1949 Salton Sea Regatta
Salton Sea Yields 10 Records
It took five days, Oct. 7-11 (dice players please note), I over 100 trial runs, 30 competitive heats and a total of nearly 150 drivers to do it, but once again fabulous Salton Sea offered up a crop of 10 new world speed records in the ninth annual running of the Desert Regatta.
The outboards appear to be reaching that mythical peak in speed and only Rocky Stone of Willamina, Oregon, was able to collect a mile straightaway mark, fractionally above the old record. He drove his C-racing runabout Willamina over the mile course to a new mark of 56.385 m.ph. The former record in the class was also made on Salton Sea, October 19, 1948 by Bud Wiget's Nightwind at 56.271 m.p.h.
Paul Sawyer's Belligero II was turning 100.11 m.p.h. at end of her mile run. The new Div. I average is 99.903 m.p.h., and shattered' o a fare-you-well the former record, 92.485 m.p.h., which Lorin Pennington's Copperhead II made on May ,21, 1949, at Mission Bay, San Diego. Though Sawyer hails from Texas, the Southern California Speedboat Club legitimately added another record to its imposing array, for the San Antonio pilot is a charter member of the SCSC
Two more records were taken by Ed Parsley's National B runabout champion Vina Mae III of Los Banos, Calif. Twice she upped the former 55.071 m.p.h. mark made by W. L. Barrett's Ava Lou at New Martinsville, W. Va., Oct. 5, 1948, finally reaching 56.445 m.p.h. in straightaway. In competition the boat, with Pete Coffey driving, topped, her own former record made a year ago
L. O. Turner, Provo, Utah, raised his own year old record. He drove the Div. II 225 Green Hornet to hoist the former straight-away mark from 92.54 m.p.h. to 94.235 m.p.h. on the final day
Another driver who broke his own competition record was Ralph Phillips, Jr., of Culver City, in the Cracker Box, Dragon Behind. The boat went 60.484 to boost by a healthy three miles the 57.034 m.p.h. he had set on Lake Mead only a week previously
Plastigo, the plastic E-Racing runabout which Al Menkens of Long Beech built and Art Maynard drove, upped the Florida-made 61.058 competition record of Lorin Pennington's Copperhead when she won the National title in the class and turned 61.813 m.p.h.
[NOTE: Photos not yet available --LF]
(Reprinted from Motor Boating, December 1949)
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