1937 President's Cup
Potomac River, Washington D.C., September 24-26, 1937
New Jersey Banker Scores Double
By Dan Craig
Under sunny skies, America's outboard stars from East and West met yesterday in a brilliant contest of nerve and skill that saw Douglas Fonda, of Orange, N.J., and pretty Mrs. Mary Daller, of Chester, Pa., score spectacular victories to headline the first power events of the President's Cup Regatta.
Thrills and spills were the order of the day for 10,000 who lined the flag-bedecked Hains Point seawall and perched atop half a hundred yachts that flanked the course.
Driving Lolly Pop, her tiny midget class outboard, Mrs. Daller staged a thriller in the free-for-all handicap feature to score over Dick Neal, veteran Kansas City, Mo., professional, who roared over the lines less than two seconds later.
Earlier in the day the youthful feminine speedster forced four male drivers to take back seats when she piloted her fragile craft down the home stretch at better than 32 mph to take top honors in the midget class.
Fonda, 42-year-old industrial banker, who for the last two years has spent his weekends on the water relaxing, while rolling up the greatest number of points in the history of the outboard racing game, paced the field in classes A and C.
Piloting Miss Riccochet, Fonda made a runaway of the Class A amateur event, first start of the day, and later was tied up with Bob Watkins, of Hoquiam, Wash., each holding 700 points when the noise subsided in the Class C division.
Near tragedy was averted late in the afternoon when Arthur Wullschleger, of Larchmont, N.Y., jockeying for the Class F Open start, roared out from behind the Coast Guard cutter Apache at better than 45 miles an hour, just as an unidentified driver shot under her bows. Each driver swerved his flying craft in a burst of spray and dodged a collision that would have brought them together at a combined speed of more than 80 miles an hour.
It was Wullschleger's unlucky day, for the Larchmont driver was tossed from his craft as it struck a wash, and shot into the air in a "C" race early in the afternoon.
In the Free-For-All Handicap, Victor A. Scott, Class C amateur from Forest Hills, N.Y., struck rough water while rounding the lower turn at high speed in the first lap and capsized. Coast Guard picket boats and police launches converged on the sinking boat, and Scott was pulled out of the river unhurt.
In the first heat of the Class F Open division, Ken MacKenzie, of New Haven, Ct., registered 51.834 to win, but in the second Heat, Bob Guttmann, of Manitowoc, Wisc., drove his long-nosed W-4, that looked more like a gondola than a racing craft, roaring over the 5-mile course at 52.631 miles per hour to take the second heat with the highest speed of the day.
The winners were Thom Cooper, of Kansas City, Mo., whko won in the Class A professional, scoring over Fred Jacoby, of North Bergen, N.J., the ranking professional driver, and C. Milford Scull, of Glenheim, N.J., with straight victories in both heats.
Jim Mullen, of Richmond, Va., rolled up a total of 700 points to win the Class B amateur, while Fred Jacoby and Bob Meyer, of Chicago, were tied in the Class B professional with 625 points each.
Fonda and Bob Watkins were tied in the Class C amateur, and Dick Neal, of Kansas City, cleaned up in the professional ranks, amassing 800 points to Harrison's 525. More than 100,000 persons are expected to jam Hains Point today and Sunday to see the big inboard boats take to the course off Hains Point in the President's Cup race, feature of the regatta, the American speedboat championships, the 225-cubic inch hydroplane free-for-all, the All-American Sweepstakes, and the mile trials.
Six of America's fastest Gold Cup racers led by the favorite, Herbert Mendelson's Notre Dame from Detroit, are set to repel the challenge of Count Theo Rossi's two 90-mile-an-hour invaders, Alagi and Aradem.
Jack Rutherfurd, of Port Washington, L.I., last year's winner and the defending champion who was expected to drive his famous Ma-Ja in a late surprise move to Ma- Ja's Packard engine and installed it in a new hull, originally designed for the Chinese "Suicide Fleet," and called the combination "Chinky."
Her tiny 18-foot hull designed to roar toward Japanese warships at terrific speed carrying a 500-pound detonating charge of TNT, Chinky, built by the Ventnor Boat Works of Ventnor, N.J., is expected to be very fast when she roars away today in the President's Cup race armed with the dynamite of Jack Rutherfurd's racing skill and experience.
Other entries in the classic will be Horace E. Dodge's famous pair, Impshi and Delpine IX, Maude Rutherfurd's Miss Palm Beach, and George Reis' ancient "leaping lizard," El Lagarto.
The Los Angeles entry, Arthur L. Brobrick's Water Wagon, was a last-minute scratch.
(Reprinted from the Washington Post, Saturday, Sept. 25, 1937)
[This article was originally reprinted in the URC ThunderLetter]
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