1954 Presidents Cup

Fore and Aft (1)

By Malcolm Lamborne, Jr.

Despite the high casualty rate among the Gold Cup boats at Detroit’s Silver Cup classic Labor Day, there should be a very good turnout of the big unlimiteds for the President’s Cup race next week end.

Owners, drivers and mechanics have nearly two weeks in which to make repairs and start on the road for Washington. General Chairman Horace Walker is counting on some of the boats arriving here by next Thursday.

Horace Dodge’s surprise victory at Detroit recalls that this was his first major win since taking home the Presidents Cup in 1949. That was the year Bill Cantrell drove his My Sweetie to a single heat win, amid some talk that the cup shouldn’t have been awarded for just one heat.

It blew great guns that week end and when the wind failed to let up for Sunday’s two heats, a poll of the drivers showed they were against risking boats and bones. Accordingly, the trophy was presented to Dodge and Cantrell on the basis of Saturday’s single heat which was clearly won by the great Cantrell.

Dodge has been in this Gold Cup business for at least 27 years. Back in 1927 his Miss Syndicate, driven by D. D. Baker at an average speed of 51.62 m.p.h., won the Presidents Cup in the second annual regatta. Scarcely a year has gone by since that Dodge hasn’t shown up with at least one boat.

Maybe this is Dodge’s year— he has three Gold Cups in various stages of running. With Stanley Sayres’ Slo-Mo-Shun V from Seattle not defending the cup this time, it looks to be a wide-open race. A conservative estimate is eight starters, nearly all from Detroit.

--- September 10, 1954

Fore and Aft (2)

By Malcolm Lamborne, Jr.

Maybe they won’t be breaking any world speed marks this weekend in the Presidents Cup Regatta but it’s interesting to keep in mind Just what the various speedboat classes can do when their drivers really want to push down on throttles and let ‘em go.

The mile mark for unlimited hydroplanes or Gold Cup boats which will be racing for the coveted Presidents Cup tomorrow and Sunday is the now familiar 178.497 miles an hour held by Stanley Sayres’ Slo-Mo-Shun IV of Seattle. That mark is now two years old and few have come close to it.

Meanwhile, some startling speeds have been racked up this summer by other inboard classes. The 225-cubic-inch hydro mark Is now 107.238 m.p.h.; the 136-cublc-lnch hydro, 78.388 m.p.h., and the 48-cubic-inch hydro, a phenomenal 84.517 m.p.h. Next to the Gold Cups, the fastest boats afloat this week end are the 266-hydros. Their mile record is 121.703 m.p.h., unless somebody has done better In recent days.

And when you are watching the stock outboards on tomorrow’s program, here are a few recently established records to keep in mind: BU runabouts, 53.753 m.p.h.; DU runabouts, 59.367 m.p.h., and B stock hydros, 60.482.

Joseph Schoenith of Detroit was discussing the Presidents Cup race and prospects for his two Gales (IV and V) during a regatta luncheon the other day. He said he felt he had two of the best drivers in the country lined up—son Lee who will be at the wheel of Gale V and Bill Cantrell driving Gale IV. There are many who have seen both the veteran Cantrell and the newer Schoenith at work and are inclined to agree in both instances.

Then the elder Schoenith said something that pleased all hands gathered at Hains Point Tea House for the final regatta luncheon of the season. “You have the most important race in the country. Nowhere else does the winner receive his prize directly from the President of the United States,” he remarked.

--- September 17, 1954