1955 Maple Leaf Trophy

Prepared to Defend River Trophy on Saturday

Crew Works Since Fall To Keep Boat Race Cup

Schoenith Squad of Detroit Rated As Favorites in Windsor Event

The Schoenith crew in Detroit are all set to “defend" the coveted Maple Leaf Unlimited Cup this Saturday at Windsor Yacht Club.

Lee Schoenith. 25-year-old driver of Gale V which won the race last year and son of owner Joe Schoenith, said yesterday preparations for Saturday's race started last fall.

“We spent the whole winter working on our boats. They've all been rebuilt at Bay City. We have torn down all the engines. X-rayed and magna-fluxed the parts, checked every’ piece of line and wire, and put them all back together again.’*

“Wild Bill” Cantrell will drive Gale IV, thereby beginning his 28th season as a driver of high powered speedboats.

Lee says Gale IV is the strong boat this year.

Both Lee and “Wild Willie” look for their main competition in two new and untried boats (so far as competition is concerned). One is the Canadian entry, Supertest II of London, and the other is Guy Lombardo's Tempo VII.

Guy won't drive himself. In fact, he won t even be in Windsor this weekend. But he has turned his new boat over to veteran Danny Foster.

The Gale fleet moved into a new and near-perfect Troy Township workshop near Birmingham last March. There, the crewmen have a perfect setup for conversion work and repair.

The layout, built just for the boats, includes a machine shop, a carpenter shop, and a heap of storage and work space, all new and well lighted.

The new Gale VI will not be available Saturday. Her twin Allison engines are mounted, but the gear box is still missing. The new boat dwarfs her sisters.

“We think she'll do 200,’’ Lee said, “but you never know until you get 'em in the water.”

Both the IV and V have been changed, but even the veterans won’t notice the difference. All modifications have been slight, but an extra eighth of wood on the bottom can change the whole balance and running characteristics.

Mr. Schoenith, Sr., a Tecumseh summer resident, has always been enthusiastic about the Windsor race. He indicated previously his intention to win again this year— and the smart money will be on the Gale fleet.

Six men have worked all year so that the Gale boats may enter eight races this summer. The Maple Leaf in Windsor is first.

The others include the Ford Memorial, the St. Clair Regatta, the Gold Cup at Seattle, Wash.; the Silver Cup, the President's Cup, at Washington. D.C; the International Cup, Elizabeth City, N.C.. and the Governor’s Trophy, Madison. Ind.

The Gale fleet presently holds the Maple Leaf, the Ford Memorial, the President’s Cup, and the International Cup. Last year, the boats also took the Imperial Cup at New Martinsville. W. Va.

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Gale 1955_maple_leaf_trophy_prepared_to_defend_river_trophy_on_saturday_gale.jpg
1955_maple_leaf_trophy_prepared_to_defend_river_trophy_on_saturday_cantrell_lee.jpgV

The Schoenith fleet of Gale boats are ready lor the defence Saturday of Windsor’s Maple Leaf Unlimited Trophy, Canada s blue ribbon waterspeed event. Gale V won it last year. Pictured here is Gale IV, which, according to the owners, is in better shape this year than V.

Bill Cantrell, Lee Schoenith

“Wild Bill” Cantrell, driving Gale IV, begins his 28th season in Windsor Saturday. He is pictured here in the cockpit of the refurbished boat. Beside him is Lee Schoenith, son of the owner, who will drive Gale V. The two say Windsor’s course, in the narrows between the mainland and Peche Island, is the toughest in the business. “It’s the S-turn with no real stretches.” according to Cantrell. “At one end you hit the turbulence of Lake St. Clair; at the other you go plowing out into the navigation channel.” The speedometer in the boat is marked with red lines, and he says he will enter his turns Saturday at 100 miles per hour, hitting from 130 to 150 in the backstretches.

--- The Windsor Star, June 14, 1955