The 1950 Motor Boat Racing Season

It took 52-year-old Stan Sayres, a Seattle sportsman, and the combined talents of a good designer and top mechanical crew, to bring the world's speed record for motorboats back to the United States. This Sayres did on June 26 when he drove Slo-Mo-Shun across Lake Washington, Seattle, at 160.42 mph, breaking Sir Malcolm Campbell's long-standing record of 141.74 mph, established on Lake Coniston, England in Bluebird II, in 1939.

The U. S. claim to the world's record didn't come easily. Half a dozen of the country's top drivers had tried to beat Campbell's mark—but only Sayres, after two year's work on his Allison-powered craft, was able to finish in the money.

Slo-Mo-Shun Wins Gold Cup, Harmsworth Races

Less than a month later, on July 22, Slo-Mo-Shun's designer, Ted Jones, drove the 28½-foot craft to victory in the 43rd annual Gold Cup. Eight unlimited craft and one less powerful 225 cubic inch hydroplane came out of the pits to compete on the Detroit River. Mechanical troubles plagued most of the fleet and only two of the boats ran the required 90 miles, Slo-Mo-Shun and Guy Lombardo's Tempo VI, which took second place.

For Sayres, the Gold Cup proved the new boat's worth in closed course competition. In winning, Slo-Mo-Shun set a new heat record of 80.897 mph and broke Stan Dollar's 1949 record in Skip-A-Long of 75.559 mph for 90 miles, by turning in a speed of 78.216 for that distance.

(Reprinted from Motor Boating, January 1951)