1960 President's Cup

Miss Thriftway Takes Boat Heat

Miss U.S. 1 Also Advances in President's Cup Race on Potomac River

Washington, Sept. 17 [1960] -- A President's Cup speed-boat race, a popular Potomac extravaganza for the more than three decades since Calvin Coolidge's administration, takes at least two days to evolve a winner.

Tomorrow's finale among eight craft entered today in perhaps the best field of starters of any regatta this season may be a fifteen-mile duel off Hains Point between Bill Muncey and Roy Duby.

Muncey, once of Detroit, is now relocated in Seattle where he drives Willard Rhodes' Miss Thriftway. Duby, still of Detroit, was at the wheel today of George Simon's Miss U.S. 1. Both speed ships are powered by British-designed Rolls Royce Merlin motors, many of which were built in the United States under license to Packard during World War II and were used in the famous Mustang planes as well as in British fighters.

Thriftway and Miss U.S. each won an elimination heat on this afternoon's Potomac program. Thriftway had the better speed for the fifteen-mile heat of five three-mile laps but Miss U.S. had the fastest lap of any Unlimited Class hydroplane on the river.

Muncey Keeps Lead

In the first elimination, Muncey stayed ahead all five laps in his red-and-white Miss Thriftway and finished 800 yards in front of Ron Musson, driving Samuel duPont's blue-and-yellow Nitrogen Too of Wilmington, Del. The timers clocked him at 106.55 miles per hour, with an elapsed time of 8:26.8.

Later in the afternoon, on excellent river water, uncommonly smooth for the wide Potomac, the 48-year-old Duby was clocked on his fifth lap at 109.091 m.p.h. in winning the heat from Chuck Thompson in Miss Detroit.

Miss U.S.'s fifteen-mile-heat average was a speed of 105.613, against Muncey's 106.55, but Duby had the lap advantage of 109.091 against Muncey's best circuit of 108.543.

Miss Thriftway's runner-up was not Musson in Nitrogen Too but KOLroy*, a hard-luck boat from Seattle driven by Bob Gilliam, who started this speed-boat daredeviltry in 1956, while a soldier at Fort Lewis.

Musson, in Nitrogen Too, lost his portside exhaust pipe on the fourth lap and limped home in fourth place behind Bill Brow, also of Seattle, in Miss Bardahl.

The second elimination heat became a three-boat affair when duPont's other entry, Nitrogen, with Norm Evans at the wheel, had an oil leak coming out from the pits for the start.

Thompson, in Miss Detroit, led for three laps but Duby, in Miss U.S., tore past him with his high-flying roostertail on the fourth lap and finished 600 yards in front. Last was Miss Buffalo, driven by Bob Schroeder and owned by a Buffalo syndicate headed by Chester Hardt and friends.

Six Leaders to Compete

Tomorrow afternoon, the Thriftway and Miss U.S. groups will each have another elimination heat and the six top scorers will then be brought together for the final.

Today's spectator fleet of yachts anchored around the course was one of the largest in years. Inside the racing oval was the Navy Department's yacht Sequoia, carrying Secretary of the Navy William B. Franke and party.

This President's Cup regatta makes an impact on Washington social life as well as its pleasure-boating fraternity. Debutante daughters from some of the city's first families comprise a regatta queen and her entourage.

Preliminary and elimination heats were also run today for limited classes of inboards, in preparation for final battles on the Potomac tomorrow.

Among the early winners were David J Clerk of Newtonville, Mass., and Alton C., Pierson of Queenstown, Md., in 280-cubic-inch class hydroplanes; Skeeter Johnson of Cambridge, Md., in the 266-cubic-inch class; Linford S. Palmer of Lewes, Del., and Pierson in the 136's and Francis J. Coneeny of Carney's Point, N.J. in the tiny, 48-cubic-inch hydroplanes.

(Reprinted from the New York Times September 18, 1960)