1975 Gar Wood Trophy

D’Eath Scores First-Ever Hydro Win

DETROIT -- (Special) — Tom D’Eath’s days as an apprentice are over.

D’Eath became a member of unlimited-hydroplane racing’s Winners Club yesterday when he drove the Miss U.S. to victory in the $30,000 Gar Wood Trophy race on the Detroit River.

The triumph capped a series of comeback attempts by D’Eath and the Miss U.S. owner, George Simon, and could not have occurred at a more appropriate site.

The Detroit-based boat out dueled the defending champion Miss Budweiser in the final heat, pulling away to a 10-length triumph that delighted hometown spectators.

Mickey Remund moved the Miss Budweiser up to the No. 2 spot in the season’s point standings with his second place finish, while George Henley finished third in the Pay ‘n Pak. Lincoln Thrift was fourth and Miss Madison fifth in the final heat.

Weisfield’s, the season-long leader and top qualifier for this race, was not in contention. The Seattle-based boat dropped out of its first heat with a broken gear box and sputtered because of a bad piston to a fourth-place finish in its second heat.

D’Eath sped to victory in all three of his heats, traveling the final five lap circuit at a reported 121.321 miles an hour.

While D’Eath was gripping his first unlimited trophy after 2½ years of trying, Bill Muncey was shaking his head about what happened after he got a firm grip on the Atlas Van Lines’ steering wheel.

Muncey, a five-time Gold Cup champion from San Diego, found himself in control of only the wheel when it came off in his hands as he roared toward the start of Heat 2A.

The Atlas veered sharply to the right and made an unscheduled dash up a canal, between two lines of spectator boats, near the Detroit Yacht Club.

"It scared the hell out of me," Muncey said.

D’Eath, 31, of Fair Haven, Mich., had not finished a 1975 regatta until yesterday and almost doubled his previous season point total with the 1,200-point performance here.

Simon, who has campaigned unlimiteds under the U.S. Equipment Co. banner for 20 years, had not fielded a winner here since Muncey pushed a previous Miss U.S. to victory in 1969.

This Miss U.S., rebuilt after burning to the water line in last year’s Gold Cup race in Seattle, is powered by a turbo-charged Allison aircraft engine.

The Weisfield’s, winner of two previous races this year, and Miss Budweiser, the President’s Cup winner both get their thrusts from Rolls Royce powerplants.

D’Eath’s speeds for one lap, one heat and an entire regatta all were faster than the Spirit of Detroit course records. However, since the new, shorter course has not been surveyed and its exact distance is unknown, none of the marks was a record.

The speeds, computed with a three-mile conversion table by unlimited officials even though the course was about 2¾ miles long:

Fastest lap — first lap, final heat, 123.287 m.p.h.; fastest five-lap heat-final, 121.321; overall 15-lap average, 118.476.

The hydroplanes will be in Madison, Ind., Sunday for the Indiana Governor’s Cup race.

Heat 1AMiss U.S., T. D’Eath, 117.921 m.p.h.; Miss Budweiser, Remund, 116.404; Lincoln Thrift. Milner Irvin, 110.361; Miss North Tool (former Miss Shenandoah), Roger D’Eath, 82.733. Atlas Van Lines, Muncey, did not finish.

Heat 1BPay ‘n Pak, Henley, 115.904; Miss Madison, Jerry Bangs 102.311; Probe, Bob Miller, 101.256. Weisfield's, Billy Schumacher, did rot start; Miss Vernors, Fred Alter, D. N. F.

Heat 2ABudweiser, 116.104; Lincoln Thrift, 108.108; Probe, 97,737. Atlas, Vernors and Mr. Fabricator (alternate), Tom Kaufman, D. N. S.

Heat 2BMiss U.S., 116.179; Pay ‘n Pak, 111.662; Madison, 95.575; Weisfield’s, 86.552. North Tool, D. N. S.

Consolation raceProbe, 101.886. Fabricator, Vernors, D. N. F.

FinalMiss U.S., 121.312; Budweiser, 120.160; Pay ‘n Pak, 111.065; Lincoln Thrift, 108.238; Miss Madison, 68.588.


Four-Race Standings
Boat (Driver) Detroit Points Season Total
Weisfield's (Schumacher) 169 3838
Miss Budweiser (Remund) 1000 3152
Lincoln Thrift (Irvin) 525 3138
Pay n Pak (Henley) 700 2014
Atlas Van Lines (Muncey) 0 2004
Miss U.S. (Tom D'Eath) 1200 1820
Miss Madison (Bangs) 652 1708
Miss Valvoline (Sheehy) 0 619
Probe (Miller) 450 450
Miss North Tool (R. D'Eath) 169 169


(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, June 30, 1975)