1962 Season Summary
|1||July 21-22||Diamond Cup||Coeur d'Alene, Idaho|
|2||Aug 5||APBA Gold Cup||Seattle, Washington|
|3||Aug 26||Spirit of Detroit Trophy||Detroit, Michigan|
|4||September 1-2||Indiana Governor's Cup||Madison, Indiana|
|5||September 15-16||Presidents Cup||Washington, D.C.|
|6||September 30||Harrah's Tahoe Trophy||Stateline, Nevada|
|22-Jul||Miss Century 21||Jack Ramsey||Ted Jones||Jack Ramsey||Rolls Merlin|
|05-Aug||Miss Century 21||Jack Ramsey||Ted Jones||Jack Ramsey||Rolls Merlin|
|26-Aug||Miss Century 21||Jack Ramsey||Ted Jones||Jack Ramsey||Rolls Merlin|
|02-Sep||Miss Century 21||Jack Ramsey||Ted Jones||Jack Ramsey||Rolls Merlin|
|16-Sep||Miss Century 21||Jack Ramsey||Ted Jones||Jack Ramsey||Rolls Merlin|
|30-Sep||Miss Bardahl (3)||Leo Vanden Berg||Ted Jones||Ted Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|Built||Boat High Points||Total|
|1||(1959)||Miss Century 21||2300|
|3||(1962)||Miss Bardahl (3)||1375|
|4||(1962)||Notre Dame (4)||1068|
|5||(1962)||Such Crust IV (3)||834|
|7||(1958)||Gale V (3)||583|
|8||(1957)||Miss U.S. 1 (2)||549|
|10||(1954)||Miss B & I (2)||434|
|11||(1962)||$ Bill (2)||422|
|13||(1958)||Miss Seattle Too||325|
|21||(1959)||Miss Detroit (4)||DNS|
|Driver High Points||Total|
Prior to 1961 there was a smattering of prize money around the circuit except for 1956 at Seattle when $25,000 was offered.
In 1960 the viability of the Madison Regatta was sustained due to prize money. More than half of the events on the 1961 circuit featured a purse. Then for 1962 prize money would be required at all races. This was due to the adverse tax decision to W.D. Gale Inc. as the I.R.S. had to be convinced that Unlimited Racing was not for sport, but for profit.
This consideration also caused the Gold Cup race site to be put up for bid starting in 1963. Previously the Gold Cup site was chosen by the winner of the immediately prior race. Also as a result of Las Vegas and Reno, the Unlimited Racing Commission wanted to have some control over where this most prestigious if races would be contested,
A new commissioner for the sport was elected in the person of Lee Schoenith. Schoenith courageously told the Detroit Yacht Club and the Windmill Point Yacht Club in Detroit as well as the Presidents Cup committee in Washington, D.C. that they would have to put up a purse of $10,000 or lose their spot on the schedule. As a result the schedule featured races at only Coeur D'Alene, Seattle, Madison and Lake Tahoe as of July 1.
Coeur D'Alene was ready to cancel their regatta unless there was some assurance that a full field would appear. Schoenith provided this assurance and made it happen.
Washington, D.C. was added to the circuit when President Kennedy allowed prize money albeit equally divided to all entries. Detroit was back on the schedule as a consequence of the efforts of the Spirit of Detroit Association in raising the appropriate amount of cash.
During April 1962 Miss U.S. 1 went to Guntersville, Alabama to raise the mile and kilometer records for Unlimited Hydroplanes. After waiting a number of days the U.S. piloted by her crew chief Roy Duby made two runs through the mile at 204.55 m.p.h. and 196.33 m.p.h. for an average of 200.444 m.p.h. The U.S. speeds for the kilometer were 205.793 m.p.h. and 190.168 m.p.h. for an average of 198.168 m.p.h.
As a result all marks for the Hawaii Kai III and Miss Thriftway were wiped from the books. Unlike these two boats Miss U.S. 1 was not a top contender when she set her records.
The season kicked off at Coeur D'Alene, Idaho and there were 12 qualified entries as opposed to six in 1961. Miss Century 21, Miss Seattle Too and Gale V were the top speed entries of the previous year. Tahoe Miss (Maverick-Miss Reno) and Miss U.S. 1 were a few m.p.h. behind these top boats.
Team Bardahl had a new Ted Jones hull, but Miss Spokane was retired due to a lack of finances. Miss Seattle Too had changed drivers at least temporarily from Dallas Sartz to Bill Brow previously the pilot of Miss Burien and Miss Bardahl.
Miss Century 21 took the race easily. Gale V, the next fastest entry, was about 3 m.p.h. down to the U-60 and could only finish one heat. Tahoe Miss was well financed by Bill Harrah, but rebuilt over the winter and now was squirrelly as well as a hooker.
Miss Seattle Too had had her bottom changed in the off season and a new crew chief suffering in the transition. Miss U.S. 1 had been changed for her mile trial and was not the same hull as in 1961. The new Miss Bardahl was delivered five days before the Diamond Cup and was not fully refined.
If nothing changed in the two weeks preceding the Gold Cup, the race would be a walk over for Miss Century 21. Tahoe Miss went to Ted Jones's shop and Miss Seattle Too changed back to Dallas Sartz in the driver's seat.
Willard Rhodes' Miss Century 21 had won the 1961 Gold Cup and presumably the right to determine the site of the next year's race. However Commissioner Schoenith demanded adequate prize money under the new rules to grant the sanction. After some grumbling Seattle came up with the money.
There were some in Seattle that did not want the Gold Cup, but rather another Seafair Derby. However C-21 owner Willard Rhodes was a very persuasive man and for 1962 there would be a World's Fair Gold Cup. Interestingly driver Bill Muncey was met at the Seattle airport by a big crowd as in 1956 after winning the 1961 Gold Cup at Reno.
However there was a compromise with the Stan Donogh Seafair Derby contingent as there was a secondary race scheduled for the regatta for those not making the top 12 Gold Cup field. This ruined the concept of the Donogh Plan since there may have been 7 top boats of comparable speed, but not 12. In effect the secondary race was to get the leftovers from the Gold Cup.
Unfortunately for the running of the World's Fair Gold Cup, nothing much changed after Coeur D'Alene and Miss Century 21 swept the field for another victory. Gale V was the only entry in her speed class and she could not finish a heat. Such boats as Tahoe Miss, Miss Bardahl, and Miss U.S. 1 were more than 5 m.p.h. off the pace. Miss Seattle Too nosed in and disintegrated in the first running of heat 1-A.
Gale V had the fastest lap in the Spirit of Detroit Trophy race as in the Gold Cup. However Miss Century 21, one of the three boats within 2 m.p.h. of the Gale, won the race.
The Century 21 got easy draws in the preliminary heats and then won the final heat to win the regatta. Gale V gave her a tussle for a while in this third heat, but then blew her engine in the last lap. Miss U.S. 1 and Tahoe Miss, the other "contenders", were not significant factors in the race.
At Madison, Indiana it was more of the same with Miss Bardahl providing some apparent competition posting the fastest lap of the regatta as Miss Century 21 swept all three heats. Although Miss Bardahl's sponsons had been shortened prior to her trip east she still had a tendency to kite. Tahoe Miss turned in another disappointing performance and Chuck Thompson was chosen to pilot the wild rider at Washington, D.C. Lee Schoenith was so disappointed with Gale V's performance that he didn't go to Madison.
After four races of Century 21 devastation, the question arose as to whether any boat in history could run with the Willard Rhodes entry not to mention those running in 1962. At the Presidents Cup in winning the U-60 set a 45 mile world race record at 109.157 m.p.h., but her fastest lap and heat fell short of world record standards.
During the race the new Miss Bardahl turned a lap of 109 m.p.h. like the Gale V at Seattle, but both were about 3 m.p.h. down to the Century 21.
As a result Miss Century 21 headed into the final race of the year at Lake Tahoe with a chance for a perfect season. She was running like a clock and had significant speed on her competition. Miss Bardahl which had apparently solved her kiting problems at Washington appeared to be her main opposition.
However in heat 1-A at Tahoe Miss Century 21 finally failed to finish while running third behind Tahoe Miss and Miss Bardahl. This ended the U-60's streak at 55 consecutive heats finished, but during this streak there were some anxious moments when the Thrifty-C-21 was running sick.
Tahoe Miss led the field into the final heat with a total of 700 points. Two lesser entries were tied with her in point totals -- Hurricane VI and $ Bill. Miss Bardahl was in the Tahoe Miss speed class, but had only 469 points due to engine trouble in her heat two.
At the start of the final heat Tahoe Miss driven by Chuck Thompson was hosed down and did not make it over the line. Bardahl broke in first place with $ Bill and Hurricane VI running fourth and fifth. If $ Bill could get by Notre Dame for third she would win the regatta. However she could not pass the Notre Dame thereby tying Miss Bardahl at 869 points. Miss Bardahl led on elapsed time and thus got her first win of the year. $ Bill finished 4.4 seconds behind Notre Dame.
After record competitive seasons in 1959 and 1960 and a good year in 1961, Miss Century 21 stood in a class by herself after the 1962 schedule was completed. Gale V, Miss U.S. I, and Tahoe Miss had been around for a number of years and thus an improved second year Miss Bardahl was the best hope for renewed competition in 1963. The previous Miss Bardahl had been the U-60's main antagonist in 1961.
[Statistics from Greene, V.2]