1974 Kentucky Governor's Cup

Pay ’N Pak Wins Governor’s Cup

June 18, 1974. OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) - Defending national champion Pay ’N Pak won the 6th annual Governor’s Cup Race at the Owensboro Regatta here Monday with an average speed of 106.960 for three events.

The winning hydroplane was piloted by George Henley of Eatonville, Wash., who amassed 1,100 points to 2nd place finisher U-95’s 1,000 points. U-95 was guided by Leif Borgersen.

Miss Budweiser, with Howie Benns at the controls, finished 3rd with 869 points and U-71 Atlas Van Lines, piloted by Bill Muncey. was 4th at 850. Then came: Sunny Jim, 521; Miss Madison, 300 and Miss Cott Beverage 225.

In the final heat, it was Pay ’N Pak with a speed of 104.384, followed by U-95 at a speed of 101.328, Atlas at 89.784 was 3rd and Miss Budweiser, last year’s Governor’s Cup winner, was 4th.

Pay ’N Pak had the fastest lap of the day at 114.943 mph, while U-95 turned in a regatta record heat of 112.952.

Henley’s time in winning his heat was 105.386 mph. The other heat victors and their times were: Miss Budweiser, 111.166 and Atlas Van Lines 93.965.

Seven hydroplanes were scheduled to compete in the regatta, after high waters and a collision forced postponement of the race Sunday.

Driver Charlie Dunn of Miami, Fla., was hospitalized with a cracked rib and pelvic bruises after his craft, Just-A-Pest III, spun around into the path of Mister Fabricator, piloted by Tom Kaufman of Carrollton, Ohio. Dunn was listed in satisfactory condition.

“He spun and came in front of me, and I just didn’t have enough control to keep from hitting him,” said Kaufman, whose craft passed over the fail section of Just-A-Pest, missing Dunn in the cockpit.

“I was in Lane 1 and he was in about Lane 3 or 4, and the ground swells down there carried him over and put us on a collision course,” Kaufman said.

Both boats were out of yesterday’s race.

The regatta was scheduled to begin with the first heat, since the accident occurred during the second lap of the first heat Sunday.

The decision to postpone the regatta came after referee Art Hafner went out in a boat to check the water and said swells of 3 to 4 feet at the first turn made the course too dangerous for safety.

Winds up to 20 miles per hour turned the Ohio River into a sea of whitecaps and rollers.

With Mister Fabricator and Just-A-Pest out of the running, only three hydroplanes were scheduled to compete in the first heat over the, since the draw remained unchanged.

Roger D’Eath of Detroit was to pilot Miss Cott Beverages; rookie Milner Irvin was to drive Miss Madison, and the U-95 was to be piloted by Leif Borgersen of Seattle, Wash.

Borgersen indicated he probably would have balked if the race hadn’t been cancelled Sunday. “It was ridiculous that we’d even go out and try to run in that stuff," he said. “I’m a professional and I want to stay around this sport for a few years.”

Sunday’s accident marked the third on the hydroplane circuit this year. George “Skipp" Walther of Owensboro was killed while piloting the Red Man at the Miami Marine Stadium during preliminary runs two weeks ago, and Jim McCormick was injured when he was thrown from the same boat a few days prior to that.

(Reprinted from the Associated Press)