1978 Jack-in-the-Box Regatta

Muncey Cracks San Diego Hydro Whammy

SAN DIEGO — (Special) — Scratch one jinx.

Bill Muncey, the winningest driver in unlimited hydroplane history, finally won here yesterday on the course where he had lost nine previous times.

The victory in the Thunderboat Unlimited Regatta was the 50th of Muncey’s career and marked the sixth time in seven races this season the Atlas Van Lines took the checkered flag.

"This gets the monkey off my back," said Muncey, who set a national record by averaging 121.261 miles an hour in the championship heat on the 2½-mile Mission Bay course.

His lap speed of 123.626 m.p.h. on the heat’s second lap was a course record.

The Squire Shop (U-64), driven by Chip Hanauer, was second in the final heat in which a boat’s finish determines its final standing. Miss Circus Circus (U-31) finished third with Steve Reynolds of Kirkland, Wash., driving in his first unlimited race. Van’s P-X, driven by Jack Schafer, Jr., was fourth and Oh Boy! Oberto, driven by Bob Maschmedt, was fifth.

Miss Budweiser blew an engine coming out of the final turn of the championship heat in third place. Ron Snyder immediately turned the boat into the infield and was disqualified because he crossed the finish line off the course. Snyder said he left the course for safety reasons because he didn’t know how close the pursuing Miss Circus Circus was to him.

The Squire Shop was the first boat across the starting line in the final heat as Hanauer made his third perfect start of the day. Muncey, who started wide, caught up going into the first turn and held a slight lead coming out of it. By lap’s end, Muncey led by four lengths and kept adding to it.

Muncey, who lives outside San Diego, set a world qualifying- record on the 2½-mile course Saturday by averaging 132.353 m.p.h. The Atlas won its two preliminary heats yesterday with Miss Budweiser and Van’s P-X winning the other two.

Muncey clinched the national championship August 6 in Seattle.


1. Atlas Van Lines (U-00), Bill Muncey, 121.261 miles an hour. 2. The Squire Shop (U-64), Chip Hanauer, 115.800. 3. Miss Circus Circus (U-31), Steve Reynolds, 104.360 4. Van’s P-X (U-80), Jack Schafer, Jr., 100.178. 5. Oh Boy! Oberto (U-8), Bob Maschmedt, 90.108. Miss Budweiser (U-1), did not finish.

HEAT 1A — 1. Atlas. 2. Van’s P-X. 3. Miss Circus Circus 4. Norm Pressley’s Truck Center (U-96), Chuck King. 5. Elliott Dog Ration (U-66), Bob Miller. 6. B&L Plumbing (U-29), Fred Leland. No times because flare was fired in lap 4 when U-96 lost engine cover. Referee ruled positions in lap 4 to be final.

HEAT 1B — 1. Budweiser, 114.242. 2. Squire Shop, 106.057. 3. Miss Madison (U-6), Milner Irvin, 98.103. 4. Oh Boy! Oberto, 81.774. Dr. Toyota (U-22), did not start.

HEAT 2A — 1. Atlas Van Lines, 119.048. 2. The Squire Shop, 108.985. 3. Miss Circus Circus, 105.683. 4. Miss Budweiser, 102.041. 5. B&L Plumbing, 81.198. Dr. Toyota DNF.

HEAT 2B — 1. Van’s P-X, 99.338. 2. Oh Boy! Oberto, 84.049. 3. Elliott Dog Ration, 82.312. Norm Pressley’s Truck Center (U-96), DNF. Miss Madison DNF.


1. Atlas Van Lines (U-00), 7,725 points; 2. Miss Budweiser (U-1), 5,144; 3. The Squire Shop (U-64), 3,765; 4. Miss Madison (U-6), 3,008; 5. U-96, 2,934; 6. Elliott Dog Ration (U-66), 2,475; 7. The Probe (U-50), 1,915; 8. Miss Van’s P-X (U-80), 1,563; 9. Miss Bud (VS-22), 1,500; 10. Oh Boy! Oberto (U.8), 1,196; 11. U-7, 900; 12, Miss Circus Circus (U-31), 675; 13. The Squire Shop (U-65), 525; 14. B&L Plumbing (U-29), 518; 15. Tempus (U-17), 169; 16. Dr. Toyota (U-22), 127.


1, Bill Muncey, 7,725 points; 2. Ron Snyder, 5,144; 3. Chip Hanauer, 3,765; 4. Chuck King, 2,934; 5. Bob Miller, 2,507; 6. Milner Irvin, 2,-444; 7. Tom Martin, 1,779; 8. Jack Schafer, Jr., 1,563; 9. Bob Saniga, 1,500; 10. Jon Peddie, 1,264; 11. Steve Jones, 900; 12. Bob Maschmedt, 896; 13. Pete LaRock, 525; 14. Steve Reynolds, 675; 15. Fred Leland, 518; 16. Chuck Hickling, 169.


(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, September 18. 1978)