1955 Presidents Cup
Tempo VII Wins Presidents Cup
Proving herself tops in the field of nine of the nation's top unlimited hydros, Guy Lombardo's Tempo VII, driven by Danny Foster, pounded out a hard-earned victory in the 24th running of the Presidents Cup Race at Washington, D.C., on Sept. 17-18.
Observance of the new A.P.B.A. six boat maximum on unlimited class starting fields required that the contenders be split by lot into two qualifying lights. Drawn for the first section of he first heat were Philip Murphy's Breathless, piloted by the owner's son Jay; Lee Schoenith at the wheel of his lad's Gale V; Bud Saile driving his Miss Cadillac; Willard Rhodes' Miss Thriftway, steered by Bill Muncey; and Tempo. Foster dominated this first qualifying round, winning with ease over Thriftway, Gale V, Cadillac, and Breathless, which finished in that order. In the process Tempo cracked two existing records, both set a year ago by Bill Cantrell in Gale IV. Foster's fourth lap speed of 103.647 wiped out the standing lap mark of 98.4 and his rate of 100.709 for the 15-mile heat topped :he old standard of 95.775.
The line-up for the second qualifying section of the first heat consisted of Horace Dodge's Dora My Sweetie, driven by Don Wilson; Joseph Schoenith's Gale IV with Bill Cantrell in the cockpit; the Dossin Bros'. Miss Pepsi, steered by Chuck Thompson; and George Simon driving his own Miss U.S. This one turned into an easy touch for Pepsi which won at an average of 95.643, followed by Miss U.S. and Dora. Gale IV was unable to finish.
As required by the rules, a redrawing was held for the second heat. Oddly enough, this resulted in the same groupings as before, except that Breathless shifted groups. Miss Pepsi again won her section, at a shade better than 99 m.p.h. She was trailed, in order, by Gale IV, U.S. and Dora. Breathless did not finish.
At the start of the second section Tempo stalled in the early stages of her run to the line. Before Foster could fire her up, the fleet had made a good half lap. At the finish it was Gale V out in front, trailed by Thriftway, Cadillac and Tempo.
With the two heats completed, Pepsi was top boat with 800 points. Gale V had 625, Thriftway 600, Tempo 569, and Miss U.S. 525, Dora and Cadillac were tied at 394 but the advantage and the coveted sixth spot in the third heat went to Cadillac by virtue of the lesser elapsed time.
All the six eligibles commenced their starting run for the third heat unusually early. Most of them sensed
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(Reprinted from Yachting, October 1955)