1950 Imperial Gold Cup

World Speed Records Shattered At Regatta

3 Drivers Hurt, Boat Sinks As Thrills

Highlight New Martinsville's Regatta

Joe Taggart's seven liter hydroplane Tomyann sets a new mile record at 96.875 m.p.h.


Two world’s records were shattered, three racing drivers injured, and a $100,000 speedboat rested on the bottom of the Ohio River after the close of the eleventh annual river regatta at New Martinsville on September 24. More than 25,000 persons lined both sides of the Ohio River to witness the thrill-packed day-long speed classic, which was marred by chilly weather and two accidents.

New World’s records were rung up in two speedboat racing divisions. First to crack a world mark was Edison Hedges of Atlantic City, N.J. who captured the F service runabout trophy by hurtling his Red Eagle over the 2-1/2-mile course at a sizzling 50.533 miles per hour. In establishing this new record. Hedges recaptured the crown he relinquished just two weeks ago to Joe Maconi at Laurel Point, New York, when Maconi bettered his old record of 47.898 mph. by almost one-half mile per hour.

Start of the D, E and F service runabout event
Start of the D, E and F service runabout event. Red Eagle, winner on extreme left, set record at 50.533 m.p.h.

The second world record was established by Sid Street of Kansas City, Mo. who set a new record for 135 cubic inch hydroplanes by driving his Gee Whiz over the course at 76.922 mph., bettering by more than four miles per hour the previous world mark.

The racing performance was marred by two accidents injuring three drivers and resulting in serious damage to Miss Pepsi, holder of two world’s records and believed to be one of the fastest boats in the world.

The 35-foot craft, driven by Charles Thompson and Harold Beardslee, both of Detroit, turned end-over-end and sank after moving away to a 50 yard lead in the feature Gold Cup Race. Both Beardsley and Thompson were slightly injured and treated- in the Wetzel County hospital at New Martinsville.

Mechanic Harold Beardsley of Miss Pepsi
Mechanic Harold Beardslee of Miss Pepsi rests on her bottom while rescue crews attempt to secure the boat. They failed and Miss Pepsi sank.

The spectacular crash of the $100,000 Miss Pepsi overshadowed the capture of the coveted Gold Cup by Horace Dodge’s Delphine X a 39 foot long speedster from Detroit. Danny Foster, veteran Detroit driver, paced Delphine to first place by capturing the second heat of the Gold Cup race and finishing second in the first heat.

Delphine X
DELPHINE X, driven by Danny Foster, winner of the Imperial Gold Cup at a speed of 66.558 m.p.h.


In the second accident of the day, H. A. Hatch, of Hamilton, Ontario Canada, sustained back and leg injuries when his Costa Lotta slowed on a turn and was struck from the rear by a boat driven by Mac Wiefering from Dayton, Ky.

The succession of thrills came as a fitting climax to a two-day period of pageantry in the city which has been host to numerous boating meets.

Complete results follow:

225 cu. in.—Division 1—Al Brinkman, Buffalo, N. ¥., winner with a top Speed of 75 mph; Robert Bogie, Saranac Lake, N. Y.f second, Bob Smith, Cincinnati, third.

F Service racing—Edison Hedges, Atlantic City, first with a world record 50.53 mph; Russell Kirkpatrick, Clarksburg, W. Va., second, and Edmond Thomas, Baltimore, Md., third.

Red Eagle
Red Eagle, owned and driven by Edison Hedges, Atlantic City, established a new F Service record of 50.533 m.p.h.

E Service racing—W. K. Neville, Jr.. Norfolk. Va., first; William Engle, Washington, Pa., second; and William Yeager, of Warren. Pa., third.

Class B—Racing Runabouts—Charles Edmondson, Cambridge, Md.. unopposed!.

Class C—Racing Runabouts—Edmond Thompson, Edgemere, Md.. unopposed-

Pacific one-design hydroplanes—Dr. L. J. Novotny. Los Angeles, first; William Derr, Dover, Del., second; and Jack Cook. Dover, Del., third.

135-cu. inch—Sid Street, Kansas City, Mo., first; Joe Wolf, Reading, Pa., second; Curtis Martins. Hampton, Va., third.

Class D Racing—Frank Foulke, Essex, Md., first; Al Endress, Grand Island, N. Y.. second; Elwood Prescott, Cambridge, Md., third.

E Racing Runabouts—Tracy Hill, McHenry, Ill., first; Joe Lees, North Tonawanda, N. Y., second; Ed Aleksandrowicz, Baltimore, third.

48 cu. inch—Robert McAllister, Ventnor, N. J., first; Oscar Nelson, Cambridge, Md., second; O. J. Hollenbach, McHenry, Ill., third.

225 cu. in. hydroplanes—C. G. Hunter, Columbus, O., first; Roy Smith, St. Louis, Mo., second; and Robert Schroeder, North Tonawanda, N. Y.. third.

48 cu. inch hydroplanes—Tony Margin, Harrisburg, Pa., first; Earl Hildebrand. Arlington, Va.. second: Amoto Taneal, Washington, D. C., third.

Unlimited—Danny Foster. Detroit, first; Donald J. Murphy, Marion, Pa. second; and Joseph Schoenith, Detroit, third.

--- MotorBoating, December 1950