By David Greene
Edgar Kaiser succeeded his father Henry J. Kaiser, who raced such boats as Hot Metal, Aluminium First, and Scooter Too, as head of the Kaiser team in 1956. After the wreck of the Slo-Mo-Shun IV, Kaiser hired Mike Welsch and his crew to race the Hawaii Kai III. The result was the Kai won two of four races and nearly missed winning the National High Point Championship.
Welsch continued to race Hawaii Kai for Kaiser in 1957, winning the High Point Championship by sweeping the last five races of the year. After the season Hawaii Kai set a mile straightaway record of 187 m.p.h. including a run through the kilometer trap at 200 m.p.h. The team then retired. However, in the ten years of Kaiser participation in Unlimited racing, they never won a Gold Cup. This factor led to a Kai comeback for the 1958 Gold Cup. In the short period of three weeks a winter's work was done and the Hawaii Kai III became Gold Cup champion, scoring a perfect 2000 points. This was Kaiser's last hurrah. Thereafter, Mike Welsch disbanded the Slo-Mo crew for the final time.
(Reprinted from the Unlimited NewsJournal, March 1985)
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