1939 Pacific Motor Boat Trophy

The Pacific Motor Boat Trophy Race at Newport Harbor

Lou Fageol's So-Long takes the trophy which is emblematic of the Pacific Coast speed championship in a field of nine entries boasting such demons as El Torbellino, Miss Hollywood and Miss Encino.

Using only sixty-five per cent of her guaranteed speed, Lou Fageol's new Ventnor-built So-Long accumulated 800 points, with two firsts in the second and third 15-mile heats (did not enter in the first because of starter trouble) to take possession of the Pacific Motor Boat, trophy in the fourth annual competition, Newport Harbor, November 12. Time, 14 :33.3.

El Torbellino, Art Bobrick's defender driven by Don Steans, logged fourth position, failing to finish the third heat because of over-heated gear box. Last year Dan Arena's Miss Golden Gate, defending, divorced her cylinder head from the block in the second heat and was out for good after winning the event the two previous years.

Boat racing, like history, has a habit; of repeating itself and as in previous years there were nine entries:

Gold Cup class -- So Long and El Torbellino ; 225 class -- Miss Hollywood, Dudley Valentine; Jericho II, Lyle Golding; Gee Bee, Steve Matusek; Irene, Fielding Thayer, Jr.; Ess Vee, C. S. Welbourne; Firecracker, Frank Verbeck; 135 cubic inch class: Miss Encino, Bob Baird.

So-Long, recently returned from competition in the Eastern Gold Cup races, was scheduled for mile-trials during the morning but owing to lack of space for running start above starting mark, the trials had to be postponed until the course was resurveyed. Also Fageol wished to give So-Long a thorough tryout for carburetor adjustment at sea level before going after record.

Watching So-Long's level-riding, non-bouncing glide across the harbor's waters was like dekkoing a streamliner fade into the distant landscape, and the absence of fuss gave an illusion of speed much greater than that of 61.941 m.p.h.. Even at that Fageol more than lapped the field in both the second and third heats and there was lots of lower left in the 600-horsepower Fageol-built V-six engine that weighs only a fraction over a pound to a horsepower. At 3200 rpm her speed is around the 105 mph mark, the hull manufacturer's guarantee. Overall, the craft is 23 feet with a beam of 9 feet.

Dudley Valentine's Miss Hollywood, a 225-class entry, was doing real nice for herself with a first and a third holding top spot until the fourth lap of the final heat when she blurped out in the act of crossing the line, only two laps froth the finish. By persistent efforts Dud got her going again and landed in third place of the finals, with Miss Encino, Bob Baird's tiny 135 cubic inch class entry, one boat ahead in second place to So Long.

Not satisfied with making this humdinger of a showing in such elite company, Miss Encino went out in the 'tween races of the 135s and grabbed off top honors with a score of 46.536 mph. To do this she ,just about ran all the time. Bob must lave everything right in that power plant.

A new and added feature to seventh annual Speedboat Championship Races this year was the addition of a cruiser race on predicted log time from the California Yacht Club to Newport Harbor with J. L. Munson's Enchanter winning by the small error of only twenty-five seconds for the twenty-five mile run. This victory cinched the C. King Brugman High-Point Trophy for Enchanter as she was leading boat with 2252 points, Frank Ruppert's Reveller, second place winner in the cruise, trailing by only 58 points.

(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, December 1939, pp.20-21)