1950 Harwood Trophy

Sarant Takes Speed Boat Race Around Manhattan For Second Straight Time

62.8 M.P.H. Rate By Freeport Pilot

Sarant Wins With Etta Over Rough 30-Mile Course as Leiber Finishes Nest

Heavy Delphine X Is 4th

Lombardo, Dodge Behind Rick Keller's Craft In Harwood Trophy Competition

by Clarence E. Lovejoy

Dodging floating masses of driftwood, outguessing ferry boat captains and the pilots, incoming and outgoing, of ocean liners and coastwise freighters, George Sarant, Freeport, L.I., auto dealer, again yesterday won probably the most bizarre of all sports spectacles in or near New York.

In capturing the around-Manhattan Harwood Trophy race for speed boats in his gray and blue Gold Cup craft Etta, Sarant repeated his 1949 triumph and at almost as fast a pace.

He was clocked for the thirty grueling, dangerous miles constituting the course down the Hudson to the Battery, up the East River, into the Harlem to Spuyten Duyvil, and thence down the Hudson again in 37 minutes 44 seconds. This is a speed of 62.8 miles an hour. Last year it was 64.4 with better water conditions.

Runner-up yesterday in the sloppy going that sometimes had ominous seas churned up by the fresh no-east wind, sometimes drenching cloudbursts of rain, and for some of the miles a for, was William C. Leiber of Port Washington with Davy Jones, an old-time Gar Wood runabout now face-lifted with a modern Allison aircraft motor.

Third at the Finish

Third was a little 225-cubic-inch class craft Bevwyn, fashioned of tough, leakproof plastic, and owned and driven by Rick Keller of Detroit, son of K.T. Keller, president of Chrysler.

In fourth place at the rough finish was the twin-engined Delphine X, also from Detroit, driven part of the way by Guy Lombardo and part by Horace E. Dodge 3rd. The 38-foot-long, 10,000-pound-heavy creation that was designed and then redesigned for this year's Gold Cup and Harmsworth, but was always balky and ornery, was delayed in the pits at the West Seventy-second Street Coast Guard station and tore down the Hudson a good five minutes behind the starting pack.

Lombardo was behind the wheel and Dodge alongside as riding mechanic. Just before the Battery the band leader's goggles were torn loose from his forehead and with his unprotected eyes filling with driblets of oil from the two-engine breathers he was forced to turn over the steering to Dodge. The two changed places while doing a mile a minute in a heavy rain and without losing control.

In his unfamiliarity with a strange boat, Lombardo climbed into a bare place on the seat instead of in the mechanic's sport but hung on for dear life for the rest of the rough cruise.

Almost a New Boat

Sarant's Etta is almost a new boat this September. In the 1949 Harwood event she all but broke in two and had extensive repairs. Last month at Red Bank in the national sweepstakes another damaging pounding tore loose hull planking and rolled back the aluminum bottom sheathing like opening a sardine can. She sank, of course, in the Navesink River.

This meant another new hull job and while he was about it Sarant installed another Allison, acquired from war surplus stocks. Yesterday she was sound, tight and sturdy and has at least two more regattas this season, at Washington this week for the President's Cup and at New Martinsville, W. Va. next week.

Among the thirteen starters yesterday of a registered entry list of sixteen, Etta got off no better than sixth across the line between West Seventy-fifth Street and the anchored United States Coast Guard cutter Tamaroa. But by the Battery she had climbed into the lead and held it thereafter.

On this rough first leg of the course, Joe Mascari's Cary of Floral Park, L.I., which won the National championship in Class F service runabouts Friday at Ocean City, N.J. and set a new world record, broke a crankshaft.

Another scored with DNF (did not finish to landlubbers) was Joe Van Blerck, Jr's Aljo, a seven-litre favorite driven yesterday by Lou Eppel of Cedar Grove, N.J., because Van Blerck has been beached from speed-boating by his physician following a three weeks' illness.

Position Boat and Driver Elapsed Time M.P.H.
1 Etta, George Sarant 27:44:00 62.6
2 Davy Jones, W.C. Leiber 32:43:00 53.3
3 Bevwyn, Rick Keller 34:35:00 50.4
4 Delphine X, Guy Lombardo and Horace Dodge, 3rd 35:50:00 48.5
5 Nana, James M. Seraydar 43:10:00 40.4
6 Little Injun, W.E. Yeager 45:25:00 38.4
7 Stinger, Frank Starace 71:15:00 24.4
DNF Aljo, Lou Eppel
DNF Zyzzle, William MacLaughlin
DNF Cary, Joseph Mascari
DNF Chanticleer, Harold E. Disbrow


(Reprinted from the New York Times, September 11, 1950)