1966 Diamond Cup
Slovak Wins Diamond Cup
Mira Slovak, the airplane pilot who did some fancy flying to get out of his Czech homeland, did some fancy driving of Tahoe Miss in the Diamond Cup Unlimited Hydro Regatta at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to win top honors.
Mira Slovak in action during the '66 Diamond Cup on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It was one of four regattas won by the boat and driver combination. Other victories included the Gold Cup, the British Columbia Cup and the Governor's Cup.
Although the weather blew up a gusty south wind which almost cancelled the race, things finally got moving about 4 p.m. and finished after 8:00 with the roostertails reflecting the setting sun.
Slovak had things his own way all day, taking a first in each of the three heats he ran and ending the series with 1200 points and the Diamond Cup tucked under his arm at the finale.
Bill Brow driving Miss Budweiser gave Slovak a few anxious minutes here and there and ended up in second place in all three of his heats as well as second in the final tally with 900 points. In third spot was Warner Gardner in Miss Lapeer with a first, a second and a fifth to garner a total of 827 points.
A trial run before the scheduled 12:30 start convinced both drivers and referee Harry Woods that a postponement was in order. Meantime Slovak entertained the crowd of some 70,000 spectators with aerial acrobatics in his 1935 model biplane. At his last appearance in Coeur d'Alene waters in 1963 Slovak left in a stretcher and, after the final heat in this year's race, it almost looked like a repeat performance when he swung past the official barge and couldn't get his engine stopped as he approached the pits. Fortunately he was going slow as he rammed onto a launching ramp with no damage to himself or the boat.
This marks the third victory for Tahoe Miss in the annual chase for national honors. Other final standings in the Diamond Cup Race were: 4th - Smirnoff, 738 points; 5th - Wayfarers Club Lady, 675; 6th - Dixi Cola, 620; 7th - $ Bill, 400; 8th - My Gypsy, 394; 9th - Miss Madison 394; 10th - Miss Chrysler Crew, 300; 11th - Miss Tri-Cities, 254; 12th - Savair's Mist, 169; 13th - Savair's Probe, 000; 14th - Hilton Hy-Per-Lube, 000.
(Reprinted from Sea and Pacific Motor Boat, October 1966, p.105)