1954 Presidents Cup

Cantrell's Boat Takes Opening Heat in Presidents Cup

1954 Presidents Cup Programme Guide
1954 Presidents Cup Programme Guide

Gale IV Betters 2 Potomac Marks

Cantrell Guides Speedboat to Victory Over Dodge's Craft in 15-mile Heat

By Clarence E. Lovejoy

Washington, DC Sept. 18 [1954] — While thousands along the seawall of Hains Point and thousands of others on anchored craft saw the speed-boat thrills, a lead-foot cockpit ace, Bill Cantrell, once of Louisville and now of Detroit, won the first fifteen-mile heat of the Presidents Cup competition on the Potomac late today.

He was at the wheel of Joseph Schoenith's chartreuse-colored Gale IV and out in front by some 125 yards of Horace E., Dodge's My Sweetie Dora, winner recently of the Silver Cup at Detroit with the same driver, Jack Bartlow.

Bartlow had been pace-setter for the first four laps, when Cantrell coaxed some more revs out of his motor and went ahead. Third was Schoenith's other entry, Gale V, driven by his son Lee.

Cantrell's time set two records. He was clocked in 9:23:4 for a heat record for the Potomac of 95.542 miles and hour. His third lap, at 98.19 m.p.h., was a record for this three-mile circuit.

Smooth River a Novelty

The second and third Presidents Cup heats will be held tomorrow.

The nation's capital has been speed-boat conscious since 1926, when a group of yachtsmen persuaded President Calvin Coolidge to lend his high office tot he Gold Trophy, which became known as the Presidents Cup. Today's was the twenty-third running of the event.

On a river that was smooth, a novelty in these Presidents Cup regattas that have had more than their share of rough-water crack-ups, this was and afternoon largely for the stock outboards. Inboards will pre-empt tomorrow.

(Reprinted from the New York Times, September 19, 1954)