George Reis

In The World of Yachting: George Reis

George Reis
George Reis

George Reis is one of motorboat racing's true Corinthians. The game boasts no better sportsman, no one who gets so much pure fun out of speedboat competition and the preparation therefore.

It seems fitting, then, that he should be the owner, revivifier and driver of that remarkable old hydroplane, El Lagarto, which celebrated her eleventh year afloat in 1933 by scoring a grand slam in the National Sweepstakes, the Gold Cup and the President's Cup races.

He divides his time between the East and the West. In the summer he is a distinguished citizen of Lake George, N.Y., where he tinkers with El Lagarto’s ten-year-old engine and experiments with the shingle bottom he put on her in 1931, the year that she began to go places at a gait entirely out of keeping with her age. He is mayor of the village of Bolton Landing on the lake and a deputy sheriff of Warren County. When the weather grows chill, he hastens to California and spends the winter in Pasadena.

Although Reis gained his first real recognition in 1931 when he won the National Sweepstakes and the President's Cup with El Lagarto, he was driving in major competition years before we went into the European war. He used to handle Commodore Albert L. Judson's Hawkeyes and Whippoorwills, and in 1920 was a member of the American team that went to Osborne Bay to wrest the Harmsworth Trophy from the British. He was to have driven Whippoorwill, but she burned up three days before the race, so Reis sat on the beach while Wood carried off the trophy.

In years to come, if anyone is looking for someone worthy of the trust of a Harmsworth defense, or a challenge, the gentleman now famous as the trainer of the "Leaping Lizard" of Lake George would be more than a likely candidate.

(Reprinted from Yachting, December 1933)