1926 APBA Gold Cup
Greenwich Folly Wins the Gold Cup
Under lowering skies, accompanied by passing squalls of rain, Greenwich Folly, owned by George H. Townsend, won the famous Gold Cup on August 21st. breaking all records in Gold Cup races since the revision of rules in 1922. The placid water of Manhasset Bay, Long Island, was the scene of the two-days' regatta, which was held under the joint auspices of the Columbia Yacht Club and the new Montauk Yacht Club.
The regatta started August 21st with the first heat of the Gold Cup Race and closed the next day at the conclusion of the runs for the Dodge Memorial Trophy. Sandwiched in between these two main events were Biscayne Baby races, a free-for-all for outboard motors, a nine-mile race for the Baby Buzz Class of outboard motor boats, a fine display of fireworks and many social events at the yacht clubs and on board the large fleet of power and sailing yachts that were anchored around the three-mile course.
The first day of the regatta opened cloudy and overcast and the light to moderate southeasterly breeze did little more than ruffle the course that was laid in an almost north and south line. When the preparatory signal for the first heat of the Gold Cup went up 14 boats were ready. At the crack of the gun they went over the line in close formation with"Dick" Hoyt's Imp in the van. Baby Bootlegger, last year's Gold Cup winner, driven by Colonel J. G. Vincent, soon forged ahead of the field and maintained her lead until the finish, making the remarkable time of 50.53 m.p.h. Her best lap was done in 51.86 m.p.h. Imp was second, her speed being 49.07 and Palm Beach Days, driven by Wm. McP. Bigelow, came along third with a speed of 48.35 m.p.h. for the heat. The final winner, Greenwich Folly, romped in fifth. Five boats were flagged off the course at the end of the ninth lap. Sara de Sota, entered by the Saratoga Yacht Club, came to grief at the first turn in the course and her crew were hove overboard as she apparently crossed a sea and was capsized.
Eleven survivors of the first heat were ready for the second heat and Baby Bootlegger was off like a thoroughbred and held a good lead for four laps. During the fifth and sixth laps she began to lag and finally went our. Shadow Vite, entered by C. S. Bragg and driven by Victor Kliesrath, won the heat and averaged 49.24 m.p.h. Greenwich Folly was second with her 49.22 miles per hour.
The third heat found nine boats crossing the line and as Imp dashed away she was hotly pursued by the others. Imp maintained the lead for several laps but developed trouble and dropped behind. Shadow Vite won the heat. Elapsed time 36.41 or at 49.06 m.p.h. Greenwich Folly pressed Shadow Vite throughout the heat and was second, her time being 36.44, and Impshi was third. That consistent and persistent performer, Palm Beach Days, was fifth — a late start and low oil pressure costing her dearly. Greenwich Folly was awarded the Cup on a score of 978 points. Shadow Vite earned 944 points and Palm Beach Days got 869. Greenwich Folly was built last year, when she was called Miss Motometer. She was designed by Fred K. Lord, built by Henry Nevins, Inc., of City Island and is powered with a six-cylinder Packard Marine Motor. She ran a fine race and George Townsend, her owner, who was driving in his first real race, deserved the congratulations he received. The entire race was hotly contested, the close finishes keeping the interest on high pitch. Imp made one lap at the rate of 53.58 m.p.h. and hung up a record.
The race for the Dodge Memorial Trophy was run on Sunday. Two boats from the Gold Cup fleet, Miss Columbia and Impshi, with Carl G. Fisher's Rowdy and C. S Bragg's Rascal, were at the line when the gun sent them off on the first heat of 12 miles.
Rascal and Rowdy were built especially for the Dodge Trophy race and were turned out by Purdy Brothers, of Port Washington. They are also powered with Packard Marine Motors. Rascal held the lead for a lap when Rowdy came up astern and a close finish brought her in two seconds ahead of Rascal, who was trailed by Miss Columbia, followed by Impshi. Rowdy's average for the heat was 47.41 m.p.h.
The second heat saw Baby Water Car starting with Rascal, Rowdy and Impshi. Rowdy again won, defeating Rascal by less than four seconds.
At the start of the third heat Miss Columbia jumped across the line followed by Rowdy, Rascal, Impshi and Nuisance. Rowdy soon gained the lead and she and Rascal made a close race but Rowdy won; Rascal was second and Miss Columbia third. The fourth heat was a tussle between Rowdy and Rascal but the honors went to the former, who averaged 48.40 m.p.h. (Continued on page 99)
(Reprinted from Yachting, October 1926, pp.49-50, 99+)
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