1967 UIM World Championship

Bardahl Heads 'Hottest' Boat Field

By Joe Dowdall

Two minutes will make or break the hope of the owners and drivers of the 16 Gold Cup powerboats and drivers this week in the qualifying trials for the World's Championship Race on the Detroit River.

Each boat must complete a lap around the three-mile course between Belle Isle and the mainland in two minutes or less to make the field for the first World Championship Race.

A two-minute lap would make the 90-mile-an-hour average requirement, but each driver will be shooting for at least a 103 lap -- a minute 45 seconds -- to make the grade for the $44,000 race.

The drivers will open five days of qualifying Monday morning after an all-important drivers' safety meeting with the race officials and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The river will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon daily from the Belle Isle Bridge up to the Water Intake Crib above the Detroit Yacht Club for the trials.

Billy Schumacher in the new Miss Bardahl, winner of the Suncoast race, will head the field of the fastest boats in the world. Bardahl posted a 108.3 mph qualifying speed in Tampa and is expected to set the pace in the qualifying here.

The two fastest qualifiers on Monday and Tuesday cannot be bumped from the field. The three fastest qualifiers each day will win $300, $200 and $100.

Other entries are Bill Muncey in Miss U.S.; Ed O'Halloran in Miss Madison; Col. Warner Gardner in Miss Lapeer; Walt Kade in Savair's Mist; Jim Ranger in My Gypsy; Bob Schroeder in Atlas Van Lines; Red Loomis in Miss Wickman; Jim McCormick in Notre Dame; Bill Cantrell in Miss Smirnoff; Bill Sterett in Chrysler Crew and Chuck Hickling in Harrah's Club.

Jerry Schoenith will attempt to qualify the new twin-engine Gale Roostertail, a multi-step hydroplane resembling the late John Hacker's My Sweeties and Miss Pepsi.

Freddie Alter will drive Jim Herrington's Mariner Too. Mike Wolfbauer's Savair's Probe and Jack Schafer's Such Crust will have several drivers attempting to qualify them.

The boats will start and finish off the Gar Wood Judges' Stand at the foot of Parkview. The Horace E. Dodge Memorial Pits are located at the foot of Marquette Drive.

(Reprinted from the Detroit Free Press, June 25, 1967)