1958 Season Summary

Statistics

1 May 11 Apple Cup Chelan, Washington
2 May 31-June 1 International Cup Elizabeth City, N. C.
3 June 14 Detroit Memorial Detroit, Michigan
4 June 29 Diamond Cup Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
5 July 13 International Boundary St. Clair, Michigan
6 July 26 Mapes Mile-High Trophy Tahoe City, California
7 August 10 A.P.B.A. Gold Cup Seattle, Washington
8 August 23 Silver Cup Detroit, Michigan
9 September 7 Conners Memorial Buffalo, New York
10 September 20-22 President's Cup Washington, D. C.
11 September 22 Rogers Memorial Washington, D. C.
12 October 4-5 Indiana Governor's Cup Madison, Indiana
13 October 23 Sahara Cup Las Vegas, Nevada

 

  Winner Crew Chief Designer Builder Engine
11-May Miss Bardahl (2) Del Gould Ted Jones Ron Jones Allison
01-Jun Miss U.S. 1 (2) Marv Henrich Dan Arena Les Staudacher Allison
14-Jun Miss Thriftway (2) Jack Ramsey Ted Jones Ted Jones Rolls-Merlin
29-Jun Maverick Ricky Iglesias Ted Jones Les Staudacher Allison
13-Jul Miss Supertest II Victor Leghorn Les Staudacher Les Staudacher Rolls-Griffon
26-Jul Maverick Ricky Iglesias Ted Jones Les Staudacher Allison
10-Aug Hawaii Kai III Mike Welsch Ted Jones Les Staudacher Rolls-Merlin
23-Aug Maverick Ricky Iglesias Ted Jones Les Staudacher Allison
07-Sep Miss Bardahl (2) Del Gould Ted Jones Ron Jones Allison
21-Sep Miss U.S. 1 (2) George McKernan Dan Arena Les Staudacher Rolls-Merlin
22-Sep Miss Bardahl (2) Bernie Van Cleave Ted Jones Ron Jones Allison
05-Oct Miss U.S. 1 (2) George McKernan Dan Arena Les Staudacher Rolls-Merlin
23-Oct Miss U.S. 1 (2) George McKernan Dan Arena Les Staudacher Rolls-Merlin

 

  Built Boat High Points Total
1 (1958) Miss Bardahl (2) 2075
2 (1957) Miss U.S. 1 (2) 2069
3 (1955) Maverick 1707
4 (1954) Wildroot Charlie 1163
5 (1954) Miss Supertest II 752
6. (1955) Gale VI 727
7 (1958) Gale V (3) 694
8 (1957) Thriftway Too 694
9. (1958) Miss Spokane 450
10 (1956) Hawaii Kai III 400
11 (1958) Miss Thriftway (2) 400
12 (1955) Miss Detroit (3) 394
13 (1957) Coral Reef 300
14. (1957) Breathless II 300
15. (1958) Nitrogen 300
16. (1955) Miss Moses Lake 225
17 (1957) Miss U.S. IV 169
18 (1953) Such Crust III (2) 127
19 (1956) Miss Burien 0
20 (1951) Miss Seattle 0
21. (1958) Miss Pay 'n Save 0
22 (1953) Muvalong 0
23 (1956) Fascination DNS
24 (1956) Miss Sammamish DNS
25 (1958) Sudden Sunnee DNQ
26 (1952) Bill-Der DNQ
27. (1954) Breathless DNQ
28. (1949) Crusty DNQ

 

  Driver High Points Total
1 Mira Slovak 7050
2 Bill Stead 4963
3 Bob Schroeder 4664
4 Fred Alter 4401
5 Brim Wygle 3413
6 Bob Hayward 3302
7 Don Wilson 3094
8 Bill Muncey 2575
9 Lee Schoenith 2469
10 Chuck Thompson 2300
11 Jay Murphy 1975
12 Norm Evans 1752
13 Dallas Sartz 1594
14 Bill Cantrell 1569
15 Harry Reeves 1296
16 Frank Saile 1277
17 Bill Brow 1275
18 Jack Regas 1200
19 Chuck Hickling 1140
20 Roy Duby 850
21 Al Benson 738
22 Red Loomis 525
23 George McKernan 169
24 Dick Short 169

 

1958

Early in 1958 Bill Boeing's Miss Wahoo retired from Unlimited Hydroplane racing. Seattle's hopes to retain the Gold Cup received another rude jolt when Bill Waggoner moved his camp -- Maverick and the new Shanty II -- to Las Vegas. This coupled with the uncertain status of defending High Point Champion Hawaii Kai III left the Queen City as it was known at the time with only the new Miss Thriftway to count on for the Gold Cup. Miss Thriftway was a longer and heavier version of the first Miss Thriftway.

Maverick was the only one of the four major contenders of 1957 scheduled to return to the hydro wars in 1958. Maverick had a speed advantage over all other boats except possibly the Miss U.S. I, but had completed only one of her six three heat contests in 1957 without mechanical difficulty. This really left the winner of the 1958 Gold Cup an open question. Detroit's Miss U.S. had turned a lap of 111 m.p.h. in the Silver Cup, but in the next three races neither Fred Alter nor Danny Foster had the inclination to push that hard again due to Alter's being pitched out in the aforesaid contest. Maverick went 110.9 in this same Silver Cup and the only other boat in the ballpark was Miss Bardahl at 108 which was to run in 1958 as Miss Burien.

The Unlimited Racing Commission had formulated detailed rules for the sport in 1958. Provision was made for a winner-take-all final heat in all races, except the Gold Cup,,that had two sections of heat one. Also in a move to reduce the advantage of the well financed teams, no engine changes would be allowed in a one day regatta.

Fortunately for Seattle in the first race of the season at Chelan, Miss Thriftway established herself as a contender for the Gold Cup by taking two preliminary heats and leading the final heat until expiring with two of the ten laps to go. Another new Seattle boat Miss Bardahl took the regatta by attrition being at best a second place boat. Thriftway Too took one preliminary heat and led for the first two laps of the winner-take-all final heat giving Seattle another potential Gold Cup winner.

Maverick of Las Vegas had the fastest lap and heat, but characteristically faltered in the championship heat. Maverick's best lap was 110.2 m.p.h. Of the Thriftways the Miss did 109.9 and Thriftway Too 108.9. The winning Miss Bardahl could manage only 106.9.

Miss Thriftway went east for the Ford Memorial, but had fuel problems. Nevertheless she won the race by virtue of Gale VI jumping the gun in the final heat re-run. Miss U.S. 1 had the fastest lap of the regatta at 108.2 winning two preliminary heats, but could not reach first place in the crucial third heat. The Tempo VII -- Short Circuit set a career lap record of 107.5 and led the final heat's first running before losing a sponson in front of the Detroit Yacht Club on the fourth of 10 scheduled laps.

Maverick then put it all together to win the Diamond Cup turning the fastest heat of the regatta. Miss U.S. 1 again took two preliminary heats scoring the fastest lap at 110.7, but came a cropper in the final heat. Miss Thriftway suffered a holed sponson and gave a sub par performance. Thriftway Too lost her best propeller at Chelan and although favored by the Seattle Times had trouble getting off the turns not giving Maverick much of a battle in the final heat. Miss Bardahl although running a modified Allison engine was not a front runner as at Lake Chelan.

Several days before the Diamond Cup the status of Hawaii Kai III was apparently settled when owner Edgar Kaiser retired the boat. Many Seattleites were disconsolate as none of their leading boats were really running well.

Maverick showed surprising consistency over 1957 by winning her second 60 mile race on Lake Tahoe rather easily as Miss U.S. 1 again had engine trouble as in her losing effort two weeks prior at St. Clair, Michigan. Miss Bardahl posted the fastest lap -- 6 m.p.h. slower than 1957 -- but could not match Maverick. Thriftway Too did not fare as well as in the Diamond Cup at Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

Miss Thriftway had been kept in Seattle for hull modifications.

When all hope seemed to be lost for Seattle, Edgar Kaiser brought back the Hawaii Kai III. However the Kai had never gone 90 miles without a problem. Maverick had just done 60 winning miles twice in addition to putting down 90 winning miles in the 1957 Apple Cup. Further Maverick with a new twin stage blower arrangement for 1958 had turned three qualifying laps at 119 m.p.h. Hawaii Kai III had done one lap at 119 m.p.h. and then blown her engine.

The two met in Gold Cup heat 1-A and Hawaii Kai III reasserted he superiority over Maverick albeit the Bill Waggoner was only two m.p.h. back as opposed to four in 1957. Miss Thriftway with her new higher ride matched the Kai's heat and lap by winning 1-C.

However the Thrifty's place in the sun was short lived as she lost her rudder, hit a Coast Guard cutter and put driver Bill Muncey in the hospital running in heat 2-A. Heat 2-B again matched Hawaii Kai and Maverick. This time Maverick nailed the start on the inside and came off the first turn in the lead, but the Kai went by on the initial backstretch and took the heat to put Maverick down 200 points going into the third heat. In addition the Bill Waggoner entry lost power in the last lap and consequently was behind significantly in elapsed time for the fastest race bonus.

When Maverick failed to come out for the final heat due to an unrepaired engine, all Hawaii Kai III had to do was to finish to take the Gold Cup. Nevertheless she won the third heat to give her a perfect 2000 points for the regatta. The Edgar Kaiser entry had done what she failed to do three times in 1957. Perhaps this was due to the old Slo-mo crew learning to change quill shafts between heats. This was the sixth Gold Cup in nine tries for Stan Sayres' crew.

The eastern tour shaped up as an anti-climax as two of the leading four boats -- Miss Thriftway and Hawaii Kai -- would not be making the trip. However Hawaii Kai's engines and part of her crew including Jack Regas would be with the Miss U.S. for the Silver Cup. The U.S. had been inconsistent all year long, so perhaps this infusion of new blood and equipment would give Maverick a battle.

However the U.S. had engine trouble in heat one and jumped the gun in heat two to miss the championship heat. Meanwhile the new Gale V won two preliminary heats, but its best heat was four m.p.h. short of Maverick. Nevertheless Gale V gave Maverick hell for all ten laps of the final heat and lost by a mere 2½ seconds. Thus Maverick won her third race of the season and was well on her way to the High Point Championship.

At Buffalo the next week Maverick had mechanical trouble and Miss Bardahl won the race. Bardahl won even though stopping in her second heat; but her chief antagonist with Maverick out Miss Detroit, the ex-Short Circuit and Tempo VII, had even more trouble failing to finish the heat. Now Miss Bardahl could only lose by failing in the 30 mile finale. But she took second behind her only competition Wildroot Charlie.

Maverick, the leader in High Points, then pulled off the circuit due to a sprung bottom. This opened the door for Miss Bardahl and Miss U.S. 1 to win the National High Point Championship.

Miss U.S. 1 with new driver Don Wilson won the President's Cup, but the erratic Miss Bardahl had the fastest lap. Miss U.S. won the first two heats and then cooled it in the final to take the regatta.

Her task was made easier when the Gale V withdrew after damaging her engine in an early morning test run.

The George Simon entry had engine trouble in the companion Rogers Memorial and Miss Bardahl backed in to win another race. This triumph would give the U-40 the lead in the High Point contest if the race qualified as a high point event.

The question was the four boat rule for high point consideration for an event. Four boats ran at various times during the race, but they did not start together in any one heat. There was a legal question as to whether this was necessary and whether the four boat start if mandatory had to be in the first heat.

Miss U.S. 1 again got the best of Miss Bardahl at Madison. According to lap times Bardahl should have had the advantage by 2 m.p.h., but Miss U.S. was clearly superior on the race course.

Maverick rejoined the circuit in the last event of the season at Las Vegas and she along with Miss U.S. had a chance for the year's championship if Miss Bardahl's victory in the Rogers Memorial didn't count for High Points.

Miss U.S. had won two of the last three events on the circuit, but her best laps were around 105 m.p.h. In contrast Maverick was rated at 110 m.p.h., Gale V at 109, Thriftway Too 109 and Misses Bardahl and Burien 107. With an Allison and Fred Alter in the U.S., she was capable of about 111 m.p.h. It appeared she would need this speed to win the regatta.

Maverick had the fastest heat and lap heading into the final 30 mile Sahara Cup heat. Other preliminary heat winners were Miss U.S., Thriftway Too and Miss Bardahl. Gale V did not make it past the first turn of her first heat.

Maverick emulated Gale V in the final championship heat. Miss U.S. took the lead and won the regatta. Miss Bardahl tried to get by, but it was no use.

Although Miss U.S. 1 won the race, Miss Bardahl was the National High Point Champion even though going to one less race than the George Simon entry.

The High Points as indicated had not meant much before 1957.

But possibly as a result of 56 High Point winner Russ Schleeh appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1957 rather than Gold Cup champ Bill Muncey, the championship began to mean something. The contest was not close in 1957, but came down to the last race in 1958 to give Unlimited Racing some new excitement. The question of the Rogers Memorial was not determinative but a new rule was passed for 1959 to clarify that four boats had to start the first heat in order for the race to count for High Points.

[Statistics from Greene, V.2]