1949 Preview

1949 Preview [New York Times]

Albany-New York Marathon on June 13 First Major Speed Boat Event

136-Mile Thrash Opens Big Season

Record Entry List Is Expected for the Albany-New York Outboard Race June 12

Gold Cup Regatta July 2

Harmsworth Trophy Event at Detroit July 29-30 Also to Feature Program

By Clarence L. Lovejoy

Although elsewhere to the country there will be earlier local events, the greatest speed boat racing year in history will have its first major kick-off on Sunday, June 12, with the always exciting, usually dangerous 138-mile Hudson River marathon from Albany to Manhattan.

Thenceforth, for more than four months, until the President's Cup Regatta on the Potomac in September and California's Salton Sea racing at Desert Beach late October. the regatta circuit will be busier than ever, often with three or four events competing in their rivalry for topflight pilots an the, same week-end.

The highlights for 1949, of course, will be the Harmsworth at Detroit July 28-30. preceded probably in June by attack on sir Malcolm Campbell's world speed mark of 141.24 miles per hour by Henry J. Kaiser's new creation, which, Guy Lombardo will drive.

Trials to Start June 28

Nearly two months earlier than has been customary, the Gold Cup Regatta has been sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association at Detroit can July 2 as part of a racing festival which will continue most of the week. Qualifying trials for the Gold Cup will be held from June 28 through July 1 to insure that no divers. through their inexperience or through inadequate craft, will endanger the blue ribbon fleet.

As if the disaster last summer at Detroit, because of rough water was not bad enough, there were many observers who felt that the wrecking of some of the speed boats, including Guy Lombardo's Tempo VI, which capsized and gave him a broken arm, was caused because slow boats and inexperienced pilots were permitted to race with the nation's best. The Gold Cup is not a race for beginners.

This year no boat will be eligible unless it qualifies by running three laps of the official three-mile course and averages 65 m.p.h. or better on at least one lap. The twenty fastest boats, after qualifications, will constitute the starting field.

Richard McFadyen of Montclair. N.J., president of the Albany-New York Outboard Association, anticipates a record number of entrants for the seventeenth annual marathon. Last year, 142 craft crossed the finish line, 141 of them behind John Whitehouse of Springfield, Mass. So far this year 400 requests for information have been received. The Hudson River marathon is limited exclusively to family-type stock motors. There will be no souped-up racing rigs.

Prizes In Six Classes

Although all will start simultaneously from an imaginary line abeam the Albany Y. C., the regatta committee will distribute prize money, topped by the $1,000 cash first prize and the Oluf Mikkelsen Trophy, in six classes, rated on motor displacement and weight of boat. All minimum hull weights are on the basis of seven pounds per cubic inch of motor displacement.

Class A will include the smallest engines of fifteen cubic inches of motor displacement or less and, with a minimum added hull weight of 125 pounds, including crew and ballast. Class B will have twenty cubic inch motors and 135 pounds of minimum added weight. Class C will have motors of a maximum of thirty cubic inches and 145 pounds of added weight. Class D will have forty cubic inch engines and 155 added pounds. Class E will have engines not over fifty cubic inches and 165 added pounds and the super-powered Class F will have motors up to 65 cubic inches and added weights of at least 175 pounds.

Entries are receivable on or before June 1 at 545 North Arlington Avenue, East Orange, N. J.

During the summer at least a dozen outboard marathons have been scheduled. including the James River event between Richland and Norfolk, Va., on Saturday, the Fite Memorial at Ocean City, N. ,1., on May 30, the Connecticut River marathon on June l 19 and the Detroit 100-mile marathon on Aug. 1.

Other outstanding regattas will be the Lake Hopatcong championships July 18-19; National Sweepstakes at Red Rank Aug. 13-14; New York Athletic Club's Block Island Race for cruisers July 9; President's Cup at Washington Sept. 17-18; New Martinsville; W. Va.. Inboard regatta Sept. 25; Silver Cup Regatta. Detroit, Sept. 3-5; Canadian National Exhibition regatta at Toronto for outboards Sept. 3-5 and for inboards Sept. 7-10; Harwood Trophy Race for inboards around Manhattan Island Sept 12.

(Reprinted from the New York Times, May 8, 1949)