1940 APBA Gold Cup
Northport Bay, Northport, Long Island, New York, August 17, 1940


Hotsy Totsy III Takes Gold Cup In A Walk
By Rufus G. Smith

bullet Speed, Spray and Spills
bullet More R.P.M. [July 1940]
bullet Hotsy Totsy III Takes Gold Cup In A Walk
bullet Hotsy Totsy Wins in Race For Gold Cup
bullet Gold Cup Stays In The East
bullet More R.P.M. [Sept. 1940]
bullet Gold Cup Class Revisited : 1940

A spectator fleet of 1500 yachts; 5000 or more persons looking on from Bluff Point. Northport, L. I.; the Indian Harbor Yacht Club playing host in the grand manner; that was the setting for the 1940 Gold Cup Regatta, considered the countryís premier motor boat racing classic. In spite of a bit of rain, a bit of fog and low, dark clouds, the affair was a great social success. The sporty little "225ís." scheduled for two five-mile heats, put on a great race. But in the main event a 48-mile pace beat a 43-mile pace and thatís all the 90-mile Gold Cup event amounted to as a contest.

Sidney Allen, of Hampton Bays, L. I., was the winning owner and driver and he did it in Hotsy Totsy III, built three years ago for the late Victor Kliesrath. Allen set no lap or heat records ó in fact, hardly reached 60 miles an hour on a straightaway ó but he deserves all the credit in the world for entering his boat and keeping her going all the way. Itís almost an even chance that endurance rather than speed will win any Gold Cup contest. Allen thought those odds looked pretty good, took them, and won. Credit is also due Horace Dodge and his driver, Eddie Hudson, who shipped the old but beautiful Miss Syndicate from Detroit on the chance that endurance at 43 miles per hour would be all it would take to win. She tied with George Cannonís Gray Goose III for second.

There wasnít a real race in the whole three heats so the story lies in what happened to the seven entries.

So Long, owned by Lou Fageol, of Los Angeles, arrived at Northport only two days before the contest to find that her transcontinental trailer trip had knocked her ignition system out of whack and caused other difficulties which couldnít he repaired in time.

My Sin, Zalmon G. Simmonsí defender, which showed how it ought to be done last year at Detroit, failed to finish a single heat though she started all three. In the first, she set a sizzling pace which had hundreds of eyes glued on stop watches for eleven of the twelve laps ó and then disappeared on the far turn, reputedly with a broken propeller. On the way, she had snatched an early lead away from Notre Dame and made the dayís best time for one lap, 70.423 m.p.h. In the second heat, she led again but conked on the third lap. In the third heat, after having lost all but the remotest chance of retaining the cup, she retired to the pits at the half way mark when her stern chase of a revived Notre Dame became hopeless.

Notre Dame, Herbert Mendelsonís flyer, the only new boat of the year, had Dan Arena at the wheel. She made a race of it for half the first heat but couldnít quite stay with My Sin. Rudder trouble forced her to retire with less than a lap to go. That was bad enough but the spectator yachts and everyone else took the Coast Guardís "donít move" regulations so literally that 40 minutes elapsed before she was towed back to the pits for repairs. By the time they were made, it was too late for the second heat. In the third, she roared around at 66.651, lapping the field three times and garnering her only points of the day.

Gray Goose III, George Cannonís radical challenger powered with three Lycoming 225ís, had a moment of glory when she hit the line on the gun and going all out in the first heat. One of her engines conked on the first turn, however, and she did not threat en again. The other two motors pushed her to third place in the first heat and second in the second, but one of the engines went sour in the third heat.

Miss Syndicate, a 14-year old boat originally built for the famous 150-mile Sweepstakes, was there for the ride and to prove that, despite her years, she still had endurance. She was still going serenely along at her own 43-mile pace when flagged off the course in the third heat.

Tinker Toy, Gar Wood. Jr.ís, brain child, took form as a Gold Cup entry only three weeks before the contest when young Wood and some pals discovered that a combination of an 18-foot Gar Wood runabout hull and one of the old Liberty motors which had been around the plant for years, would make an eligible entry. Their total investment was said to be only $175. Their boatís best speed for a lap, 50 m.p.h., would indicate that they had hoped to win on endurance, too; but Tinker Toy lasted only eight laps in the first heat and one in the second.

Hotly Totsy III had been given up as well nigh hopeless by such experts as her late owner and Bill Horn. Even in the smooth water of the Northport course, she bucked and reared at her 50-mile pace. But Allen and his cohorts had her big motor running nicely enough to keep safely ahead of Syndicate and the wounded Gray Goose III. Hotsy thus earned the winnerís points m the first two heats and, though her gears were protesting vociferously, she was still going strong when flagged off the course in the third heat for failure to finish within nine minutes of Notre Dame. Nobody was more surprised than Allen himself at his victory. With all the hoopla there is in the Gold Cup Class about mile records of almost 100 miles per hour, 75-mile averages around the course, etc., etc., everybody forgets that few challengers have ever met the real test of racing 90 miles in a single day.

Generous portions of speed and racing skill won the event for 225-cubic inch hydroplanes for Jack Cooper, of Kansas City. His Tops Iii was second to the national champion, George Schrafftís Chrissie, in the first heat. In the second, Tom Chatfield, in Viper, got a big jump at the start and looked like a winner until Tops flashed inside her corning out of the last turn. Chrissie was third so Cooperís first and second took what was billed as the New York State Championship.

David Gerliís Gen VI, driven by Les Cloak, of New York, took the nightcap, a five-mile race for unlimited runabouts. Her 56-mile pace left all competition far astern.

The biggest winner of the day was the host club, Indian Harbor, which, under the leadership of Commodore H. R. Kunhardt, provided an ideal race course, dignified and enjoyable social functions and excellent facilities for the officials, the press and the hundreds of other lesser dignitaries which are always part and parcel of a Gold Cup Regatta. All that in spite of the fact that the races were held some 15 miles away by water and 40 miles by land from the home anchorage at Greenwich, Conn.

The Summaries:

Gold Cup Class ó Three Heats, 30 Miles Each

Boat

Owner

1st Heat

2nd Heat

3rd Heat

Points

Hotsy Totsy III Sidney Allen

1

1

Flagged

800

Gray Goose III George Cannon

3

2

D.N.F.

525

Miss Syndicate Horace E. Dodge

2

3

Flagged

525

Notre Dame Herbert Mendelson

D.N.F.

D.N.F.

1

400

My Sin Zalmon G. Simmons

D.N.F.

D.N.F.

D.N.F.

0

Tinker Toy Gar Wood, Jr.

D.N.F.

D.N.F.

D.N.F.

0

So Long Lou Fageol

Did not start

   

0

 

225-Cubic-Inch Hydroplanes. Two Heats, Five Miles Each

Boat

Owner

1st Heat

2nd Heat

Points

Speed m.p.h.

Tops III Jack Cooper

2

1

700

64.06

Chrissie IV Geo. Schrafft

1

3

625

65.693

Viper II Thos. Chatfield

3

2

525

 
Hep Cat Gibson Bradfield

4

4

338

 
Eaglet III David Forman

5

5

254

 
Miss Fireball Jack Wood

6

6

   
Meadowmere III Chris Ripp

7

7

   
Tempo III Guy Lombardo

8

8

   
Baby Melvin Crook

9

9

   
Ara Jack OíMara

10

10

   

(Reprinted from Yachting, September 1940)


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