1957 Season Summary
|1||05-May||Apple Cup||Chelan, Washington|
|2||22-Jun||Detroit Memorial||Detroit, Michigan|
|3||14-Jul||International Boundary||St. Clair, Michigan|
|4||July 20-21||Mapes Mile High Gold Cup||Tahoe City, California|
|5||11-Aug||APBA Gold Cup||Seattle, Washington|
|6||18-Aug||Conners Memorial||Buffalo, New York|
|25-Aug||Dale Hollow Regatta (no points)||Dale Hollow, Tennessee|
|7||31-Aug||Silver Cup||Detroit, Michigan|
|8||September 21-22||Presidents Cup||Washington, D.C.|
|9||22-Sep||Rogers Memorial||Washington, D.C.|
|10||September 28-29||Indiana Governor's Cup||Madison, Indiana|
|11||October 12-13||Sahara Cup||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|05-May||Maverick||Ricky Iglesias||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Allison|
|22-Jun||Such Crust III (2)||Walt Kade||Les Staudacher||Les Staudacher||Allisons|
|14-Jul||Short Circuit (2)||Chuck Thompson||Les Staudacher||Les Staudacher||Allison|
|21-Jul||Miss Wahoo||Junie Cech||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Allison|
|11-Aug||Miss Thriftway||Jack Ramsey||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|18-Aug||Miss Supertest II||Victor Leghorn||Les Staudacher||Les Staudacher||Rolls Griffon|
|25-Aug||It's A Wonder||—||—||—||—|
|31-Aug||Hawaii Kai III||Mike Welsch||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|22-Sep||Hawaii Kai III||Mike Welsch||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|22-Sep||Hawaii Kai III||Mike Welsch||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|29-Sep||Hawaii Kai III||Mike Welsch||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|13-Oct||Hawaii Kai III||Mike Welsch||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|Built||Boat||High Points Totals||Team High Points|
|1||(1956)||Hawaii Kai III||2394||(1)|
|6||(1955)||Miss Wayne (2)||750||(6)|
|7||(1955)||Short Circuit (2)||696||(7)|
|9||(1954)||Miss Supertest II||569||(9)|
|12||(1953||Such Crust III (2)||400||(12)|
|13.||(1957)||Miss U.S. 1 (2)||352||(13)|
|15||(1957)||Miss U.S. IV||300||(15)|
|20||(1951)||Wha Hoppen Too||127||(20)|
|21||(1956)||Gale V (2)||0||—|
|27||(1956)||Miss U.S. II||DNS||—|
|Driver||High Points Total|
As a result of the 1956 Gold Cup and the Unlimited owners wanting to control their own destiny, the Unlimited Racing Commission came into being during 1957. The Commission did not officially begin until June and in the interim there was some confusion as to whether the A.P.B.A. or the U.R.C. could grant an Unlimited sanction.
The positions of Seattle and Detroit were reversed for 1957 with Seattle having three strong contenders - Shanty I, Hawaii Kai III and Miss Thriftway with Maverick and possibly Miss Wahoo joining this trio. Both Maverick and Miss Wahoo had shown an ability to run in the vicinity of Hawaii Kai III at the final race of 1956 in Las Vegas.
Detroit had lost the Miss Pepsi to retirement. Pepsi's number U-99 was taken by the ex-Tempo VII bought by Chuck Thompson to be run as Short Circuit. A new Miss U.S. 1 was to replace the Arena hull built in 1953 - it was to be a duplicate by Les Staudacher. Also on the Simon team was a Miss U.S. IV by Henry Lauterbach, who had achieved fame in designing limiteds, after the very successful limited Wa Wa Too. Driver Don Wilson who was to drive the Miss U.S. IV made the choice after piloting Wa Wa Too.
Perhaps the most interesting new boat was Ted Jones' Thriftway Too. The boat was a cabover and was designed to carry two Allisons or one Rolls Merlin. According to Jones this new design could match his previous hulls on the straightaway and make up considerable time in the turns. Turning ability was the main flaw of Jones' previous designs .
The problem the Detroit contingent would have to overcome was that Shanty and possibly Hawaii Kai III were capable of 110 m.p.h. around a three mile course. Tempo VII's best lap in 1955 was 106 m.p.h. The U.S. I could run with the Tempo in late 1955 and indeed in 1956 she turned a lap of 106 m.p.h. at Madison. Thus the best that Detroit could offer was about 4 m.p.h. short. However aside from Shanty and probably Hawaii Kai III the other western boats were within range.
Detroit received more bad news after the first western regatta at Chelan, Washington. Although losing the contest through inconsistency Hawaii Kai III turned a lap at 116 m.p.h. or 113 if you believe KING-TV. The winner Maverick did 110 although this was in a two boat heat with Shanty I. Even Miss Thriftway, still with an Allison engine, improved by 4 m.p.h. to 109. Shanty I was surprisingly unstable and Miss Wahoo matched her speed of the previous season although being decidedly second place.
The sorrow in Detroit grew deeper as Short Circuit failed to show Tempo VII form either in the rough water Ford Memorial or the International Boundary at St. Clair, Michigan which was a much smoother track than in previous years although no Lake Washington.
The Gales attended the 90 mile Mapes Gold Cup on Lake Tahoe, but their performances were not any better than 1956. Miss Wahoo with a hopped up Allison took the regatta. Hawaii Kai III again posted the fastest lap, but was again inconsistent. Miss Thriftway went the 90 miles, but had prop trouble in her heat one and made a bad start in heat two before jumping the gun in the final heat. Shanty I and Chelan winner Maverick both had bad races although Shanty I led heat 1-A for five laps out of 10.
The upshot of all this was that Seattle had an overwhelming advantage over Detroit approaching the Seattle Gold Cup. Only the sudden emergence of the two new unraced Miss U.S. entries would give the motor city a fighting chance. Short Circuit was underfinanced, unstable and underpowered with a stock Allison engine. Such Crust III had turned a qualifying lap of 111 m.p.h. -- 5 m.p.h. slower than Hawaii Kai III at Chelan -- but had not been a factor on the race course since 1953.
In the Gold Cup Miss Wahoo proved her mettle winning heat 1-A at record speed including a lap of 113 m.p.h. Miss Thriftway had little trouble from the poorly balanced Shanty I to take heat 1-B and Hawaii Kai III had a clear margin over Maverick in winning heat 1-C also posting a 113 m.p.h. lap.
For the second heat Miss Thriftway was matched with Hawaii Kai III and Wahoo with Maverick. Thus the four top contenders were going against each other in all heats unlike the first draw.
Hawaii Kai got out front and led the first lap of heat 2-A. However Miss Thriftway kept the pressure on and the Kai broke in lap 2 giving Thriftway the heat.
Fortunately for Maverick, Wahoo was unable to start heat 2-B due to carburetor trouble. Nevertheless Maverick although leading for quite a number of laps developed engine trouble and Shanty I took the 400 points for first place.
Miss Thriftway (800) led Shanty I (700) by only 100 points heading into the final heat, but had a significant advantage in elapsed time and speed over the rough riding Bill Waggoner entry.
Miss Thriftway played it cool to take the Gold Cup by placing second in the third heat. Hawaii Kai III again had mechanical trouble when leading while Wahoo failed to make the last heat. Maverick won the heat at an unimpressive speed after Hawaii Kai went dead in lap 9.
Hawaii Kai III rebounded to win the Silver Cup after three races in which mechanical difficulty denied her victory. She was acknowledged as the fastest entry at all three races.
En route to her victory unlike her previous contests she was defeated by Miss Wahoo in heat 1-C, succeeded to first place in heat 2-B when Maverick went dead before taking the final heat to win the regatta. Hawaii Kai III also ran behind Miss U.S. 1 in the first running of heat 2-B, so her Silver Cup triumph was less than overwhelming although she had the fastest lap by 2 m.p.h.
Her main antagonist Miss Thriftway beat Miss Wahoo in heat 2-A after losing to Maverick in heat 1-A before taking second in the last heat. Wahoo defeated Hawaii Kai in heat 1-C due to the Kai spinning out and made bad starts the rest of the day. Maverick defeated Miss Thriftway in heat 1-A and was running ahead of Hawaii Kai in heat 2-B before expiring. Thus there were three boats around to give the Hawaii Kai camp concern not to mention Miss U.S. 1 who led Hawaii Kai during the first running of heat 2-B laying down a lap of 111 m.p.h. in the process.
Hawaii Kai III won the Presidents Cup with little trouble defeating her two closest rivals Thriftway and Wahoo during her second heat. Maverick had a bad race running behind Shanty I who cracked up prior to the final heat in a test run. Shanty had 800 points heading into the final,, but was 10 m.p.h. off the pace set by the winning Edgar Kaiser entry.
Hawaii Kai III started to dominate the competition when she swept the field to annex the Rogers Memorial, a companion feature to the Presidents Cup. She had an advantage of 3 m.p.h. in the latter race and 4 m.p.h. in the Rogers. Wahoo, Maverick and Miss U.S. 1 were not in the ball game.
Just when the Kai's hegemony over the field seemed complete Miss Thriftway won heat 1-A in the Indiana Governor's Cup at 112 m.p.h. including a lap of 115 m.p.h. This was equivalent to Hawaii Kai's lap of the year at 116 m.p.h. in Chelan. The best Hawaii Kai III could do for her first heat was 108 m.p.h. Perhaps the Thriftway crew had learned more about their new Rolls Merlin engine after running it four races.
In heat two Thriftway and Hawaii Kai were again drawn in separate sections. Miss Thriftway was well on her way to again defeat Miss Wahoo by a significant margin when her sponson blew apart heading into lap 2 of heat 2-A. Driver Bill Muncey like Shanty pilot Russ Schleeh was all right, but both hulls were damaged beyond repair.
Hawaii Kai III went on to defeat Miss Wahoo twice in the succeeding heats to take the regatta. However her margins were not as impressive as Miss Thriftway in heat one. Thriftway had a better power to weight ratio than Hawaii Kai so perhaps the latter was lucky to win.
On the first day of the final race of the season at Las Vegas Hawaii Kai III won her heat in impressive fashion. Miss Bardahl won heat 1-A when both Wahoo and Maverick, the Kai's chief competition, had engine trouble.
The next day the water was rough and the Kai continued her dominance by winning her heat over Thriftway Too. Maverick beat Wahoo in the other section of heat two. Approaching the final, all the Hawaii Kai had to do was finish second to insure her victory in the Sahara Cup.
However in the final Thriftway Too was loaded for bear. She got the jump at the start and led Hawaii Kai III all five laps in a magnificent duel at twilight on rough water. Hawaii Kai was runner up by less than two seconds, but captured the trophy.
Within a month after the season ended Miss Supertest II, a rough riding hull of average speed, went through the kilometer at 184 m.p.h., which was 6 m.p.h. faster than Slo-mo-shun IV's mile at 178 m.p.h. This motivated the old Slo-mo gang that was running the Kai to exceed Supertest's mark.
The Hawaii Kai III raised the Supertest II kilometer record to 194 m.p.h. en route to bettering the Slo-mo-shun mile by 9 m.p.h. at 187 m.p.h. In one run through the kilometer trap Hawaii Kai III did 200 m.p.h., which is the first time this mark had been recorded by a propeller driven boat.
[Statistics from Greene, V.1]