1946 Biscayne Bay Regatta
Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL, March 2-3, 1946


Florida Racing
by Solly Hall

1946 Biscayne Bay Regatta
Norbert Hollenbach's Cricket, winner in 225's, and Guy Lombardo's Tempo V, winner of the free-for-all and third in the 225's.

With Ted Houser in charge so many boats were down for the 33rd Biscayne Bay Regatta that it looks like a strong come back for motor boat racing all around. Here at Miami most of the racers were put overboard at Sherman Crise's Marine Basin on the Beach where as it happened trailers from fourteen states were lined up in a row. The four record holders in the three inboard hydroplane classes were all here. These were Pop Cooper's Top's Pup from Kansas City in the 91's, Henry Shrake's Sally Jo II from Akron in the 135's and Joe Taggart's Tomyann from Canton and Cooper's Tops III both in the 225's. Two other champions on deck were Sam Crook's B runabout Dragon XV from St. Petersburg and Franklin Foulke's D runabout Sagana IV from Baltimore.

It was too bad that the weather didn't cooperate for new records. The course between the causeways was ruffled by high fluky winds and further ruffled by a number of spectator boats. Another year the exuberance of the spectators will have to be curbed or directed to other channels. The best class time was made late the first afternoon by a Class B service runabout owned by Anthony Orth of Wilmington. His Snubby advanced the mark from 33.271 m.p.h. which Orth had himself made at Palm Beach a week earlier to 34.272. Both of these marks await official confirmation. The old mark of 32.490 was set by Edison Hedges at Red Bank in 1940.

Forest Johnson's new Class E runabout Prowler which at Palm Beach the week before came within two seconds of breaking the record of 53.571 m.p.h. was able to reach only 48.413 in the rough going at Miami. Under favorable conditions both this boat and the sister ship built for Buddy Galatis should break the old mark. Jack Rutherfurd brought his veteran, Baby Juno down from Palm Beach but was handicapped by motor trouble.

Eight 225's started in the first race. Norbert Hollenbach's Cricket from McHenry, Illinois gave a good consistent performance and captured all three heats in his first racing in Florida waters. Cooper who had sold Cricket to Hollenbach had motor trouble with Tops III and never really got started in the rough weather.

Howard Hibbert in How-Mar IV of St. Petersburg (she is ex-Chrissie III) was going great guns in the first race but capsized on the turn. Taggart after running second to Hollenbach twice, capsized in the third heat but still placed second. Guy Lombardo who had sent his Tempo V [formerly Tomyann III --LF] south ahead of him flew down from his New York band engagements to take third in the class and then the final free-for-all.

Someone down for the Biscayne Bay racing remarked that 22 of the 225's faced the gun at New Martinsville in October. That most of them didn't finish because the high water had picked up so much floating debris deadly to propellers and engines. The more we hear of this West Virginia regatta the more we wish we could have been there.

Florida racing for the motor boats started at Jacksonville on February 16 with a two day meet. As points made here count towards the Colonel Green trophy which is given for the high total for the entire winter season there was particular interest among the outboards. At the dose of the regatta Ralph Haygood of Orlando, Harry Nicodemus of South Bend and Tommy Gore of Miami had piled up good leads on their competitors. The inboard runabout event was strictly a Jacksonville race with Francis L'Engle beating out Mabry Edwards for first and William Cheshire taking third.

The next week end Palm Beach celebrated its 39th Washington Birthday Regatta with racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All the outboards got down as well as some of the racing inboard runabouts and the 91 and 225 inch hydroplanes. Joe Taggart’s Tomyann IV made the fastest time of the regatta and better than he did later in Miami. The 59.016 m.p.h. he reached in his second heat of the 225's was still a good deal under his 73.130 he had himself set back in 1941. Cooper took the 91's. As mentioned earlier Anthony Orth made a new B service runabout record and Forest Johnson came very close to the E runabout mark. Bill Christopher of Detroit and Claude Smith of Atlanta picked up a good lot of outboard points. The course at the north end of Lake Worth provided smooth water.

(Reprinted from Motor Boating, April 1946, pp.53, 144)


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