1965 Champagne Cup Regatta

New Unlimited Race Set for October 9-10 Over Lake Berryessa

By Jack Schmale

California clinched a corner on the world unlimited hydroplane racing market today when a group of prominent business and sporting personalities known as the NorCal Hydroplane Racing Association announced sponsorship of a major league thunderboat regatta October 9-10, at Lake Berryessa.

Tentatively called the Champagne Cup Regatta, the big roostertail rodeo is expected to draw at least a dozen of the nation's top 175-mile-per-hour speed monsters and gives California fans three consecutive weekends of racing.

The race was organized too late to qualify as a point-gathering event on the American Power Boat Association's 1965 national championship competition for boats and drivers, but will be conducted with APBA approval and under official rules.

Steele Park Resort, on the south shore of the huge six-year-old government reservoir, will be headquarters for the regatta and has been acclaimed by officials as one of the finest racing sites on the unlimited circuit.

Following the $60,000 world championship regatta Sept. 25 at Lake Tahoe and the San Diego Cup race on Oct. 3, the Berryessa speedfest is expected to lure upwards of 30,000 fans.

Host boat will be Berryessa Belle, the former Gold Cup champion Slo-Mo V, now owned by Ken Murphy of Sacramento. Host club is the Berryessa Yacht Club under Commodore Josiah Knowles of San Francisco.

A special event on the program will be the California Cup race, exclusively for California-owned boats, which include Berryessa Belle, Bill Schuyler's $ Bill from Lompoc, Bob Fendler's Miss San Diego, Ron Kasper's Miss Sacramento (formerly Fascination) and possibly the borderline boat, Bill Harrah's Tahoe Miss from Stateline, Nev.

The NorCal group, which will apply for APBA sanction for a championship Berryessa race to climax the 1966 schedule, includes baseball immortal Joe DiMaggio, Roy Shipstad, co-owner/producer of the famed Ice Follies revue, former Gold Cup and Harmsworth hydro champion Stanley Dollar, Golden Gate Fields and Tanforan corporation director Marco Hellman, Producer Bob Barkhimer of the San Jose Boat Show and a number of well known yachtsmen, sports writers and businessmen.

(Reprinted from Boating News, October 1965, p.65)

[Note: this race was never held. --LF]