1933 APBA Gold Cup

Gold Cup Goes To Lake George

After three years of trying the Gold Cup goes to George Reis of Lake George, New York. Never in the thirty years of annual competition for this famous trophy has there been a more deserving or popular victory. Mayor Reis won on his merits, in spite of handicaps that to almost anyone other than George Reis would have been insurmountable. Driving a boat eleven years old which originally had been of the displacement type but had been brought up to date by the addition of home made planes or shingles, a boat which was never in the running while a displacement boat but had led the field in the 1931 Gold Cup race at Montauk until a motor break down put her out, was too slow to finish better than second in the 1932 events and then with the same power plant which her owner had used during the 1931 and 1932 seasons came through a champion this year and bettered all 30 mile heat and lap records for a Gold Cup race. Reis had no designer or naval architect to give him ideas for increasing his boat's speed and no boat plant did the work for him. His own ingenuity and careful testing and preparations were responsible for his success.

The 1933 Gold Cup race was by far the most successful of any for many years. Ten boats entered of which one, Louisa, was withdrawn in advance of the race and two boats, Miss Philadelphia and Delphine VIII, were prepared to start but were prevented from so doing by unfortunate accidents just prior to starting time.

Delphine VII, VIII and IX were new boats never before raced. Delphine VII was a craft designed by George F. Crouch and built by the Horace E. Dodge Boat and Plane Corporation for Mrs. Delphine Dodge Baker. Delphine VIII and Delphine IX were English built hulls powered with 24 cylinder Duesenberg motors. Delphine VI was the old displacement boat Impshi which has been out of competition for several seasons but brought back into service by Mr. Dodge and shingled. Imp, the old Gold Cup boat formerly owned by Richard F. Hoyt of New York is now owned by John M. Rutherfurd of Port Washington, N. Y. Miss Philadelphia, the entry of John Shibe of Philadelphia, was built for the 1931 Gold Cup race but was not raced last year and has been withdrawn from future competition. Delphine IV, the runner-up to El Lagarto was the 1932 winner. William McK. Horn was at the helm and Charles F. Grafflin acted as mechanician and had the jumping and leaping Delphine IV running just as fast and just as prettily as ever except that it was not quite fast enough to catch El Lagarto with her increased speed.

Hotsy Totsy, owned jointly by Vic Kliesrath and Vincent Bendix was the disappointment of the race. Heralded as a near 70 miler every one watched her as the dark horse of the regatta. But unfortunately Hotsy Totsy had the misfortune to break a crank shaft in practice the afternoon before the races. As the only spare shaft available was one in an assembled motor at South Bend, Indiana, this motor was rushed by truck to Detroit with mechanics tearing down the motor while enroute and then working all night to install same in Hotsy Totsy after its arrival. But the time was too short and the work too hurried as the rebuilt motor never did perform satisfactorily. Hotsy Totsy simply trailed the other boats for a few laps and then withdrew.

Delphine IX was also a disappointment. This English hull with her Duesenberg motor had possibilities but motor troubles kept her far astern of the leaders. Delphine VIII, another English built hull with similar power plant never did get going.

Perhaps the surprise of the Gold Cup race was the running of Delphine VI and the driving of her helmsman Commodore F. G. Ericson. This boat, the old displacement hull of Impshi, designed originally by George F. Crouch, now shingled and powered with a Miller Gold Cup motor ran a good second until a broken crank shaft ended her career. Commodore Ericson drove a mighty fine race, keeping his racer on the straightest course of any of the boats. Imp also had motor troubles before the first lap of the first heat was finished so she withdrew shortly after.

A word of praise should also be recorded for the driving of Mrs. Delphine Dodge Baker in Delphine VII. This boat, the most beautiful to look at of them all, was a most finished product both inside and out. She was beautifully handled by Mrs. Baker from start to finish, had no motor trouble of any kind and pushed the two leaders hard for the entire 90 miles.

El Lagarto, Delphine IV and Delphine VII, the only three boats to finish the 90 mile race were all powered with Packard Gold Cup motors, in fact they were the only boats entered with Packard motors.

George Reis had his El Lagarto over the line first in the first heat and was never headed until he reached the finish line, 30 miles away in 29 minutes, 34.4 seconds which is a speed of 60.866 miles per hour, a new Gold Cup record for a 30 mile heat. Delphine VI, running in second place pressed for a while but after four laps a connecting rod snapped which ended this boat's career for the time being. Bill Horn in Delphine IV, the ex-champion, then took up the stern chase to catch the fleeting Lake George boat but at the finish line he was eleven seconds astern. Mrs. Baker at the helm of Delphine VII was running a good third after No. VI dropped out but she did not have the speed necessary to catch either El Lagarto or Delphine IV. Delphine IX was running a rather poor fourth and finished the heat with a speed of 43.072 miles an hour but was credited with third place as the judges reported that Delphine VII had cut a buoy. Hotsy Totsy finished one lap and then quit. Imp quit before one lap had been finished. Summarized, the first heat was Reis against the Dodge fleet with Reis winning.

The start of the second heat was a thriller. Bill Horn put Delphine IV into the lead and held it up around the first turning buoys and part way down the back stretch. El Lagarto's plugs had become fouled while the motor was idling waiting for the starting signal but they cleared themselves on the back stretch. When this happened the race was over and the Cup won as far as any future events were concerned. El Lagarto took the lead and held it to the finish, beating out Delphine IV by about 5 seconds and Delphine VII by 28 seconds. No other boats finished the second heat.

With two heats to his credit all El Lagarto had to do to clinch the trophy was to finish third or better in the final heat. So Reis settled down to an easy pace in third place but before the heat was over he became a little restless and moved up into second place ahead of Delphine VII. Bill Horn gave Delphine IV all that there was in her in the third heat in an effort to set new records as he knew he could not win unless an accident happened to El Lagarto. His boat led from start to finish and he completed the 30 miles in this heat at a speed of 60.206 miles an hour but not fast enough to equal El Lagarto's record in the first heat. However, he did succeed in setting up a new Gold Cup 90 mile record of 1 hour, 29 minutes, 35.19 seconds beating his own 90 mile record set at Montauk in 1932 by over 4 minutes.

First race for the Gold Cup was held in 1904 after the trophy was deeded to the American Power Boat Association by the Columbia Yacht Club. Standard owned by C. C. Riotte won the initial race at 23.6 m.p.h.

Two races were held in 1914 and the Gold Cup has been raced for every year except in 1928.

The Gold Cup, next to the Harmsworth, is the oldest speedboat prize in the world and the oldest in America.

Previous Gold Cup Records

Fastest Heat (30 Miles) 59.21 m.p.h. Delphine IV 1932
Total Race (90 Miles) 57.77 m.p.h. Delphine IV 1932
Best Lap (2½ Miles) 60.00 m.p.h. Delphine IV 1932


Gold Cup Boats

G-4 Hotsy Totsy. Owned by Vincent Bendier and Victor W. Kliesrath, of South Bend, Ind. Built in 1926 for Caleb S. Bragg, the defender that year and finished 12th in field of 15. Won the Gold Cup both in 1930 and 1931, Kliesrath driving. Did not compete last year and no Gold Cup boat champion, once having retired, ever has been able to stage a comeback. South Bend Yacht Club entry. Kliesrath driver, Otto Capra, mechanic. Wright motor.

G-7 Miss Philadelphia. Owned by John Shibe, vice president of the Philadelphia Athletics. Built in 1931 finished second that year behind Hotsy Totsy. Did not compete in 1932. Delaware River Yacht Club entry Armond D. Pugh, driver; Frank McFarland, Shibe’s nephew, mechanic. Miller motor.

G-14 Imp. Owned by John M. L. Rutherfurd, port Washington, N. Y. Built for Richard F. Hoyt in 1929 and won cup that year. Montauk Y. C. entry. Rutherfurd driver, Mrs. Rutherfurd, mechanic. Wright motor.

G-18 El Lagarto (The Lizard). Owned by George Reis, Lake George. N. Y., formerly the Miss Mary, owned by E. L. Grimm, Buffalo. Built in 1922, finished last in championships of that year. Oldest of Gold Cup craft, was runner up to Delphine IV in 1932 and retained National Sweepstakes trophy at Red Bank. N. J. last month. Lake George Club entry. Reis driver, Dick Flowers mechanic. Packard motor. (no. 1, first Packard Gold Cup class motor built.)

G-31 Delphine IV. Defending champion, owned by Horace F. Dodge. Detroit. Formerly Solar Plexus, built and raced in Gold Cup of 1925. Detroit Yacht Club entry. William Born, Newport News, Va., driver: Chas. Grafflin, mechanic. (Horn drove Delphine IV last year in winning Gold Cup and President's Cup. Packard motor.

G-36 Delphine VI. Owned by Dodge. Formerly the Impshi, also built and first raced in 1925. Detroit Yacht Club entry. F. G. Ericson, former commodore Toronto Y. C., now of New York City, driving; Paul Miller, mechanic. Dodge-Miller motor.

G-37 Delphine VII. New boat built this year for Dodge's sister. Mrs. Raymond T. Baker, Washington. Detroit Yacht Club entry. Mrs. Baker, driving her first race since winning the Dodge Memorial trophy at Washington in 1927, at wheel; Bill Haney, mechanic. Mrs. Baker will be first woman to actually drive in the Gold Cup. She entered her boat Nuisance in championships of 1925-26-27 but records disclose she did not drive. Packard motor.

G-38 Delphine VIII. New British-built hull. Dodge-Duesenberg motor. Owned by Horace Dodge. Robert Breese, pilot; Dave Outlaw, mechanic. Detroit Yacht Club entry.

G-39 Delphine IX. New British-built hull with Dodge-Duesenberg motor. Horace E. Dodge, owner-driver. Tack Mackenzie. mechanic. Detroit Yacht Club entry.


Summary of Results, Gold Cup Race
Three Heats—Thirty Miles Each
Boat Driver Mechanic Time Time
1st Heat 2nd 3rd 90 miles
El Lagarto George Reis Dick Bowers 29:34.40 29:50.61 37:38.84 1:37:03.83
Delphine IV Bill Horn C. F. Grafflin 29:4528 29:56.07 29:53.84 *1:29:35.19
Delphine VII Delphine Dodge Baker Bill Haney 30:29 24 30:18.50 43:44.43 1:44:32.17
Delphine IX Horace E. Dodge Jack McKenzie D.N.F.
Delphine VI F. G. Ericson Paul Miller D.N.F.
Hotsy Totsy Vic Kliesrath Otto Capra D.N.F.
*New record for race.
Lap Speeds—Miles Per Hour
Speed First Heat
Boat Lap No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Heat Best Lap
El Lagarto 59.852 61.275 61.973 61.754 60.708 59.707 *60.866 *61.973
Delphine IV 58.273 60.520 60.862 61.040 61.160 61220 60.495 61.220
Delphine VII 56.423 58.502 59.815 59.721 59.508 60.457 59.041 60.457
Delphine IX 51.230 57.525 57294 47.103 47.051 23.550 43.072 57.525
Delphine VI 58.349 61.652 61.400 61.969 D.N.F. 61.969
Hotsy Totsy 48.199 D.N.F.
*New heat and lap records
Speed Second Heat
Boat Lap No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Heat Best Lap
El Lagarto 60.794 60.916 60.575 60.267 59.988 59.339 60.315 60.575
Delphine IV 59.700 60.437 60 281 60 211 60.064 60.100 60.131 60.437
Delphine VII 57.895 59.250 60.366 59.753 50.262 58.804 59.390 60.336
Delphine IX 51.512 51.081 45.970 D.N.F. 51.512
Speed Third Heat
Boat Lap No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Heat Best Lap
El Lagarto 53.831 47.382 47.583 46.070 44.980 47.950 47.601 53.831
Delphine IV 60.600 60.620 59.884 59238 60.798 60.124 60206 60.798
Delphine VII 53.873 39.863 37.497 37249 39.584 42.780 41.152 53.873
Delphine IX 53.061 51.081 D.N.F.


(Reprinted from MotorBoating, October 1933, pp.26-29, 106)