1966 APBA Gold Cup
Grand Daddy of All Races
It's not decorated with priceless jewels, and it wouldn't command a king's ransom, but the fabled Gold Cup is a trophy with a history of brilliant performance, unselfish heroism, heartbreak and tragedy.
Moulded from man's ever-present desire for speed, the Gold Cup first adorned the trophy case of the Columbia Yacht Club when C. C. Riotte's Standard won the initial race in 1904, His best speed for a single heat was a blistering 23.6 miles per hour.
Riotte might blanch at an average heat speed of 109.8, which is the figure posted by Jack Regas, when he drove the Hawaii Kai in the 1957 Gold Cup in Seattle. And the thought of going 90 miles at, an average speed of 105.1—a feat turned in by Ron Musson in winning the '63 Gold Cup in Detroit—would certainly have exceeded Riotte's wildest dreams.
But the big thunderboats keep getting faster and faster and the ultimate in speed has certainly not been reached as the boats keep getting better and the drivers become more skilled at negotiating the finicky mechanical monsters over the 90-mile course.
Seattle, of course, has been the focal point of the entire hydroplane world for the past 14 year since the late Stanley S. Sayres snatched the golden goblet from the midwesterners in 1950 and brought a new sport to the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle citizens hardly knew it at the time, but it was to change the summer sports picture in that area and introduce hydroplane racing to an unsuspecting public.
Since then, there have been 14 hydroplane races on the unparalleled course of beautiful Lake Washington, nine of them for the Gold Cup, and the fever that hit with epidemic proportions in 1951 has not diminished one single bit through the years.
In those first four years when Sayres and Company and his unlikely Slo-mo-shuns IV and V protected the cup against all challengers, the city turned into a "hotbed of hydroplanes."
This sport, influenced by so many nebulous factors, has not been without its thrilling finishes, rules rhubarbs and a touch of misfortune, even tragedy.
With so much daring, power and speed confined to limited quarters it could hardly be otherwise.
In 1958, Bill Muncey, leadfooting the Miss Thriftway through one of the turns, lost control and rammed a 40-foot Coast Guard patrol boat, demolishing the hydroplane and sinking the larger vessel. Muncey escaped with nothing more serious than a dunking in the lake.
Twice veteran driver Wild Bill Cantrell was almost killed, first when his out-of-control Gale IV beached herself in the 1954 race and two years earlier when his boat exploded under him. Miraculously, Cantrell lived to drive another day as he will once again this year in the Kelowna races.
So popular has the sport become in the Puget Sound area that an estimated 4,000,000-plus spectators have watched the Seattle hydro races personally in the past 14 years, not to mention the millions of others who stop by the lake to view the week-long qualifying runs which precede the event itself.
Uncounted thousands of others sit beside their TV sets to watch both the qualifying runs and the actual running of the race.
It's a long jump from Riotte's then-sensational 23.6 miles per hour speed for one lap to a 120.3 one-lap qualifying run by Bill Stead in the old Maverick in 1958, but it is one example of how far the sport has progressed through the years.
|PREVIOUS WINNERS OF GOLD CUP RACES
Compiled by Fred Farley
1904—(June): Standard, Hudson River, N.Y., C. C. Riotte. Av. 23.160; Best Heat 23.613.
1904—(Sept.): Vingt et Un II, Hudson River, N.Y., Willis Sharpe Kilmer. Average 24.900; Best Heat 25.367.
1905—Chip I, Chippewa Bay, N.Y., Jonathan Wainwright. Av. 15.000; best heat 15.943.
1906—Chip II, Chippewa Bay, N.Y., Jonathan Wainwright. Average 25.000.
1907—Chip II, Chippewa Bay, N.Y., Jonathan Wainwright. Av. 23.903; best heat 27.921.
1908—Dixie II, Chippewa Bay, N.Y., E. J. Schroeder. Av. 29.936; best heat 30.917.
1909—Dixie II, St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay, N.Y., E. J. Schroeder. Av. 29.590; best heat 30.962.
1910—Dixie III, St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay, N.Y., F. K. Burnham. Av. 32.473; best heat 33.971.
1911—Mit II, St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay, N.Y., J. H. Hayden. Av. 37.000.
1912—P.D.Q. II, St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay, N.Y., A. G. Miles. Average 39.462; best heat 44.573.
1913—Ankle Deep, St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay, N.Y., Casimir Mankowski. Average 42.779; best heat 44.571.
1914—Baby Speed Demon II, Lake George, N.Y., Bob Edgren (1st-3rd), J. S. Blackton, Jr. (2nd). Av. 48.458; best heat 48.597.
1915—Miss Detroit, Manhasset Bay, N.Y., Jack Beebe (1st), Johnny Milot (2nd - 3rd). Av. 37.656; best heat 42.174.
1916—Miss Minneapolis, Detroit River, Bernard Smith. Av. 48.860 best heat 50.402.
1917—Miss Detroit II. Mississippi River, Minn. Gar Wood. Av. 54.410; best heat 56.371.
1918—Miss Detroit III, Detroit River, Gar Wood. Average 51.619; best heat 52183.
1919—Miss Detroit III; Detroit River, Gar Wood. Average 42.748; best heat 55.009.
1920—U-1 Miss America I, Detroit River, Gar Wood Av. 62.022;" best heat 70.412. .
1921—U-1 Miss America I, Detroit River, Gar Wood: ''Av: 52.825; best heat 56.597.
1922—G-38 Packard Chriscraft, Detroit River, J. G. Vincent.' Av. 40.253; best heat 40.606.
1923—G-38 Packard Chriscraft, Detroit River, Caleb Bragg. Av. 43.867; best heat 44.016.
1924—G-5 Baby Bootlegger, Detroit River, Caleb Bragg. Av. 45.302; best heat 46.404.
1925—G-5 Baby Bootlegger, Manhasset Bay, N.Y., Caleb Bragg. Av. 47.240; best heat 48.462.
1926—G-8 Greenwich Folly, Indian Harbor, Conn., George Townsend. Av. 47.984; best heat 49.225.
1927—G-8 Greenwich Folly, Indian Harbor, Conn., George Townsend. Av. 47.662; best heat 50.021.
1929—G-14 Imp, Navesink River, N.J., Richard F. Hoyt. Av. 48.662; best heat 50.489.
1930—G-4 Hotsy Totsy, Navesink River, N.J., Vic Kliesrath. Av. 52.673; best heat 56.054.
1931—G-4 Hotsy Totsy, Montauk Bay, N.Y., Vic Kliesrath. Av. 53.602; best heat 54.926.
1932—G-31 Delphine IV, Montauk Bay, N.Y., Bill Horn. Av. 57.775; best heat 59.215.
1933—G-18 El Lagarto, Detroit River, George Reis. Aver-age 56.260; best heat 60.866.
1934—G-18 El Lagarto, Lake George, N.Y., George Reis. Av. 55.000; best heat 58.064.
1935—G-18 El Lagarto, Lake George, N.Y., George Reis. Av. 55.056; best heat 57.582.
1936—G-36 Impshi, Lake George, Kaye Don. Av. 45.735; best heat 47.126.
1937—G-5 Notre Dame (2nd), Detroit River, Clell Perry. Av. 63.675; best heat 68.645.'
1938—I-U-121 Alagi, Detroit River, Theo Rossi. Av. 64.340; best heat 66.080.
1939—G-13 My Sin, Detroit River, Zalmon G. Simmons, Jr. Av. 66.133; best heat 67.050.
1940—G-4 Hotsy Totsy III, Northport Bay, N.Y., Sidney Allen. Av. 48.295; best heat 51.137.
1941—G-13 My Sin, Navesink River, N.J., Zalmon G. Simmons, Jr. Av. 52.509; best heat 52.509.
1946—G-13 Tempo VI, Detroit River, Guy Lombardo. Av. 68.132; best heat 70.890.
1947—G-99 Miss Peps V, Jamaica Bay, N.Y., Danny Foster Av. 54.909; best heat 56.256.
1948—G-4 Miss Great Lakes, Detroit River, Danny Foster Av. 46.845; best heat 56.982
1949—G-3 My Sweetie (1st), Detroit River, Bill Cantrell Av. 73.612; best heat 78.645
1950—U-27 Slo-mo-shun IV, Detroit River, Ted Jones. Av 78.216; best heat 80.897.
1951—U-37 Slo-mo-shun V, Lake Washington, Lou Fageol. Av. 90,766; best heat 91.766.
1952—U-27 Slo-mo-shun IV, Lake Washington, Stan Dollar. Av. 79.923; best heat 84.356.
1953—U-27 Slo-mo-shun IV, Lake Washington, Joe Taggart (1st-3rd), Lou Fageol (2nd). Av. 92.613; best heat 95.268.
1954—U-37 Slo-mo-shun V, Lake Washington, Lou Fageol. Av. 99.108; best heat 99.784.
1955—U-55 Gale V (1st), Lake Washington, Lee Schoenith Av. 99.502; best heat 102.469.
1956—U-60 Miss Thriftway (1st), Detroit River, Bill Muncey. Av. 96.526; best heat 100.906.
1957—U-60 Miss Thriftway (1st), Lake Washington, Bill Muncey, Av. 101.797; best heat 104.016.
1958—U-8 Hawaii Kai III, Lake Washington, Jack Regas. Av. 103.481; -best h e a t 108.734.
1959—U-00 Maverick (2nd), Lake Washington, Bill Stead .Av. 104.033; best heat 106.027.
1960—no contest — Lake Mead, Nev.
1961—U-60 Miss Century 21, Pyramid Lake, Nev., Bill Muncey. Av. 99.678; best heat 102.349.
1962—U-60 Miss Century 21, Lake Washington, Bill Muncey. Av. 100.071; best heat 101.446.
1963—U-40 Miss Bardahl (3rd), Detroit River, Ron Musson. Average 105.124; best heat 109.489.
1964—U-40 Miss Bardahl (3rd), Detroit River, Ron Musson. Average 103.433; best heat 108.104.
1965—U-40 Miss Bardahl, Ron Musson.
1966—Tahoe Miss, Mira Slovak.
(Reprinted from the Kelowna Daily Courier, July 14, 1966)
[NOTE: This article appeared in the Kelowna, BC newspaper in the lead-up to the 1966 British Columbia Cup. Shockingly, it does not acknowledge the tragedies at Washington DC and Detroit in previous weeks; although the article was mostly prepared weeks in advance, the failure on the part of the newspaper's editor is painful. --LF]