1977 Champion Spark Plug Regatta

Champion Spark Plug Regatta 1977

By Steve Garey

Atlas Cabover, Bill Muncey won '77 Champion Spark Plug opener. Muncey grabbed the pole on the start of the final from Mickey Raymund and Budweiser and Tom Sheehy in Anheuser Busch Natural Light.

Seven boats present, choppy wind conditions worst officials to shorten the Biscayne Bay course to 1⅔ mi., within the confines of the Marine Stadium. At the request of the sponsors boats ran 7-lap heats.

Heat 1-A

Budweiser, Madison and U-7. U-22 couldn't start and was scratched. Driver Chip Hanauer.

Bud over line 1st, Ron Snyder in U-7 second, A Madison way back. First lap record by Bud at 104.530. On lap 5 he lapped Madison . Bud beat U-7 by ½ lap and 1½ laps over Madison.

U-12, 400
U-7, 300
U-6, 225

Heat 1-B

Natural Light, Gemini, Atlas Van Lines

Muncey on outside but Sheehy led the first lap. Atlas moved up on first turn lap 2 and passed. In turn 2 Natural Light overloaded and slowed, also hit a buoy and cracked a prop.

Atlas led all the way. Gemini ran 3rd but was awarded 2nd when Sheehy struck the buoy and was penalized one lap.

U-22 given another chance to get going and qualify for heat 2 but Hanauer was stymied again.

Heat 2-A

Natural Light, Gemini, U-7

U-13 and U-5 were over together at start as U-7 had problems and started way back. U-13 led out of 1st turn. U-7 spun out in 1st turn and reversed herself, with Snyder staying in the cockpit. U-7 spent remainder of heat crawling down the backstretch. Steve Jones held 2nd steadily until lap S when Natural Light succumbed to a faulty engine and U-5

sped past for the win. U-7 restarted after others had finished and tried to outrun the clock. Time ran out after four speedy laps and Snyder was black-flagged.

U-5, 400
U-13, 300
U-7, DNF

Heat 2-B

Atlas, Budweiser, Madison

Rookie Jon Peddie held the inside lane in Madison approaching the start but Bud was forced into the buoyline by Atlas sliding into lane 2 from the outside. The start was tight with Bud honking on inside lane.

Out of 1st turn Bud and Atlas opened up, with Muncey running alongside Bud’s roostertial. Remund sped away from then on, winning easily. Miss Madison, bogged down in the 1st turn, trailed all the way and was lapped by U-12 on final turn of lap 5. U-12, 500; U-1, 300; U-6, 225.


In a crowded start, Muncey grabbed the inside and led into turn. Muncey led down the back chute as Bud gave chase. Course was very rough and Atlas kited several times, but was never headed. Natural Light held third. U-5 lost fuel pressure temporarily on lap 4 and U-6 passed her for fourth. Atlas set new lap record of 108.893 mph on the first go-round.

1. U-1 Atlas Van Lines Bill Muncey 1100 Pts.
2. U-12 Miss Budweiser Mickey.Remund 1100
3. U-13 Anheuser-Busch Natural Light Tom Sheehy 750
4. U-6 Miss Madison Jon Peddie 619
5. U-5 Gemini Steve Jones 827
6. U-7 — Ron Snyder 300
X. U-22 — Chip Hanauer Did Not Qualify