1927 APBA Gold Cup

Greenwich Folly Wins Gold Cup a Second Time

By F. W. Horenburger

The helmsman's seat of Miss Columbia was a highly advantageous position from which to view the Gold Cup Race for the purpose of telling the complete race story to the readers of MoToR BoatinG.

Being the first over the starting line with Miss Columbia in the first heat, the pleasure of leading the field, with something like 74 cylinders roaring astern, gave a thrill for a few moments, but as Imp, Hotsy Totsy, Palm Beach Days. Greenwich Folly and Baby Gar VII shot ahead of us before the first turning buoy was reached, the thrill was short lived. A little later Shadowvite and Baby Gar VIII eased by us. But we had a grand ride for 90 miles, and aside from keeping ahead of several of the other starters, which never headed us at any time, there wasn't much to do, so perfectly did Miss Columbia run.

The greatest thrill came near the middle of the second heat when Imp turned turtle just ahead of us, throwing out her driver, Dick Hoyt, and his mechanician Moffat. We were at the time travelling at a speed of a shade better than 50 miles an hour. Imp was floating bow up only a short distance ahead. Should we stop and pick up the crew of Imp and perhaps jeopardise any chance to win or should we go on? It didn't require a second's thought to choose the former. In an instant we had Miss Columbia alongside the men in the water. Quickly we had them aboard our own racer, and then ran them over to Mr. Hoyt's yacht. Miss Columbia immediately resumed the race. Strangely enough we finished in second position, not only for this heat but for the entire race of 90 miles.

This year marked Miss Columbia's fourth year in the Gold Cup Races. Except in one of heats of the 1925 event when she was driven by L. Gordon Hamersley and broke a shaft, she has never failed to finish. Second in 1924, Sixth in 1925 and 1926 and second in 1927 is a record never equally by any Gold Cup Racer.

With the rules changing for the 1928 races, Miss Columbia has run her last Gold Cup Race, but not once in her long career has she ever faltered. Reliable as a stock runabout and so seaworthy that never has she shown a tendency to upset in any kind of a sea, she has proven, by finishing second this year, that extreme speed should not be the only requisite in the modern race boat. As we passed boat after boat, either disabled or sinking in this year's race, during our 90 miles ride, until there was only one racer ahead of us, this fact was paramount in our minds.

The best boat, Greenwich Folly, and the best driver, George H. Townsend, won. There isn't a great deal more to tell, but Mr. Horenburger in his article, gives you his view of the races as seen from the judge's stand.

— Charles F. Chapman, Editor of MoToR BoatinG


Once again a race for the famous Gold Cup of the American Power Boat Association has been run and won. This makes the twenty-fifth race for this famous trophy, and since it was won last year by George H. Townsend's Greenwich Folly at Manhasset Bay, this year's contest was conducted by his club, the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, at Greenwich, Conn. Local conditions dictated a triangular course for the contests, and a three mile triangle had been surveyed and located in the waters of Long Island Sound inside of Great Captain's Island. Fortunately the day of the regatta proved to be a fine clear day so that no one was troubled particularly with sunburn, and an enormous fleet of visiting yachts assembled in the harbor to witness the races. These were anchored closely together around the three sides of the race course, prominent among them being the five masted barkentine of the Buccaneers Club, which served as a grandstand for many of its members and friends. There was hardly a boat in the western end of Long Island Sound which did not put in to Greenwich to witness these contests.

The events had been arranged on the program with only a very small interval of time between the finish of one and the start of the next. One of the first events was to have been the race for the stock runabouts and large numbers of these were on hand all during the morning receiving their numbers, instructions, and other information. It was feared that twenty or thirty of these boats tearing around the course at full speed would so upset the waters of the Sound as to make it dangerous for the Gold Cup class of boats which were to follow them. While it is true that they create considerable disturbance, particularly when they move around in platoons. this disturbance does not last and rapidly quiets down when the source of the trouble disappears. For this reason the stock runabout class was moved to the tail end of the program and probably suffered the loss of a number of entries because of the lateness in the day The first event scheduled was the outboard race for class B engines, and this class got away amid a great uproar of popping exhausts promptly at 1:30 P. M. These little boats had to go once around the three mile course, and resembled a flock of hornets as they buzzed busily along. There were twenty of these boats on the course at one time, and the Committee spent a very strenuous several minutes in trying to keep track of them as they all started and flashed over the course. This race was won by a little boat called Cuty driven by C. Cooper, and powered with a Johnson standard twin engine. His total time for the three miles was 8:52.72, equivalent to 20.27 m.p.h. A sister ship driven by H. T. Buffington was close behind and finished second.

The next event was the Outboard Class for the larger or Class C engines. Not quite so many boats started in this event, but thirteen finished and since they were equipped with more powerful engines, the time was somewhat better. The winner’s time was 8:01.22 or 22.44 m.p.h. Unfortunately, some five or six of these little boats which seemed to be the fastest of the lot got off to a false start and never looked back again. They sailed merrily around the course by themselves and never realized until later that

[text missing]

Had they observed the starters flag signals, they would have noticed that no starting flag was waved, and would have saved themselves the disappointment of idly running around the course. The race was won by Flying Fish II owned and driven by V. Withstandley and powered with a big Johnson Twin engine.

After the outboard event, the long-awaited first heat of the Gold Cup class was signalled. The beautiful boats which were to take part flashed out to the starting line and maneuvered about for a good position and every advantage to permit them to cross the line first. This privilege went to Charles F. Chapman, driving Miss Columbia as he timed his start so well as to cross at full speed and just behind the smoke of the starting gun. The other ten boats in the race were close on his heels, and, since many of them were much faster, they soon passed him. Everything was running smoothly by now, the timers and scorers were busily engaged in computing the speeds, lap times, total elapsed times, and all the other technical information necessary. The entire eleven boats passed the starters at the close of the second lap, and shortly after this, Palm Beach Days, driven by Wm. Bigelow dropped out of the running, and as was learned later his difficulties were due to a blown cylinder head gasket. The race continued, and for the next three laps, everything went smoothly with the several boats holding their own, while during the fourth lap Greenwich Folly managed to assume the lead for a time, she was quickly overtaken again by Imp, which held first place for the next three laps, only to be passed by Hotsy Totsy, driven by Victor Kliesrath during the seventh lap, in which she assumed the lead and was not headed for the remaining three laps, winning this heat. Imp finished in second place, and Greenwich Folly in third place. The casualties among the other boats were heavy, as Baby Gar VII and VIII were both forced out of the running in the sixth and eighth laps. Baby Water Car turned over during the sixth lap, and Nuisance was forced out by engine difficulties in the eighth lap. Baby Bootlegger injured a propeller during the ninth lap by striking some driftwood, which forced her out of the running also. During this heat the fastest lap of the race was turned in by Hotsy Totsy, which did one lap at the rate of 53.16 m.p.h. The speed for the entire heat of thirty miles was 51.261 m.p.h., which was also made by Hotsy Totsy.

During the interval between the Gold Cup heats, races for the 151 inch hydroplane class and the Biscayne Baby class were run, and these will be described later. We will conclude the description of the Gold Cup race before going on to these other events.

The second heat of the Gold Cup brought out only six starters, and as in the previous heat, Miss Columbia managed to get away to an excellent start. While not the fastest boat in the race, she is a thoroughly reliable and steady going craft, able to maintain a speed of from 46 to 47 m.p.h. in the face of all obstacles. The other boats, while able at times to reach speeds of 51 to 53 m.p.h., were seldom able to maintain this higher rate of speed for any considerable period. Greenwich Folly was somewhat faster, and maintained slightly less than 51 m.p.h. throughout the entire heat. It was in this second heat that Imp came to grief. During the third lap she turned over just in front of Miss Columbia, and as a result the drivers of Miss Columbia stopped for the purpose of picking the crew out of the water. This delayed them considerably, as the average time for this lap was just under 13 m.p.h. The boat itself was taken in tow by a runabout, and saved. Nuisance suffered mechanical trouble during this same third lap, and withdrew from the contest. For the next several laps, things again went along smoothly until the seventh, in which Shadowvite suffered injury to her bottom, and was forced to withdraw. Greenwich Folly finished this second heat, and before Hotsy Totsy, which was on her last round reached the finish line, she suffered a slight fire and this destroyed enough of the electrical wiring to put her out of business. The boat itself was damaged very slightly, the chief damage being to the electrical equipment. This left only Miss Columbia in the running, and she was two laps behind at this time. This delay was due to the stops made in the third lap, and while she was still going strong, the judges called her off the course. It develops that this action on the part of the judges was not correct, and that she should have been allowed to finish the heat, although she was given full credit in points for the heat.

The third heat brought out only the two old reliables, Greenwich Folly and Miss Columbia. After the start, the race developed into a procession in which Greenwich Folly just stayed far enough ahead of Miss Columbia to maintain her leading position. For the entire ten laps, the boats followed each other around the course in the same relative position, and Greenwich Folly finished with an elapsed time of 40:46.38, with Miss Columbia close behind her with an elapsed time of 42:44.34. Thus Greenwich Folly, despite the fact that there were faster boats in the race, was again able to win the Gold Cup by her consistent and reliable running. Both boats which finished were powered with similar engines, these being the Packard Gold Cup model, which are rated at 260 h.p. It seems odd also that both of these boats were fitted with the new self adjusting Moto-meter spark plugs, and it is worth noting that the same sets of plugs were used throughout the entire three heats of ninety miles. Greenwich Folly was designed by Fred Lord several years ago, and has always been a thoroughly reliable and able craft. It is a great credit to both the designer and the power plant that this same boat should prove to be so reliable as to win this trophy twice. Miss Columbia, designed by George F. Crouch, is known as a heavy weather boat, and performs at her best when it is rough. While her top speed is slightly under that of the newer and lighter boats, she is still a thoroughly reliable and able craft. She is of the kind which can be started and will run indefinitely as long as the fuel holds out.

Many mishaps befell the contestants during the three heats of this race. Eleven boats faced the starter at the beginning of the first heat, but this number was reduced before the end of eight laps to only five, which were able to complete the first thirty miles of the contest. Various explanations were offered as to the reasons for their failure, and those who observed the races can well understand them.

The daily newspapers in their stories of the race attempted to emphasize the fact that the Gold Cup was won by an old boat which was miles and miles an hour slower than several of the newer craft in the race, which had speed, but lacked the staying qualities necessary to complete a ninety mile grind, which is the length of the Gold Cup race. An analysis of the speeds and results of the race as shown on the score sheet, prove quite the contrary to be the truth. The speed of the winner, Greenwich Folly, in the first heat, was only three-tenths of a mile slower than that of Hotsy Totsy, the fastest boat in the race, and Greenwich Folly's average speed for the first two heats was 50.8 m.p.h. This is not so bad for a three year old boat. The fastest three mile lap was made by Hotsy Totsy which averaged 53.16 m.p.h., Imp's best lap speed was 52.297 m.p.h., and Greenwich Folly's best three mile lap was made at the rate of 52.045 m.p.h.

While it is true that the casualties were many this year, most people overlook the fact that the distance of the Gold Cup race, ninety miles, is many tunes greater than any other event, with the exception of the Detroit Sweepstakes. Take for example, the heats for the 151 inch hydroplanes. Nobody expressed astonishment when seventy per cent of these little craft go down and out, or fail to finish a short heat. Yet the distance which these boats run is only five or six miles compared with three, thirty mile heats, which are required of the Gold Cup boats.

The official reports of the troubles experienced by the several boats are as follows:

To make the regatta interesting for the spectators, as well as to provide opportunities for other types of boats to show their ability and skill, classes had been arranged for the 151 inch hydroplanes, which raced in both the supercharged and the non-supercharged divisions.

The first heat of the 151 inch hydroplane class was run immediately after the first Gold Cup heat, and eight boats took part in this, divided into supercharged and non-supercharged classes. Of these, three were unable to finish the two laps which constituted the six mile heat, and five finished. Miss Westchester II, owned and driven by E. W. Hammond, took first place at a rate of 46.37 m.p.h. In the non-supercharged class Miss Ricochet, driven by R. H. Moeller, was the victor at a rate of 32.98 m.p.h. The second heat followed the second heat of the Gold Cup class, and brought out five boats. Miss Westchester was again successful in winning her class, and Miss Ricochet was again successful in the non-supercharged class, so that both of these boats were the winners of their respective classes, as each had secured 800 points. The difference in speed between the supercharged and the non-supercharged engines is very pronounced, and it is a wise restriction which keeps these two classes separated.

Another interesting little race was the one for the Biscayne Baby and the Chrysler Rainbow runabouts. Four of the Biscayne Baybies appeared, and three of the Rainbow class. These boats are a new class of standardized runabout, built by Ed Purdy, and powered with the new Chrysler engine. They are noticeably faster than the Biscayne Baybies, and slip along very nicely. Only one of the Biscayne Baybies failed to finish the two laps, the others coming in closely together, the winner's speed being 37.08 m.p.h. The Rainbow runabout Scalawag proved to be the winner in the other class, and covered the six miles at the rate of 33.105 m.p.h. The final event of the day was the stock runabout class which had been postponed from the earlier part of the program. Thirteen boats started in this event, and they were divided up as follows: Two Baby Gar runabouts, six Chris-Craft runabouts, one Chris-Craft Cadet, and four Dodge Water Cars.

Cruiser Races at Gold Cup Regatta

As usual during the Annual Gold Cup Regatta, the cruiser division arranges several interesting races for its adherents. This year, the 'Sachems Head Yacht Club conducted the express cruiser events, which were arranged in two heats on August 4 and 5, prior to the Gold Cup races on the 6th. The program provided for the first day's event from Sachems Head to Cornfield Reef Lightship and return, a distance of 63½ miles. The second day's racing was from Sachems Head to Greenwich, Conn., finishing in the harbor, amid the assembled fleet for the Gold Cup Regatta. Five boats took part in these races, and several trophies were competed for, to which various boats were eligible. There was the race for the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers' Trophy, emblematic of the Express Cruiser Championship of America, which was won by Lohara, belonging to. Harris Racke of Naugatuck, Conn. Another race which was designated as the Single Engined Express Cruiser

[text missing]

Gold Cup Regatta, Greenwich, Conn.
Summary of Results [Pt. 1 of 2]
Twenty-fifth Annual Gold Cup Race, August 6, 1927—3 Heats of 30 Miles Each
No. Boat Driver Owner Club First Heat Second Heat
Time Speed Time Speed
G-1 Miss Columbia C. F. Chapman Columbia Yacht Club Columbia 39:01.27 46.128
G-3 Pirate H. Croft A. E. Walbridge Indian Harbor DNS DNS
G-4 Hotsy Totsy V. Kliesrath C. S. Bragg Montauk 35:06.83 51.261 DNF
G-5 Baby Bootlegger C. S. Bragg C. S. Bragg Montauk DNF DNS
G-8 Greenwich Folly G. H. Townsend G. H. Townsend Indian Harbor 35:17.93 50.993 35:29.90 50.706
G-9 Nuisance Horace Dodge Delphine D. Cromwell Dodge Dealers DNF DNF
G-12 Shadowvite Geo. Graves Geo. Graves Columbia 38:10.62 47.148 DNF
G-14 Imp R. F. Hoyt R. F. Hoyt Montauk 35:15.78 51.093 DNF
G-34 Baby Water Car J. H. R. Cromwell Horace E. Dodge Dodge Dealers DNF DNS
G-47 Baby Gar VII Geo. Wood Gar Wood Detroit DNF DNS
G-48 Baby Gar VIII Gar Wood Gar Wood Detroit DNF DNS
G-70 Palm Beach Days W. Bigelow Bigelow & Wagg Miles River DNF DNS


Gold Cup Regatta, Greenwich, Conn.
Summary of Results [Pt. 2 of 2]
Twenty-fifth Annual Gold Cup Race, August 6, 1927—3 Heats of 30 Miles Each
No. Boat Driver Owner Club Third Heat Speed Best Lap Final Position
Time Speed
G-1 Miss Columbia C. F. Chapman Columbia Yacht Club Columbia 42:44.34 42.116 47.075 2
G-3 Pirate H. Croft A. E. Walbridge Indian Harbor DNS
G-4 Hotsy Totsy V. Kliesrath C. S. Bragg Montauk DNS 53.160 3
G-5 Baby Bootlegger C. S. Bragg C. S. Bragg Montauk DNS 44.712 7
G-8 Greenwich Folly G. H. Townsend G. H. Townsend Indian Harbor 40:46.38 44.146 52.045 1
G-9 Nuisance Horace Dodge Delphine D. Cromwell Dodge Dealers DNS 41.163 6
G-12 Shadowvite Geo. Graves Geo. Graves Columbia DNS 51.746 5
G-14 Imp R. F. Hoyt R. F. Hoyt Montauk DNS 52.297 4
G-34 Baby Water Car J. H. R. Cromwell Horace E. Dodge Dodge Dealers DNS 45.286 10
G-47 Baby Gar VII Geo. Wood Gar Wood Detroit DNS 51.845 8
G-48 Baby Gar VIII Gar Wood Gar Wood Detroit DNS 48.895 9
G-70 Palm Beach Days W. Bigelow Bigelow & Wagg Miles River DNS 47.750 11
Fastest Heat (30 miles) was made by Hotsy Totsy. Time, 35:06.83. Speed 51.261 m. p. h.
Fastest Lap (3 miles) was made by Hotsy Totsy. Time, 3:23.16. Speed, 53.160 m.p.h.)
*Flagged, points for heat allowed.
Time of winner for 90 miles, 1 hour, 53 minutes, 34.21 seconds.
Previous record for heat (30 miles) made by Baby Bootlegger (1926)
Time 35:37; speed 50.53 m.p.h.


Position of Boats During Gold Cup Race
3 - 30 Mile Heats. Each Lap 3 Miles
Boat First Heat—Lap Numbers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Miss Columbia 7 6 6 4 6 5 5 5 5 5
Pirate DNS
Hotsy Totsy 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
Baby Bootlegger 6 7 7 7 9 7 7 6
Greenwich Folly 2 2 2 1 2 2 3 3 3 3
Nuisance 11 11 10 10 10 8 8
Shadowvite 10 10 9 9 7 6 6 4 4 4
Imp 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 2
Baby Water Car 9 9 8 8 8
Baby Gar VII 3 3 4 5 4 4
Baby Gar VIII 8 8 5 6 5
Palm Beach Days 4 5
Boat Second Heat—Lap Numbers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Miss Columbia 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 Flagged  
Pirate DNS
Hotsy Totsy 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Baby Bootlegger DNS
Greenwich Folly 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 1
Nuisance 6 6
Shadowvite 1 2 2 2 2 2
Imp 3 4
Baby Water Car DNS
Baby Gar VII DNS
Palm Beach Days DNS
Boat Third Heat—Lap Numbers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Miss Columbia 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Pirate DNS
Hotsy Totsy DNS
Baby Bootlegger DNS
Greenwich Folly 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Nuisance DNS
Shadowvite DNS
Baby Water Car DNS
Baby Gar VII DNS
Palm Beach Days DNS


151 Class—National Trophy—2 Heats of 6 Miles Each—August 6, 1927
No. Boat Owner First Heat Second Heat Speed Best Lap Final Position
Time Speed Time Speed
B-200 Miss Massachusetts L. T. Savage DNF DNS
B-91 Miss Spitfire Mrs. J. G. Rand, Jr. 10:49:45 33 258 9:57.41 36.156 48.613 2
B-51 Miss California D. Loynes, W. Harris DNF DNS 45.648
B-107 Miss Westchester II E. W. Hammond 7:43.82 46.569 9:12.73 39.078 47.906 1
B-19 New Yorker A. Goebel DNF DNS
B-150 Miss Ricochet R. H. Moeller 10:54.85 32.984 9:28:83 37.972 38.751 3
B-158 Black Bottom Edison Hedges 14:28:62 24.867 DNS 25.925
B-75 See Me Go Geo. Backus 11:24.34 31.563 11:31.63 31.230 32.139 4
B-95 Miss Spitfire VI J. H. Rand, Jr. DNS 10:24.58 34.383 35.990 5
Fastest heat (6 miles) was made by Miss Westchester II. Time, 7:43.82. Speed, 46.569 m.p.h. Fastest lap (3 miles) was made by Miss Spitfire. Time, 3:42.16. Speed 48.613 m.p.h.
Miss Ricochet
is first in the Non-Supercharge class, with Miss Spitfire VI, second, and See-Me-Go, third.


Biscayne Baby—Chrysler Rainbow One Heat, Six Miles—August 6, 1927
  Boat Owner Time Speed Position
25 Two Bits N. Doubleday Did not finish   7
27 Bella V W. P. Chrysler 9:42.45 37.084 2
32 Oh Min Charles Trunz 9:47.36 36.774 3
33 Baby Atlantan O. Schwarzler 10:22.41 34.703 5
52 Wild Cat W. P. Chrysler 10:13.55 35.204 4
53 Baby Frolic W. P. Chrysler 10:22.70 34.687 6
55 Scalawag W. P. Chrysler 9:26.85 33.105 1
Fastest Lap — (3 miles) was made by Scalawag. Time, 4:39.54 Speed. 38.632 m p.h.
Fastest Heat — (6 miles) was made by Scalawag. Time, 9:26.85 Speed. 38.105 m.p.h.
First place Biscayne Baby Class, Bella V.
First Place Chrysler Rainbow Class, Scalawag.


(Reprinted from Motor Boating, September 1927)