1959 Season Summary
|1||May 10||Apple Cup||Chelan, Washington|
|2||July 4||Detroit Memorial||Detroit, Michigan|
|3||July 11||International Boundary||St. Clair, Michigan|
|4||July 18-19||Diamond Cup||Coeur d'Alene, Idaho|
|5||August 9||APBA Gold Cup||Seattle, Washington|
|6||August 25, 26, 27||Harmsworth Trophy||Detroit, Michigan|
|7||August 29||Silver Cup||Detroit, Michigan|
|8||September 5-6||Conners Memorial||Buffalo, New York|
|9||September 19-20||Presidents Cup||Washington, D.C.|
|10||September 26-27||Indiana Governor's Cup||Madison, Indiana|
|11||October 10-11||Mapes Trophy||Reno, Nevada|
|12||October 21||Lake Mead Cup||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|10-May||Miss Pay 'n Save||Wes Kiesling||Les Staudacher||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|04-Jul||Miss Supertest III||Victor Leghorn||Jim Thompson||Victor Leghorn||Rolls Griffon|
|11-Jul||Miss Detroit (3)||Chuck Thompson||Les Staudacher||Les Staudacher||Allison|
|19-Jul||Maverick (2)||Ricky Iglesias||Ted Jones||Ron Jones||Allison|
|09-Aug||Maverick (2)||Ricky Iglesias||Ted Jones||Ron Jones||Allison|
|26-Aug||Miss Supertest III||Victor Leghorn||Jim Thompson||Victor Leghorn||Rolls Griffon|
|29-Aug||Maverick (2)||Ricky Iglesias||Ted Jones||Ron Jones||Allison|
|06-Sep||Maverick (2)||Ricky Iglesias||Ted Jones||Ron Jones||Allison|
|20-Sep||Wahoo||Les Eide||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|27-Sep||Hawaii Kai III||Ray Morey||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|11-Oct||Maverick (2)||Ricky Iglesias||Ted Jones||Ron Jones||Allison|
|21-Oct||Wahoo||Les Eide||Ted Jones||Les Staudacher||Rolls Merlin|
|Built||Boat||High Points Total|
|2||(1958)||Miss Bardahl (2)||1559|
|3||(1959)||Miss Thriftway (3)||1400|
|7||(1957)||Miss U.S. 1 (2)||1019|
|8||(1955)||Miss Detroit (3)||900|
|9||(1956)||Hawaii Kai III||875|
|10||(1958)||Miss Seattle Too||825|
|12||(1959)||Miss Supertest III||450|
|14||(1958)||Gale V (3)||150|
|15||(1959)||Gale VI (2)||100|
|19||(1953)||Such Crust III (2)||50|
|Driver||High Points Total|
After a year of experimentation with a winner-take-all final heat the point system for determining a winner was reinstated in 1959. The rationale was pointless heats are pointless referencing pre final heat action.
Also after 22 years the bonus point rule for Gold Cup competition was modified. The fastest heat bonus was thrown out and graduated points were to be assigned to the elapsed times for doing 90 miles.
Under the former system an entry could get up to an 800 point advantage for having the lowest elapsed time for the 90 miles and the fastest heat. This advantage was determined to be top heavy because if you watched the clock carefully, you could win virtually no matter what your heat score was. This was a vestige of the pre-1937 Gold Cup rules in which the whole race was determined on elapsed time.
After some success with the Miss Canada III, the Rolls Merlin engine was tried by the Jack Schafer team in 1951 and abandoned in 1952. Then the Slo-mo-shun V tried the powerplant in 1953 and won a Gold Cup with it in 1954, which resulted in it being installed in Slo-mo-shun IV in 1955.
When Slo-mo-shun IV crashed in 1956 the engine was transferred to Hawaii Kai III. Thriftway came on board in mid 1957 and Miss U.S. 1 did the same in 1958. Pay'N Save and Miss Spokane began their careers with the Rolls Merlin last year. Now with Bardahl and Wahoo changing over to the Rolls for 1959, only Maverick and Gale V of the major contenders were running the Allison engine.
Over the winter Gold Cup winner Hawaii Kai III was sold by Edgar Kaiser to Joe Mascari of New York who for the most part hired the Thriftway Too driver and crew to run the boat. Defending High Point Champion Miss Bardahl hired Kai driver Jack Regas and for crew chief lured George McKernan from the Miss U.S. I. George Simon retained former Tempo VII crew chief Roy Duby to replace McKernan.
Bill Waggoner had ordered a new Maverick from Ted Jones before the old Maverick burned to the water line in late February. As a result former Shanty driver Russ Schleeh lost his ride for the season.
Miss Thriftway also was a new design from Ted Jones. The new Thriftway's center of lift was further aft than her predecessor which allowed her to ride higher off the water.
Nevertheless Miss Pay'N Save came out of the blue to win the Apple Cup. The Pay'N Save was a Hawaii Kai III copy with drop sponsons. In 1958 she had her propeller aft of the transom. This led to a number of problems and in 1959 the U-47 had a conventional set up. Pay'N Save also hired Hawaii Kai engine wizard Wes Kiesling as crew chief and Chuck Hickling became driver when Al Benson was hurt in a test run during April.
Miss Pay'N Save won her first heat against Miss Bardahl when the latter got off to a bad start. She then defeated Miss U.S. 1 in the rough water of heat 2-A to lead the field with 800 points. This gave her the race when the final heat was cancelled due to rougher water. Her chief antagonist was Miss Bardahl who had 700 points after two heats, but 4 m.p.h. on the U-47 in lap speed. Miss Thriftway also had 700 points having been thorougly defeated by Miss Bardahl in heat 2-B.
In a marvelous driving job Bill Muncey took the new Thriftway from fourth place to win heat 1-A. Miss U.S. 1 was second and did not appear to have first place speed so perhaps she benefited from the top boats not being present when she won three of four races in the late 1958 season. Maverick qualified at 117 and had a lap of 113, but was something else (third place) on the rough) water. In the first running of heat 2-A on smooth water before she spun out. Maverick was leading and Miss U.S. was in third place. Miss Wahoo was a late, unprepared entry and did not perform well.
The Supertest camp had plenty of horsepower with their Rolls Griffon engine, but did not have a hull that could accept this horsepower. The problem was solved with Miss Supertest III which won her initial competition in the Ford Memorial. Miss Supertest III defeated Miss Thriftway on rough water in heat 1-A -Thriftway had such a poor ride that she withdrew from the final heat. Supertest III got off to a bad start in heat 2-B and finished second to Miss Bardahl. Bardahl was the only legal boat in the final heat, but was washed down on the first backstretch giving Supertest III the heat and the race. Maverick along with Miss Thriftway did not have a good time on the rough water and Gale V was inconsistent.
For the Diamond Cup designer Ted Jones made some adjustments on the rear end of Maverick, determining that the hull was too heavy in that area. He also refined the sponsons and of a sudden the new Bill Waggoner entry was a better balanced boat.
Maverick beat Miss U.S. 1 and the "new" Hawaii Kai III to win heat 1-E. She then won a shortened 2-A running ahead of of Miss Spokane and Miss Bardahl. The Bill Waggoner entry took the regatta by running second in a shortened final heat due to the leading Miss Spokane spinning out in lap 4.
This raised a problem with the Miss Thriftway camp which tied the Maverick on points, but lost the race on elapsed time. Driver Bill Muncey claimed that he could have made up the time if the final two laps of the third heat had been run. This had some credibility since Thrifty's best lap was 109.7 to 108.2 for Maverick. As a result in 1960 the final heat had to be re-run if it had not been completed unlike the preliminary matches.
Bardahl driver Jack Regas was knocked unconscious for a number of weeks when his dash board came loose and hit him in the face. He had crossed the wake of the second place Miss Spokane a number of times before this happened in heat 2-A.
Regas was up and around three months later at the Reno Regatta, but had some memory problems. Miss Bardahl had lost a close contest to Miss Thriftway in heat 1-A and was running second in the initial running of heat 2-A before being third in the second attempt to get 2-A in.
Hawaii Kai III with her new owner gave a curious performance running back in the pack in heats one and three, but defeated Miss Thriftway in heat two while turning a lap of 115 m.p.h. -- 111 m.p.h. according to KING TV. The potential seemed to be there, but certainly was not realized on Lake Coeur D'Alene in full measure.
Miss Thriftway beat Miss Bardahl at Coeur D'Alene after losing to the Bardahl on Lake Chelan, but still was not riding right. Miss Spokane was a copy of the 1955 Miss Thriftway, Shanty I and Miss Wahoo, but significantly heavier. She also had a Rolls Merlin engine and when hot foot Norm Evans replaced Dallas Sartz, the boat came alive. However the Spokane was still underfinanced. Miss Pay'N Save gave a sub-par performance since driver Chuck Hickling hurt his leg while driving heat 1-A. When Mira Slovak took over in heat 2-B, the hull ran briefly with the leaders.
As a consequence of the Diamond Cup, there was no clear favorite for the Gold Cup. However one emerged in heat 1-A in Wahoo, who had found the right combination for her Rolls Merlin engine,and decisively defeated or ran in front of Maverick, Miss Thriftway, Miss Spokane and Gale V. Unfortunately before heat 2-A Wahoo's engine was flooded and she made her start when the leaders were heading up the backstretch. Wahoo nevertheless worked her way up to third and was still in the ball-game when she went dead in a middle lap.
This opened the door for Maverick - second in heat 1-A to Wahoo. She responded by defeating Hawaii Kai III, Gale V and Miss Pay'N Save - three contenders that were't running very well - in heat 2-B. With Wahoo and Miss U.S. 1 not finishing heat 2-A and Miss Spokane having run sick in heat 1-A, it was Maverick v Miss Thriftway in the final heat. However it appeared to be a shoo-in for Maverick since she was 33 seconds in front of Miss Thriftway in elapsed time. Perhaps Thriftway could make up the 75 heat points she was down, but Maverick would have to have some sort of failure to lose her 33 second advantage.
Wahoo and Miss Spokane got out in front in the final heat with Miss Pay'N Save in third. Maverick was fifth behind the fourth place Miss Thriftway well within the point and elapsed time margins to win the race. Miss Thriftway then moved up to third to overcome her heat point deficit and Maverick was no longer content with fifth place.
The U-00 moved by Miss Pay'N Save and then Thriftway and there was little joy in Seattle.
Then Maverick, which showed a propensity to hook at Chelan and Detroit before she was modified, spun out. Miss Thriftway went by with Maverick maintaining fourth, but the Willard Rhodes entry now had a shot at overcoming her elapsed time differential.
In the ninth lap Seattle's Wahoo and Spokane's Miss Spokane moved over and suddenly the first place Miss Thriftway had 231 points over Maverick more than enough to make up her heat point deficit and her potential elapsed time disadvantage. Thriftway went on to win the third heat nearly 20 seconds ahead of the fourth place Maverick.
Although sometimes cheaters prosper, they didn't this time. Miss Spokane had jumped the gun moving Maverick up to third and a point tie with Miss Thriftway. This made the 20 seconds crucial and the Bill Waggoner entry won the Gold Cup. Unfortunately Waggoner was not present for perhaps his greatest triumph in hydroplace racing as he had taken sick at Coeur D'Alene and returned to his home in Phoenix.
The tape of the start of the third heat was re-played several times, but the Seattle officials to their credit decided that just Miss Spokane was over the line before the start. They might have decided that all boats were early maintaining the original order of finish.
As a result of her Gold Cup performance a false bottom was installed on the Miss Thriftway since she was getting too much air under her hull and thus not getting a good enough bite coming off the turns. Instead the Thriftway got worse and Maverick took her third victory in the Silver Cup
Before the Silver Cup, the Harmsworth Trophy was scheduled. Maverick, Miss Detroit, and Nitrogen were the top boats eligible to defend the B.I.T. for the United States. Nitrogen and Miss Detroit bowed out of the Harmsworth trials since Maverick was such an overwhelming choice for defender.
Maverick looked good in leading the first heat of the Harmsworth, but then had mechanical trouble in lap 13 of the 45 mile heat while 12 seconds ahead. Miss Supertest III then took the first heat needing only another win to annex the British International Trophy (Harmsworth).
In the second heat Maverick won and appeared ready to take the trophy. The Supertest III team knew this and changed to a smaller prop for the deciding heat.
Miss Supertest III beat Maverick to the start of the final heat and had a three second advantage at the end of lap one. Maverick poured it on in the second lap, but Supertest had an extra 5 m.p.h. in speed due to her prop change and led into lap 3 with 5 seconds over Maverick. In the third lap Maverick spun out for the fourth time during the season and Supertest III had 15 seconds. She maintained this margin until lap 12 when Maverick went dead in the water.
Miss Supertest III won the Harmsworth Trophy for the British Commonwealth, which was the British Empire in 1920 when Miss America re-won the trophy for the United States. The Brits had their trophy back after 39 years.
The day after her victory Miss Supertest III pulled out of the pits and went home. This was a day prior to the start of the Silver Cup and very much disappointed the Detroit hydro crowd.
Maverick, upset with the way she had been treated in Seattle although not totally, declared herself a Detroit boat for the Silver Cup. She won her first heat as Miss U.S. 1 had mechanical problems.
The second heat was easy for Maverick as Gale V challenged and then blew her engine. Maverick had a 200 point margin heading into the final heat and needed only a third to win the regatta. She got second and again won by consistency as Miss Bardahl and Miss U.S. 1 in addition to Gale V suffered mechanical woes. Bardahl had returned to the circuit after missing the Gold Cup with Miss Burien driver Bill Brow in her cockpit.
Gale V and Miss U.S. 1 did not go to Buffalo leaving only the erratic Miss Bardahl as credible opposition for Maverick. The U-00 again ran consistently to capture the trophy. Miss Bardahl finished only one heat and Miss Thriftway pulled off the circuit due to her second consecutive event as a non contender.
At the Presidents Cup Wahoo, the fastest entry at the Gold Cup, rejoined the circuit. Wahoo and Maverick battled it out in heat 1—A until the Bill Waggoner entry hooked and flipped over. However Wahoo had another surprise challenger in Miss U.S. 1 which was now a 113 m.p.h. hull after running 109 for her first three races. U.S. defeated Wahoo in heat two since the Bill Boeing entry had torched a cylinder.
In the final heat Wahoo had all her cylinders and won giving her the Presidents Cup and driver Mira Slovak a chance to meet his hero President Eisenhower. The Miss U.S. 1 tried to cut inside on the fourth lap, but flipped driver Don Wilson out. Miss Bardahl driver Bill Brow did a lap at 112 m.p.h, but unlike his predecessor Jack Regas couldn't last at that speed.
Bardahl ran conservatively at Madison and Hawaii Kai III now driven by Ron Musson won the race at a relatively slow pace since the other hot boats skipped the event.
At the next regatta at Reno, Hawaii Kai III posted the fastest lap by 3 m.p.h. over Maverick and was tied with the U-00 with 800 points before the final heat. Maverick took the race as the Kai jumped the gun in the third heat and then went dead in the water.
Miss Thriftway was back on the circuit without her false bottom, but was a second place entry.
For the final race of the season Wahoo was back for another shot at Maverick. Wahoo took on Hawaii Kai III in heat 1-B and triumphed by 4-1/2 seconds having been pushed to the fastest lap of the year at 114.431 m.p.h. Hawaii Kai was out for the day due to the no engine change rule having blown her power plant after the heat. Maverick had won her first heat and was matched with Wahoo for heat two.
Wahoo won the match by three seconds having about 5 m.p.h. on the Bill Waggoner entry that day at Las Vegas. In the final Maverick beat Wahoo, but jumped the gun. Even if Maverick had not beat the clock at the start she still had not made up the 21-1/2 seconds she would have needed to break a potential point tie with Wahoo.
Maverick won five of her ten regattas while Wahoo won two of four regattas. Miss Supertest III was undefeated in two races. However in two of the three major confrontations with Maverick, Wahoo won twice defeating the Bill Waggoner entry in four out of five heat confrontations. Miss Supertest III was Maverick's master only once in three tries. Thus Wahoo was the boat of the year.
She had 5 m.p.h. on Supertest III and maybe as many on Maverick.
[Statistics and comments from Greene, V.2]