1964 Harrah’s Tahoe Regatta

Year of the Green Dragon (excerpt)

by Eileen Crimmin; photos by Bob Carver

That doggedly insistent 13-boat field climbed 6,200 feet to Lake Tahoe. There they gloried in the magnificent natural setting. There they cursed the altitude which dictated complete re-adjustment of carburetor, ignition, fuel pump, etc., for boat performance. There, eventually, they raced each other and the odds that Bardahl would win the regatta the third year in a row.

The odds won. Bardahl won.

But the odds held on the Hard Luck Boat, too. Tahoe Miss blew an engine in Heat 1B and, fresh out of additional racing engines, also was out of the race. Being unable to perform in her namesake regatta was an ironic indignity for a fine craft.

Except for a heated, sustained duel between Jerry Schoenith in Gale V and Billy Schumacher in $ Bill, the Tahoe heats and Final lacked excitement as Bardahl won with 1,200 points, winner of every heat she raced.

However, what the Tahoe Regatta lacked in sizzle, the new San Diego event substituted.

* * *

Harrah's Cup racing was the most eventful of the circuit: its setting the most beautiful; pit personnel the most courteous, public facilities the cleanest; VIP entertainment the most thoughtful and overall regatta organization conducted with what the French term sangfroid and savoir-faire (composure and correctness). But then Bill Harrah is known for these qualities.

(Reprinted from the National Boat Racing 1965 Yearbook)