1954 APBA Gold Cup

Slo-mo-shun V Wins Gold Cup in 3 Heats

Seattle, Aug. 7 [1954] (AP) — Slo-mo-shun IV dropped her Gold cup crown on Lake Washington today but her Seattle sister Slo-mo-shun V roared to victory in all three heats to pick it up.

Slo-mo-shun V's victory kept the Gold Cup in the hands of Seattle's Stanley Sayres for the fifth straight year.

The red-tailed hydroplane dominated the race as completely as any boat ever did in recent years. She kept ahead of the field virtually all the way while rival after rival dropped out of the speed and endurance grind with mechanical troubles.

Lou Fageol piloted the Slo-mo V to triumph at a clip which brought a new lap record of 104.773 miles an hour around the three and three-quarter mile course. The old mark, set by Slo-mo-IV last year, was 104.231.

The grueling 90-mile race, in three 30-mile heats, was run under near perfect conditions on the ripple waters of Lake Washington, with a vast crowd estimated at several hundred thousand watching from the shore, hillside and boats along the course.

Slo-mo V set a new 90-mile speed record with an average of 99.108 miles an hour as she left the others of the speedy fleet staggering behind her rooster-tail of spray.

The old record, set last year by Slo-mo-IV, was 92.6 m.p.h.

Miss United States [Miss U.S.], owned by George Simon of Detroit, finished second by placing second in the first two heats and fourth in the final heat as her powerful motor began to show the strain. The Detroit boat scored 769 points to the Slo-mo's 2,000.

The new queen of the lake received 400 points for winning each heat, 400 for the best over-all time. Miss United States was piloted by her owner.

Third place went to Gale V, owned by Joe Schoenith of Detroit and driven by his son, Lee. She scored 694 points by finishing third in the first heat, fourth in the second, and second in the third, about 250 yards behind the winner.

The only other point winner was Miss Cadillac of Detroit, owned by Fred Saile. She got 169 for a fourth place finish in the first heat, the only one she finished.

The Gold Cup is awarded on a point basis. The winner of each lap receives 400 points, second place finisher 300 points, third 225 and fourth and fifth 169 and 127 points. Bonus points are given boats finishing the full 90 miles — 400 for the fastest average speed and 400 for the fastest heat.

Runs Onto Beach

Bill Cantrell, one of the country's best-known speed-boat drivers, was the tough-luck pilot for the second straight year. He was severely burned when his boat blew up in the race a year ago [CORRECTION: Such Crust IV blew up in 1952] and ended up today in the rock garden of a Lakeshore home. His steering mechanism jammed as he prepared to start the second heat and his Gale IV ran onto the beach.

Cantrell was not hurt but the bottom was torn out of the hydroplane. Cantrell was knocked out of the first heat when his boat threw a propeller.

Fageol and Slo-mo V proved they could take the rough spots as well as the clear sailing at the start of the second heat.

Fageol was roaring under the Lake Washington Bridge for the start of the heat when another boat, Wha Hoppen Too, of Detroit, emerged from the pit and cut straight across the path of the onrushing Slo-mo V. Slo-mo, nearing its top speed at the time, bounced perilously and was in fourth place as the boats crossed the starting line.

The judges announced later the Wha Hoppen was disqualified as a result of the incident. However, the boat, trailing far behind, dropped out before the heat was over.

The average speeds of the boats that finished two or more heats were Slo-mo V, 99.108; Gale V, 93.575; Miss United States, 90.476, and Slo-mo-shun IV 98.28 (finished two heats only).

Gale V had a faster speed average than Miss United States, while finishing behind her in points, because of the slow time of Miss United States in the finale heat.

Slo-mo IV, which holds the world straightaway record of 178.497, failed to finish the first heat when fuel pump trouble knocked it out with only one lap remaining.

(From the Associated Press)