1953 Marine Derby Regatta

Top Pilots Vie Today In Speed Boat Races

By Larry Boeck

1953 Marine Derby Course Map
Here's Are The Racing Course, and Spectator Areas for Today's Regatta

A championship, record-holding father-and-son team will he among heavy-footed speed lovers from throughout the nation who'll compete in today’s seventh annual Marine Derby Regatta on the Ohio River.

The team represents just one entry in a field that includes other speed boat champions, ex-titlists and former record-breakers.

B. G. Bartley, Sr. and Jr., dominated the seven-litre class last year with their boats—the Gangway and the Wildcatter. Both are entered in today’s regatta, which gets underway at 1:30 p.m. on the Arctic Spring course. Crowning ceremonies of curvaceous Nikki Horner, “Miss Hydroplane of 1953.” precede the races at 1 o'clock.

A crowd of approximately 10,000, predict officials of the sponsoring Falls Cities Motor Boat Racing Association, will watch the racing in six classes. Included is the American Powerboat Association’s national championship in the 135 cubic inch class.

Free-for-All 10 Miles

The Pittsburgh Bartleys are among a fancy field of approximately 60 of the nation’s outstanding drivers. Their Wildcatter last year won the national championship, was the high-point boat in its class and set the sevenlitre five-mile competitive record with a 101.856 m.p.h. clocking.

The five miles, incidentally, represent one heat of racing. Two heats make up the race.

Except for the free-for-all spin, all races are over the one and two-thirds mile oval, and drivers cover the course three times in a heat.

The free-for-all, which is open to all classes, consists of one heat of 10 miles. This is compected on the two-and-one-half-mile course, four times around it.

If you're going to score the races, here’s the point system: 400 for first, 300 for second, 225 for third, 169 for fourth, 127 for fifth, 95 for sixth, 71 for seventh, 53 for eighth, 40 for ninth and 30 for tenth.

Driver with most points after two heats is the winner.

The 135 class dash for the championship has attracted at least four outstanding drivers. Expected to go after the national title are the defending championship team of J. D. Powell of Richmond, Va , and Joe Wolf of Reading, Penn; Chuck Powell, former record-holder and member of the 100-Mile-Per-Hour Club, from Monterey. Cal ; Don Wilson of Dearborn, Mich . seeking his third straight title here, and William Ritner of Ocean City, N. J, the East Coast champion.

Sid Street Returns

Among those going in the 225 class race are Chuck Hunter of Columbus. Ohio, the former national champion in that division and high point man last year, and Ray Smith of St Louts, high point runnerup.

Sid Street of Kansas City, a popular driver here, again returns With his Z-Z-Zip and Gee Whizz. The Z Z Zip is entered in the 266 class and Gee Whiz in the 135. Keen competition'is expected in the 266 from Stewart Wilson of Dearborn. Mich. Speed addicts say he's been hot all season.

--- August 2, 1953