1960 Reno Regatta (Mapes Trophy)

Hawaii Kai Wins Reno Regatta

by Stuart Leete

Sponsons flying through the air, parachutists almost dropping in the fairway, and a photo finish in one of the heats all added to the excitement of the second annual Reno regatta for unlimited hydros run at Pyramid Lake, Nev., and won by Ron Musson, skipper of Hawaii Kai, owned by Joe Mascari, New York.

The cool-headed Musson guided Hawaii Kai to wins in both his preliminary heats prior to the final and finished with 1100 points—and the $5,000 Mapes Gold Cup—well ahead of Miss Bardahl, Seattle, runner-up, with 869 points. Musson turned in a slick bit of driving to finish the final heat, for the just-repaired Hawaii Kai almost came apart under him midway during the race and the port sponson went flying through the air on the far turn. But Musson was able to finish.

Just before the sponson incident, a parachutist conducting an exhibition dropped into the water during a race and was hauled out of the drink by a patrol boat, as the big boats roared by a couple hundred feet away.

Willard Rhodes’ Miss Thriftway, which wrapped up the 1960 unlimited championship early in October, set a new heat record, 110.087 mph. Thrifty is skippered by Bill Muncey. Rex Manchester guided the "Lilac Lady" Miss Spokane to the most thrilling heat in years. Manchester trailed Norm Evans in Sam Dupont’s Nitrogen until the final turn of the 15 miles. The Manchester jammed down the throttle and Spokane leaped forward and caught Nitrogen just at the final gun. The official photo displayed later by referee Harry Woods, Spokane, showed Miss Spokane winner by less than half a boat deck length.

Only four one-hundredths of a second elapsed time separated the two boats with Spokane clocked at 106.328 and Nitrogen at 106.320 mph by American Power Boat Association chief timer J. Otto Crocker of San Diego, Calif.

The final standings after the seven-boat closeout heat were: Hawaii Kai, 1100; Miss Bardahl, 869; Miss Spokane, 805; Miss Thriftway, 794; Nitrogen, 700; Nitrogen Too, 620; and Miss Burien, 427. Seattle Too, KOLroy, Coral Reef, KOLroy I, $ Bill, and Thriftway Too were eliminated.

Final Results
1 U-8 Hawaii Kai III
2 U-40 Miss Bardahl (2)
3 U-25 Miss Spokane
4 U-60 Miss Thriftway (3)
5 U-79 Nitrogen
6 U-792 Nitrogen Too
7 U-4 Miss Burien (2)
8 U-13001 KOLroy I
9 U-19 Coral Reef
10 U-1300 KOLroy
DNF U-47 Miss Seattle Too
DNF U-62 Thriftway Too
DNC U-21 $ Bill


(Reprinted from Sea and Pacific Motor Boat, January 1961, pp.122-123)