second, with Stardust. Third place, went to Mrs. Barbara Santes of Stockton.

Winners of the other events:

Pacific One-Design Hydroplane - Marion Beaver (Parker, Ariz.), Little Beaver, 47.518.
B Racing Runabout - Willie Miranda, Los Banos, Vina Mae IV, 49.033.
E Racing Runabout - Ed Fletchall (Long Beach), Honey Bee Too, 57.600.
Crackerbox - Carl Maginn (Glendale), Hot Ice, 56.616.
136 Cubic Inch Hydroplane - Thomas Caldwell (San Mateo), Blue Blazes, 48.039
489 Hydroplane - Kenneth Ingram (Los Angeles), Ranger's Pup, 57.034
135 Hydroplane - John Corea ( Dos Palos), Skippy II, 63.784
225 Hydroplane - George Matucci (Oakland), California Kid, 59.016
266 Hydroplane - Kenneth St. Oegger (La Crescenta), Ruthless II, 62.630.

The names of Mrs. Meek and Dollar will be inscribed on a 22-year perpetual trophy, donated by Charles Mapes of Reno. Winner of each event received $100 prize money.

(Reprinted from Sea and Pacific Motor Boat, November 1953)

"Women's championship" bespeaks of a time when special events were held for "The Ladies" , novelty competitions sometimes referred to as "Powder Puff Derbies." It was assumed that women could not compete head-to-head with men, a condescension that would likely not be tolerated today.--LF