1948 National Sweepstakes
Navesink River, Red Bank, NJ, August 21-22, 1948

Van Blerck’s Speed Boat Triumphs in Opening Heat of National Sweepstakes
Aljo V
Shows Way In Red Bank Event
Van Blerck's 225 Class Craft Leads More Powerful Boats In National Sweepstakes
Troubles Hinder Rivals
Mishaps Thwart Tempo VI and LaHaLa in Victory Bids on First Day of' Regatta
By Clarence E. Lovejoy

Special to the New York Times

Red Bank Regatta Set for Aug. 21-22
Van Blerck’s Speed Boat Triumphs in Opening Heat of National Sweepstakes
Aljo V Takes National Sweepstakes Speed-Boat Honors on North Shrewsbury
National Sweepstakes at Red Bank

RED BANK, N. J., Aug. 21 --Until some time tomorrow after, noon, Joe Van Blerck Jr.'s Aljo V from Freeport, L. I., is enjoying the spotlight of appearing to be the best of the enormous record-sized fleet of speed boats in the sixteenth running of the National Sweepstakes Regatta after the first half of the program today.

This little red 225-cubic inch class craft, which was repowered during the past week to replace the Gray engine ruined at Cambridge, Md., last Sunday, captured the first fifteen-mile heat for the sweepstakes crown, even finishing ahead of the more renowned Tempo VI, an unlimited Gold Cup boat with Guy Lombardo at the wheel.

This sort of business — a 225 beating a super-powered unlimited — calls for an immediate explanation. Lombardo's Tempo, handicapped with starter troubles, was unable to emerge from the pits until Aljo had covered three Sweepstake laps and although the band loader shaved down some of his lost time he was actually more than seven minutes behind the leader at the finish.

Two Others Have Trouble

Moreover, two other Gold Cup craft that normally could beat Van Blerck's Aljo without half trying encountered the kind of troubles that make speed boating the unpredictable sport it is.

Harry Lynn's LaHaLa from Lake Hopatcong, N. J., with Norman Lauterbach driving, got nearly around the first two and one-half mile laps on the smooth North Shrewsbury River when the fuel line tore loose. LaHaLa had been used all afternoon with a bent propeller while a replacement was being rushed here by airplane, but .when the fuel trouble occurred Lynn called it a day and pulled off the course.

A Detroit entry, Miss Frostie, once known as Notre Dame when it won the 1937 Cold Cup, had a motor explosion just before the start of the Sweepstakes heat as shadows were lengthening to close the racing day. Caused by a manifold valve backfire, the explosion severely damaged Miss Frostie's engine compartment and struts, and its driver, Warren Avis, sustained facial burns.

Miss Frostie cannot finish the program tomorrow afternoon, but LaHaLa and Tempo VI are being ministered by corps of mechanics tonight and should hit the starting lines.

Lombardo Wins Cup Heat

Lombardo's first appearance of the afternoon was in the initial ten-mile heat for the Judge Emil Auerbach Trophy and he made speed-boating look simple and easy in leading the field. But the ornery perverseness of these big speed demons that makes them hard to start, what with superchargers and flooded chokes, cost Lombardo his chance to capture the second heat when he wore down his batteries trying to start Tempo VI. As a consequence, Bob Bogie's Blitz II took the heat, even ahead of La Ha La which came out of the pits too late to hope to catch up.

Only one :of the inboard categories finished its heats today and this was in the 91-cubic-inch class, which Gordon Knapp of Great Neck, L. I., captured with a perfect score of 800 points for . winning both heats in his Another Little Bea. His second heat was pushed to 49.972 M. P. H.

The curtain-raising races of the fragile outboard hydroplane pancakes in the early hours of the long regatta program had rougher water than the heavier inboards. Later in the day the southeasterly diminished and the river surface flattened out and the gray skies were replaced by blue patches and sun.

Class A Event to Petermann

Gilbert Petermann of Malverne, L.I., captured the Class A event for professionals in straight heats at speeds of 42.194 and 43.436 m.p.h. Frank Desmond of Bernardsville, N. J., similarly won in Class C amateurs and Don Whitfield of Montclair, N J., took both midget .class heats for a maximum quota of 900 points.

Whitfield's 36.794 m.p.h in the second heat set a new world record, erasing his 35.0 flat made at Worcester, Mass.. a few weeks fago:

Peter Van Biert of Rutherford, N. J., took the Class A event for amateurs with a first and second place and Jimmie Broaddus of Fredericksburg, Va., the Class C Race for professionals with a first ; and a third place for a total of 625 points.

Selected Results

Judge Auerbach Cup Race (Ten Miles)

First Heat:



Tempo VI, Guy Lombardo, Freeport, L.I.


LaHaLa, Harry Lynn, Lake Hopatcong, NJ


Miss Frostie, Warren E. Avis, Detroit, MI


Aljo V, Joe Van Blerck, Jr., Freeport, L.I.


Blitz II, John Bogie, Saranac Lake NY


Pearl IV, Henry Sieck, Long Island, NY

MPH: Tempo VI, 73.198; LaHaLa, 70.755; Miss Frostie, 63.694

Second Heat:



Blitz II




Aljo V

DNF Miss Frostie

MPH: Blitz II, 58.785; LaHaLa, 56.711; Aljo V, 54.315

Point Standings for First Two Heats:



Blitz II


Tempo VI


Aljo V


Miss Frostie


Pearl IV


National Sweepstakes (15 Miles)

First Heat:



Aljo V, Joe Van Blerck, Jr., Freeport L.I.


Tempo VI, Guy Lombardo, Freeport, L.I.

MPH: Aljo V, 57.142; Tempo VI, 38.876

(Reprinted from the New York Times, August 22, 1948)

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