1956-09 (Sharkey) / 5609 (UNJ)

Hawaii Kai Registers 170 mph in Test Runs [1956]

In the above photo, the Hawaii Kai is shown speeding over the calm waters of Keehi Lagoon.
In the above photo, the Hawaii Kai is shown speeding over the calm waters of Keehi Lagoon.

Henry J. Kaiser's Hawaii Kai sped more than 170 miles per hour yesterday morning in high speed test runs at Keehi Lagoon.

Kenneth St. Oegger pilot of the unlimited class hydroplane, drove the Kaiser craft on three passes. He reported that the Hawaii Kai exceeded 170 MPH on each run.

Kaiser has brought the Hawaii Kai and the Scooter Too here for an assault on the world record next Wednesday. The record is held by Stanley S. Sayre's Slo-Mo-Shun IV 178.497 miles per hour. It was set in 1952.

The Scooter Too, with Jack Regas at the controls, was sent on a test run last Wednesday morning and came up with a 130 MPH speed.

Following the speed tests yesterday morning, St. Oegger announced that a larger propeller would be necessary for the Hawaii Kai for its attempt at lowering the record.

A larger propeller would account for greater acceleration and compensate for the short lagoon course. The Keehi lagoon is about three miles long. Later in the day, the Hawaii Kai was sent on another test run after a new propeller was installed. However, the speed was 150 miles per hour. Adjustments are being made currently.

Meanwhile, Otto Crocker, who will be the official timer for the coming assault on the record by Hawaii Kai and the Scooter Too, is scheduled to arrive at 5:30 p.m. via United Airlines,

Crocker is the designer of the electronic eye timing equipment which will be used Wednesday. The equipment will arrive on the same plane.

Also slated to arrive today is Kent Hitchcock of Newport Beach, California. He is the international racing commissioner.

(Reprinted from the Honolulu Advertiser, March 1956)

[Thanks to Ron van Proeyen for help in preparing this page —LF]

[Note: Hawaii Kai was destroyed during a record attempt on Keehi Lagoon a few days later. Ken St. Oegger was seriously injured. If I can find an account of that run I'll post it to accompany this page. --LF]