Hydro Who's Who; Don't Get Lost [1961]
By Georg N. Meyers, Sports Editor, The Times

Every year, somebody has to take a deep breath and sort out the hydroplanes in the pits.

So, it's time for the annual Handy-Dandy Hydro Guide. Grab a piece of chalk and a ball of string, so you can find your way back, and let's go:

Remarkably, four thunderboats here for the roostertail festival never have raced under any other name. They are Miss Spokane, Miss U.S. I, $ Bill and Miss Bardahl.

Then it begins to get complicated.

The 1961 Miss Bardahl, for instance, is not to be confused with the Miss Bardahl which was the former Tempest and later came to grief as Miss Burien.

And the 1961 Tempest raced last year as Miss Burien. But that was not the same Miss Burien-Bardahl- Tempest.

Seattle Too ran two years ago as Pay 'n Save.

Miss Century 21, as everybody knows, really is Miss Thriftway. But she is the third Miss Thriftway, successor to the splinters that remained after a crash in Madison, Ind., in 1957 and a collision with a Coast Guard cutter here in 1959.

The Fascination fleet of Bob Gilliam has this genealogy:

Fascination ran last year as KOLroy I. Fascination II was KOLroy II. And Fascination I, flagship of the fleet, previously has paraded as Fascination (yup), Miss B &I, Sunnee and KOLroy.

Miss Reno is, in disguise, the Maverick which is a successor to the first Maverick, which originally was Rebel Suh.

Miss Madison was the Nitrogen of 1960.

Tool Crib, long ago, was Miss U.S. II.

And Miss Seattle, as every schoolboy can recite, was the last of the Slo-Mos -- Slo-mo-shun V.

The longest line of contenders is represented by Lee Schoenith and his Gales of Detroit.

If Schoenith still had all of his Gales in one boathouse, he could run his own trophy race. There have been nine.

Gale V, the 1961 challenger here, is the third of that name. The V's were preceded by Gale (later the Ricochet), Gale II (later Wha' Hoppen), Gale III (a luckluss twin-seater), Gale IV (of which more later) and two Gale VIs.

The first Gale V won the Gold Cup in 1955. Schoenith keeps it around for sentiment's sake. The second Gale V now is the Such Crust IV.

The first Gale VI was junked. The second raced here in 1959 and has been rebuilt as Gale VII.

Of all the Gales, Seattle fans best remember Gale IV.

That was the skiff Wild Bill Cantrell drove in 1954, when he took the north turn a bit too generously and skidded onto a lakeshore lawn, scattering a tea party.

Gale IV later campaigned as Wildroot Charlie and Miss Everett.

And she is with us again today -- as Cutie Radio.

(reprinted from Seattle Times, Aug. 6, 1961)


Hydroplane History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010.
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at wildturnip@gmail.com
Leslie Field, 1999