1957 Silver Cup
Coast Boats May Pass Race Here
Silver Cup 'Slap’ Irks Seattle
By Joe Dowdall
A dud from the 1956 Gold Cup "Battle of the Buoy" exploded Friday and Detroit and Seattle powerboaters are flexing their muscles and vocal cords again.
The explosion came from the Seattle Yacht Club where Gold Cup winner Willard Rhodes learned that John Carter, of Detroit, had been named by the Detroit Yacht Club as race chairman of the Silver Cup Race Aug. 31.
Rhodes announced he would not send his Miss Thriftway, winner of the Gold Cup, or his Thriftway Too to Detroit for the race.
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Carter was race chairman for the 1956 Gold Cup in Detroit. He ruled that Miss Thriftway, which finished first, had struck a buoy and declared Detroit's Miss Pepsi the winner.
The American Power Boat Association reversed his ruling and declared Miss Thriftway the winner three months later.
“The Detroit Yacht Club," Rhodes said, “knew how the Seattle owners and drivers felt about Carter’s chairmanship of last year’s race. He told them he would gladly come back and race in Detroit If they had a satisfactory committee handling the race.
“We want io race in the Silver Cup and have at least six boats ready to make the trip, but the other owners feel as I do that the appointment of John Carter as race chairman out of the thousands of people to choose from is a slap in the face.
“It is Detroit's way of telling us we are not welcome. For the sake of harmony the Detroit Yacht Club could have selected someone else as chairman."
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Rhodes said the Seattle owners would send their boats to Detroit if a new chairman was named or if the Detroit Yacht Club could give a satisfactory explanation as to why they chose Carter.
Former Commodore Edwin O. Bodkin of the DYC is attempting to call a meeting of the yacht club officials with Carter to see what action the DYC will take as sponsor of the Silver Cup.
"We (DYC) named Carter." Bodkin said, “because we felt we owed him a vote of confidence. Carter supported one of his officials on the course I who found a rule infraction. He cannot he condemned for that.
“We want the Seattle boats to race here. The yacht club will do all it can to let the Seattle people know they are welcome.”
Bodkin planned to meet as soon as possible with Commodore Howard Cook, former commodore Clyde Palmer and Len Thomson, Detroit’s veteran racing official.
Immediately after last year’s race and at the hearing. Rhodes declared his boats would never compete in a race in which Carter was in charge. Other Seattle owners echoed his decision.
Bill Waggoner, of Phoenix, owner of Shanty and Maverick, said at the time his boats would not run, either.
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Rhodes, Waggoner and other West Coast owners had announced at the Gold Cup banquet last Sunday night that they would compete in the Silver Cup here.
But the owners did not receive their race circulars naming Carter as chairman until Thursday.
Ironically, Detroit and Seattle officials had just completed arrangements to televise the Silver Cup to Seattle when the West Coast owner announced the withdrawal.
--- Detroit Free Press, August 17, 1957