1955 Presidents Cup

Seattle Hydro Points For Presidents Cup Race Sept 17

1955 Presidents Cup Programme Guide
1955 Presidents Cup Programme Guide

"This may sound sort of funny after the result of Saturday's Silver Cup race in Detroit, but Miss Thriftway can beat anything that they've got back there."

Those were the confident words of Willard E. Rhodes, the man behind the sleek, powerful unlimited hydro from Seattle, who planed in from the East Sunday night.

Not in the least disheartened that Miss Thriftway finished fifth in total points, Rhodes said that present plans now call for the Seattle hydro to be entered in the President's Cup race at Washington, D. C., Saturday, September 17. A decision will be made this week.

This would give Miss Thriftway another chance to tangle with many of the same craft she faced in the Gold and Silver Cup classics. And if Miss Thriftway is shipped on from Detroit to Washington Rhodes fervently hopes that the gentleman in charge back there conduct the event in a little different manner than they did in Detroit.

Has 'Best Boat'

Rhodes isn't taking a thing away from the Tempo VII, Miss Pepsi, or Gale V but he sticks to the statement that he still thinks he has the best boat.

Rhodes had a few statements to add that went quite a way towards clearing up some of the fog that surrounded the Silver Cup test Saturday.

It seems that there was a situation of confusion, last-minute rule changes and other incidents that didn't go towards aiding the invader from Seattle any.

In the first elimination heat, in which Miss Thriftway finished third, the starter or someone got fouled up and at the end of the five-minute warning signal proceeded to start the clock counterclockwise, confusing all the entries with the exception of Lee Schoenlth and the Gale V, which was away and half way around the first turn before Miss Thriftway got away over the line.

This running the clock backwards was indeed an innovation, said Rhodes.

Miss Thriftway came back to win her semifinal heat hands down, qualifying with five other boats for the final run.

Then came the remains of [Hurricane] Diane to waterlog Miss Thriftway right out of the race—only Gale V played the part of Diane.

Rhodes explained:

"The hydro's got off to a great start with Bill Muncey doing some fancy driving to edge Miss Thriftway out in front right off the bat. As Miss Thriftway, Gale V and Tempo VII hit the first turn they were pretty well-bunched. Gale V went slightly out of control, with Bill Cantrell at the wheel, and proceeded to wash in gallons of water over Miss Thriftway.

"The deluge stopped the motor dead and it took Muncey almost three minutes to get her going again. Naturally we were through. But they never did lap Miss Thriftway, water and all. The boat packed gallons of water around that course to the finish and it took half an hour to bale her out when it was over."

As for Miss Thriftway being disqualified after it was all over for cutting the 1,000-yard marker, Rhodes said: "I didn't, see it as the boat was on the far side of the river but Muncey swears he didn't cut the buoy and frankly, I believe him. But of course that ruling was purely academic. After the big wash we were dead anyway."

Rhodes had high praise for the boat, designer Ted Jones, driver Bill Muncey and the crew. Everyone, he said, did a perfect job and so did Miss Thriftway.

Queried as to the Detroit River race course, Rhodes had but one succinct word. "Lousy."

--- August 29, 1955