Sayres Sets Mark in Slo-mo-shun IV [1952]

178.497 m.p.h. World Record at Seattle is Fastest Man Has Traveled on Water

Seattle, July 7 [1952] (AP) — Stanley Sayres drove Slo-mo-shun IV to a world hydroplane speed record of 178.497 miles and hour today, cracking the mark set two years ago by more than 18 m.p.h.

It was the fastest man ever has traveled on water.

In 1950 Sayres and the Slo-mo startled the speed-boat world by increasing the world mark some 20 miles an hour to 160.3235 m.p.h.

Lake Washington's narrow east channel was choppy from a sharp breeze as Sayres came out at 10 a.m. for his try at the record.

With the wind at his back, he ran the first mile of the test in 185.567 miles an hour. On the return against the wind, he was clocked in 171.428.

The average for the two runs was taken as the official time.

About 2,000 persons were on the strip and countless hundreds lined both shores for the full measured mile.

The Slo-mo has been re-equipped with a newer and more powerful engine since her early triumphs, increasing her horsepower from 1,500 to 2,000.

Sayres is a Seattle automobile dealer. He crashed unexpectedly into the speedboat picture with Slo-mo IV two years ago. The world hardly knew the boat existed before he shattered the long-time speed mark held by Sir Malcolm Campbell.

The world record before the Slo-mo came along was 141.74, set by Sir Malcolm in England in 1939.

Sayres said he had to east up on the throttle on one of the runs because of choppy water conditions and he expressed the hope of raising the record another notch.

The two-way run was a spectacular sight for the early morning spectators. A towering tail of spray hung in the air for close to a quarter of a mile behind the flash of red. It rose fifty feet at the crest.

Sayres' mate on the record run was Elmer Leninschmidt, one of the airplane mechanics who make the Slo-mo boats a hobby.

Slo-mo-shun IV is the elder of Sayres' boating stable. Slo-mo-shun V is the stablemate.

Slo-mo V won the Gold Cup last year from her older sister, winner of the trophy in 1950. Slo-mo IV turned the tables, however, to beat the newer boat in Seattle's Seafair Trophy race.

A community fund-raising drive is under way this month to finance the conditioning and entry of the two Seattle-built Slo-mo's in next month's Gold Cup race here.

(Reprinted from the Associated Press July 7, 1952)