1934 President's Cup

Washington Winds Up the Season

By Charles H. Hall

Official motor boat racing for 1934 came to an end with the President's Cup Regatta run on the Potomac at Washington, September 22nd and 23rd. Due to extremely bad weather on the date set for the opening, a postponement was ordered and the schedule was moved ahead one day. It was rather a crowded program, thirty-three events being run off in the two days of racing, but the hard-working committee had been well organized and every heat was started on time. That is, the guns were fired on time, though several drivers, particularly in the small runabout classes, paid little attention to the signals and made exceedingly late starts.


The outboards opened the ball each day and staged a series of spirited contests, each driver pushing his little boat for all he was worth and seeking to gather in extra points or a larger share of the prize money. Starts were good, although at first sight some of the contestants seemed gun shy. But a boat that got over the line ahead of the gun was automatically disqualified and not one of the skilled racing men took a chance. C. M. Scull, Class II driver, took the honors in Class C with two firsts, setting a new world's record of 49.45 m.p.h. in the second heat. He also captured the Outboard Handicap with a first and a second. In this event the boats were started by classes on their handicaps, and theoretically should have finished in line abreast. Small speed variations, of course, strung them out along the course but in the second heat, Scull, in a little boat with a Class A motor, barely nosed out Vernon with a big "F" engine, Al Deemer with a Class B machine, and Joel Thorne with a "C " power plant. The four boats were closely bunched as they finished and another hundred feet would have changed the order.

Joel Thorne, Lewis G. Carlisle and Sam Crooks and Thomas Tyson did their share of winning and Thorne now leads in the high point competition for the Townsend Medal and the Colonel E. H. R. Green Round Hill Trophy.

225 Class

Eight boats started in the first heat of the 225 Class, and the racing was keen, honors going to A. J. Schwarzler's Rip Tide with a second and a first, C. M. Auerbach 's Emancipator II taking the first round. In the final standing, Rip Tide had 700 points; Emancipator II, 495; Rex Boys, 469; Little Miss Canada, 430, Chotsie IV, 296; with Wilmer II, Fifty Fifty and Miss Westchester trailing.

125 Class

Only three boats came out for the 125 Class and the starts were ragged, Emancipator III going over the line by herself with the others half a lap or more astern. She took first in both heats, her best speed being 44.776 m.p.h.

President's Cup

The principal interest was in the contest for the President's Cup and this event furnished much of the excitement of the regatta. Seven boats, all old-timers, faced the starter in the first 15-mile heat; El Lagarto (ex-Miss Mary), George E. Reis; Louisa, J. M. Rutherfurd and J. Wanamaker; Delphine IV (ex-Solar Plexus), W. M. Horn; Miss Saranac (ex-El Lagartito), E. A. Guggenheim; Jay Dee ((ex-Nuisance), J. Dunn; Hornet (ex-Impshi), Aaron DeRoy; and Arctic Tern (ex-Miss Tampa), E. C. Chase. A collection of veterans! The start was close, the seven boats tearing across the line at speed, and away they went for the upper turn. El Lagarto swung into the back stretch in the lead and was never headed. Hornet kept after her and, at the end of the fifth lap, swung out in an attempt to pass, struck the "Lizard's" wash and was over on her side in a split second. She righted with a gaping hole in her port side, her engine hatch covers gone and the bulkhead abaft the engine compartment wrenched and twisted nearly a foot abaft its position. That finished her, and we had hardly had time to breathe again when Arctic Tern, running alone on the back stretch, flopped bottom up and tossed her crew overboard.

El Lagarto won the heat, with an average speed of 57.216 m.p.h. Louisa finished second, followed by Delphine IV, Miss Saranac and Jay Dee. Delphine had bent a propeller before the start and was several miles below her best speed. Hornet made one lap at a 59.602 pace, while El Lagarto's best was 58.822.

The second heat, on the second day, saw a real race for about four of the six laps, with Delphine leading Reis's leaping racer all the way. El Lagarto spent about as much time in the air as she did on the water. Her owner said afterward that on the peak of some of her jumps he could see over the top of the Washington Monument, and that's more than 500 feet up! Louisa ran second for a lap or two until El Lagarto squeezed past her on the turn. Then Reis went after Horn, and spectators thought that the Lake George boat was going to capsize when she struck Delphine's wash on the Rains Point turn. But as .Delphine passed the committee boat on the back stretch of the fourth lap she slowed down suddenly and came to a stop with a broken crankshaft. That gave the race to the "Lizard" and she coasted home in first place with Louisa second and Miss Saranac third.

In the third heat Reis had only to finish third to roll up enough points to take the cup, so he let Miss Saranac and Louisa fight it out and trailed along in third place. Jay Dee failed to finish. Miss Saranac took the heat from Louisa, but the latter gathered enough points to place second in the final standing, with Miss Saranac third.

Ladies' Race

The Ladies' Race brought out another veteran Gold Cup boat, Palm Beach Days (ex-Rainbow III), the boat that lost the Gold Cup in 1923 because a cotter pin backed out of her rudder, Zigzagger, driven by Mrs. Edna Crawford of Washington, was too fast for her and took first, with Miss Lizzie second, Joe Anne third and Palm Beach Days fourth.

American Speed Boat Championship

The American Speed Boat Championship wound up the regatta, the principal interest being centered in the performance of Melvin Crooks' Betty V, an odd-looking hydroplane with a shallow, beamy hull and a streamlined superstructure. As one observer put it, she looks like a potato bug on a shingle. Her engine is a Packard "Sweepstakes" and she did better than a mile a minute for a lap or two when she was being pushed by Pep III, a Liberty-powered hydro owned by John Bramble of Baltimore. Louisa ran third and Jay Dee fourth, while several runabouts had a race of their own astern of the leaders. Betty V averaged 59.133 for the fifteen miles and seemed to run smoothly though she was probably not extended at any time.

The regatta committee was a competent one and the races were run off without a hitch, except for the initial postponement due to the weather.

President's Cup Regatta

September 22-23, 1934 Washington, D. C.

225 Cubic Inch Hydroplanes
Two Heats-Five Miles Each
Boat Driver 1st heat 2nd heat Position
Riptide Albert J. Schwarzler 7:05.2 7:03.0 1
Emancipator II Gene Apel 6:47.4 8:16.4 2
Rex Boys Chas. Reckner 7:19.6 7:14.8 3
Little Miss Canada W.A. Wilson 7:15.4 7:15.6 4
Chotsie VI Florence Burnham 8:52.0 7:33.0 5
Wilmer Dr. Cecil Bagley 8:57.4 8:01.0 6
Fifty-Fifty E. C. Baltz 9:24.0 9:16.8 7
Miss Westchester C W. Hammond 8:53.4 DNF 8
Heat Winner's Speed 44.138 m.p.h. 42.553 m.p.h.  


125 Cubic Inch Hydroplanes
Two Heats-Five Miles Each
Emancipator III S. M. Auerbach 6:50.2 6:42.0 1
Diane XIII D.H. Foster 9:11.2 6:57.2 2
Heat Winner's Speed 43.881 m.p.h. 44.776 m.p.h.  


Inboard Runabout Class H
One Heat-Five Miles
Driver Time Position
Wm. Bigelow, Philadelphia. Pa 6:58.8 1
Roy Dale, Washington, D. C 7:05.4 2
Jack Dunn. Miami. Fla 7:220 3
W. O. Hempstead, Philadelphia. Pa 8:03.6 4
Fred H. Hahn, Philadelphia. Pa 8:35.0 5
L. L. Decamp 8:53.4 6
Al P. Macphee, Miami. Fla 8:59.4 7
Heat Winner's Speed 42.959 m.p.h.


850 Cubic Inch Inboard Runabouts
One Heat-Five Miles
Herbert Mendelson, Detroit, Mich 6:20.8 1
Jack Dunn, Miami, Fla 6:25.2 2
Bill Bigelow, Philadelphia. Pa 6:49.0 3
R. H. Dale. Washington, D. C 7:06.6 4
Boat No. 9 7:28.6 5
Heat Winner's Speed 47.269 m.p.h.  


All Washington Sweepstakes
One Heat-Ten Miles
Ray Dale, Washington, D. C 14:25.8 1
D. H. Foster, Washington. D. C 16:28.2 2
Andy Crawford. Washington. D. C 17:11.2 3
Fred Hahn, Philadelphia, Pa 17:32.8 Disq. 4
J. W. Orme, Washington. D. C 18:41.0 5
E. C. Baltz, Washington, D. C 18:56.4 6
Jas. F. Carlin, Jr., Alexandria, Va 21:05.0 7
Heat Winner's Speed 41.590 m.p.h.


American Speed Boat Championship
One Heat-Fifteen Miles
Melvin Crook, Upper Montclair. N. J 15:13.8 1
John Bramble, Baltimore, Md 15:43.6 2
John Rutherfurd, Port Washington, N. Y 16:33.6 3
Jack Dunn, Miami, Fla 19:16.8 4
Herbert Mendelson. Detroit. Mich 19:16.8 5
D. H. Foster, Washington. D. C. 21:05.0 6
R. H. Dale. Washington. D. C 21:13.6 7
Heat Winner's Speed : 59.133 m.p.h.


President's Cup Class
Three Heats of Fifteen Miles Each
Boat Driver Club Time Final Position
1st heat 2nd heat 3rd heat
El Lagarto George Reis Lake George Yacht Club 15:43.6 16:10.0 18:35.2 1
Louisa Jack Rutherfurd Palm Beach Yacht Club 16:02.4 16:23.2 17:29.8 2
Miss Saranac Rob Purdy Columbia Yacht Club 16:27.8 16:40.0 16:42.0 3
Jay-Dee Jack Dunn Smyrna Yacht Club 17:30.0 17:24.6 DNF 4
Delphine IV Bill Horn Hampton Yacht Club 16:11.2 DNF DNS 6
Hornet Bennett Hill Detroit Yacht Club DNF DNS DNS 7
Arctic Tern II E. Chase Maryland Yacht Club DNF DNS DNS  
Heat Winner's Speed 57.216 m.p.h. 55.727 m.p.h. 53.892 m.p.h.  


(Reprinted from Yachting, October 1934)