1948 APBA Gold Cup
Detroit River, Detroit MI, August 28, 1948

Foster Speed Boat Annexes Gold Cup; Lombardo Is Hurt
Miss Great Lakes Triumphs on Raging Detroit River — Only Two Craft Finish
Tempo VI Wrecked, Sinks
Band Leader-Pilot Breaks an Arm in Avoiding Collision With Visel's Hurricane
By Clarence E. Lovejoy
Special to the New York Times.

Tempo VI sinking in 1948 Gold cup
Guy Lombardo's entry, Tempo VI, sinking yesterday at outset of the contest. The band leader, who was rescued after his craft was wrecked, had turned sharply to avoid colliding with another speed boat.
bullet More Power to You
bullet Italian Speedboat Here for Gold Cup Race
bullet Italian Boat Lacks Oil for cup Tune-Up
bullet 21 Craft Entered in Gold Cup Today
bullet Entry Grid
bullet Foster Speed Boat Annexes Gold Cup; Lombardo Is Hurt
bullet Lombardo Hits Rules
bullet Editorial
bullet To Race or Not to Race
bullet The Casualty List of 1948
bullet The 1948 Gold Cup Regatta
bullet Mass Destruction at the Gold Cup

DETROIT, Aug. 28---On a raging, angry Detroit River this afternoon America's high-priced fleet of Gold Cup speedboats lost an expensive battle when caught between a downstream current and an upstream wind that churned the oval three-mile regatta course into a mass of rolling seas.

By some near-miracle a Gold Cup winner emerged. It was the same red-haired Army Air Forces veteran, Danny Foster, who won the 1947 classic on bad but smoother salt water of Jamaica Bay in the Dossin Brothers' Miss Peps V. Today he did it in Albin Fallon's Miss Great Lakes.

But the casualty list today was long, frightful and alarming. The statistics run something like this: easily one million dollars has been invested in the twenty-one craft registered as starters with the officials yesterday. Fifteen of them were able to start out bravely in the first heat and get across the line today. Of the fifteen two were able, ninety miles later, to finish, while for thirteen of the world's fastest craft at least $100,000 of damage and repair costs can be totaled.

The favorite challenger, Guy Lombardo, trying to regain the cup he won here in 1946, came to grief in a heroic collision avoiding maneuver. He has a broken left arm tonight. His, Tempo VI, on which he and its preceding owner, Zammie Simmons, who then called. her My Sin, have spent upwards $200,000, in wrecked, lying half submerged in the river. Her Allison aircraft engine may be salvaged and perhaps some of the decking. But most of the rest of her floated down toward Toledo in small pieces.

Italian Craft Sinks

Achille Castoldi had transhipped nearly 4,000 miles from Italy, his super-powered Sant' Ambrogio. She lies tonight on the river's bottom. The toll of damage is beyond comprehension.

The first heat had not gone 700 feet — only a matter of seconds — when Lombardo and Tempo VI went over in trying to avoid crashing into Morlan Visal's entry from California, Hurricane IV. Five hours and ninety miles later Foster, bouncing in the damaged cockpit of Miss Great Lakes, which had lost her stern combing and was coming apart on her portside, got the checkered finishing flag. They were far in front of the only other finisher, the venerable Miss Frostie, once Herb Henderson’s Notre Dame, now renamed and owned by Bob Frost and his driver, Warren Avis.

Hand and electric bilge pumps had to be rushed to Miss Great Lakes to save her from foundering after the finish.

Foster's Gold Cup victory, amassed by 1,500 points, represented two 400-point triumphs in the second and third heats, a second place of 300 points in the first heat and a 400-point bonus for turning the fastest ninety miles. Jack Shafer's Such Crust, runner-up with "400 points for winning the first heat before splitting her starboard planking and withdrawing 'in the second heat, was adjudged winner of the Deroy Plaque for the fastest lap, 68.463 miles an hour, and the maritime Rossi Trophy for the fastest heat, clocked at 57.452 M.P.H.

200,000 Watch Races

Few of the more than 200,000 spectators and practically none of the boat drivers, owners and mechanics could understand, as they wagged tongues in tonight's post mortems, why the Detroit committeemen allowed this afternoon's racing instead of ordering a postponement in the chance of catching smoother water on the Sabbath.

Most of the countless thousands along the shores of Belle Isle, north of the Detroit Yacht Club. who saw the $100,000 Tempo VI flip over, sink by t stern and toss .pieces of wreckage down the current, cheered Lombardo as a genuine hero. To avoid knifing into the careening Hurricane IV and injuring and perhaps killing her driver and mechanic, Don Glenn, the band leader spun his steering wheel so hard to starboard that Tempo swung 180 degrees and capsized, tossing Lombardo out.

Fished out of the river by a patrol boat, he was rushed, dazed and holding onto his numb left arm, to nearby Jennings Hospital where X-rays found the arm broken. The fracture was set and after resting a couple of hours the smiling Long Islander from Freeport returned to the Yacht Club to supervise the salvaging of Tempo. His arm was in a cast and odd bits of adhesive tape showed where cuts had been patched up. Although it was obvious to Detroit era he could not appear here in next week's Silver Cup regatta, he promised Hap Walker and Jim Councilor of Washington, D. C., that he would compete Sept. 25-26 their Presidents Cup regatta on the Potomac.

Beating for Thin Hulls

Hardly a boat in the total starting fleet of fifteen escaped some kind of damage today. The ever-strengthening southwester that climbed to half a gale gave the river the effect of raging, whitecapped rollers, and the precisiontuned speed craft with their thin, fragile hulls were called upon to navigate as if in the open Atlantic. The race became an impossible shambles.

Even the winners of the two qualifying heats ended their 3Amile torture in varying stages of breaking apart. Harry Lynn's Lahala sprung loose her starboard hub rail early in the melee, and henceforth. waved around like an angry buggy whip. In the second heat she was at red to the pits to avoid sinking. Such Crust with Dan 'Arena behind the wheel, pounded loose three bull planks in an early circuit and covered five succeeding laps with the widening long hole taking in plenty of Detroit River water.

Wild Bill Cantrell's, pace-setting My Sweetie, owned and entered by Ed Gregory Jr. and Ed Schoenherr, was nearly a mile out ahead in the second qualifying heat when she lost a stern plate. Cantrell beached his ship in the spectator-thronged bank.

The Italian entry, Sant' Ambrogio, sank in six feet of water offshore after the pounding had opened up her seams. Miss Canada III, with Harold Wilson driving, gave up the uneven fight against the wind, weather and rough water only after a hole had been stove into her hull and the steering shaft had come apart. Clell Perry's new creation, Miss Pepsi, was through for the day before completing her second lap, with rudder and, carburetor troubles.

The Summaries

First Heat


Boat and Driver



Such Crust, Dan Arena



Miss Great Lakes, Danny Foster



Lahala, Norman Lauterbach


Such Crust’s Time — 31:19.82, speed 57.452 mph

Starters which did not finish were Will-O-The-Wisp, Hurricane IV, Tempo VI, Sant’ Ambrogio, Miss Pepsi

Second Heat


Miss Great Lakes


Starters not finishing were Will-O-The Wisp, Lahala and Miss Frostie.

Third Heat


Miss Great Lakes



Miss Frostie, Warren Avis


Final Point Score — Miss Great Lakes, 1,500 (including bonus of 400 for fastest 90 miles); Such Crust, 400; Miss Frostie, 300; Lahala, 225

(Reprinted from the New York Times, August 29, 1948, pp.1,7)

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