1940 President's Cup
Potomac River, Washington DC, September 28-29, 1940

President's Cup Sweep Scored By Notre Dame
Miss Syndicate Finishes 3d to My Sin, 2d in 3 Heats; Chatfield Gains Triple
By Everett B. Morris

bullet Notre Dame Captures First Heat For President’s Cup On Potomac
bullet President's Cup Sweep Scored By Notre Dame
bullet Notre Dame Wins President's Cup
bullet Notre Dame Betters 100
bullet Summaries
bullet Statistics

Washington, Sept. 29 [1940] — Herbert Mendelson's Notre Dame, third of the Detroit sportsman's speedboats to carry his alma mater's :name in major motorboat racing, competition, completed the conquest of her President's Cup rivals by leaving them in her wake again in the second and third heats run on the Potomac this afternoon. '

With a perfect score for the three fifteen-mile tests, the new Notre Dame gave her owner his third plaque on the base of the large golden bowl which has been the capital's water speed blue ribbon since 1926. The first Notre Dame, powered with the same 24-cylinder motor for that drove this successor, scored in 1935 and 1937.

Second in the final standing, as she was in all three heats, was the, 1939 Gold Cup champion, Zalmon G. Simmons's My Sin from Greenwich, Conn. Third prize went to the only other of the six contestants to complete the grind, Horace Dodge's Miss Syndicate, a noble old timer, which won a leg on the trophy thirteen years ago.

Mile-a-Minute Pace Set

Driven by Danny Arena, the young Californian who joined Mendelson's camp less than two years ago, Notre Dame atoned for her failures in the Gold Cup and National Sweepstakes this summer by the soundness of her performance on a course not too favorable for fast driving. Her first heat yesterday was won at an average speed of 59.289 miles an hour—coasting for a Gold Cup hydroplane—but today Arena got the blue and mahogany boat out in front early in each heat, set a pace better than a mile a minute and dared the others to try to catch him. Notre Dame whipped around in the second heat at 64.653 miles an hour and averaged 65.790 in the third, giving her a grand average for the forty-five miles of 63.266. My Sin, which did not push Notre Dame until the last test, averaged 61.637 and Miss Syndicate 58.168.

Tommy Chatfield, young Danbury, Conn., speedboat chauffeur, completed a clean sweep of the three events in which he drove in this three-day carnival by scoring a straight-heat triumph in the race for he John Charles Thomas Trophy and the national 225-cubic inch hydroplane championship. Chatfield, who had won the two-heat A. P. B. A. title series yesterday with Viper and the 91-cubic inch class contest with Scoundrel, turned in a spectacular job in driving Viper through three ten-mile whirls for the Thomas Trophy. Viper clipped off some laps at better than 66 miles an hour and averaged 65.208 in the first heat, 64.901 in the second and 64.700 in the third. George Schrafft, of Newton., Mass., who won last year with Chrissie III, was runner-up with Chrissie IV after a red-hot duel with the veteran C. Frank Ripp's Meadowmere III from Rockville Center, L. I.

My Sin Captures Title

Not content with all of this activity, Chatfield came out for the final event, the fifteen-mile race for the so-called American speedboat championship, and drove Viper to second place astern of My Sin, in which Pop Cooper, of Kansas City, the 225-class veteran, replaced Simmons at the wheel. They had a bang-up race all the way, and Dave Gerli's high-powered runabout Gen VI, was third. The larger, vastly more powerful My Sin had only a few lengths on the recklessly driven Viper at the finish.

This morning another series of [text missing] s was held in the smooth waters of the river between the [text missing] and another set of world records was written onto the books of the American Power Boat Association. These runs over the mile straightaway provided a paradox the Gold Cup hydroplane class, where, for record purposes only, boats are divided into two classes, those with supercharged engines and those whose motors do note have blowers to provide extra power.

Why Worry, whose conversion of an old aviation motor is innocent of supercharger, ran 98.368 miles an hour. Notre Dame, powered with a supercharged twenty-four-cylinder especially-built engine, did 98.227 miles an hour in her test. The previous standard for supercharged Gold Cup boats was 97.451 m. p. h , made on the west coast by Lou Fageol’s So Long. Why Worry's performance bettered her own record spurt of 97.169 m.p.h. yesterday morning.

Neither, of course, showed anything like this speed in the afternoon racing because zipping up a nice, smooth straightaway under perfect water conditions is far different from taking the same boat around the narrow turns of a two-and-a-quarter-mile oval course lumpy with the wash the boats kick up as they race.

Mile Trial Record Set

There were fewer spills than yesterday, when three drivers, Pop Cooper, Melvin Crook and George Ward, were dumped from their boats. Cooper's Tops III and Crook's little Pacific Coast one-design went to the bottom and could not be salvaged in time for today's racing. Ward was thrown out of his Class E runabout Hi-Ho II, but the boat did a complete somersault and landed right side up. This morning Ward got back into the boat and rode to a mile time-trial record of 58.395 m.p.h.

Ward's other boat, Hi-Ho III, driven by his chum, Martin Howard, of Wilmington, Del., duplicated her older sister's acrobatics in the second Class E heat this afternoon. Howard climbed back aboard, started the engine and resumed the race only to learn after he had finished that he had been disqualified for beating the starting gun.

So it came to pass that Ward, who had entered two boats in the race in an effort to retire the hammered-silver Sombrero, which the Mexican Embassy put up for Class E runabout competition at Washington, got nothing for his pains. Ward had won it twice before, and so had Mrs. Maude Rutherfurd, who did not compete. The new victor was George Brinkerhoff, of Washington, in Monk II.

(Reprinted from the New York Herald Tribune, September 30, 1940)

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