1951 APBA Gold Cup
Are the Big-name Racing Boats Challenging with Revised Hulls?
The big featured racers of this speed regatta know that, barring accidents and breakdowns, they will have to come west with improved hull designs in order to match the highly-stabilized fast pace of Slo-Mo-Shun IV.
Shes the champion and on friendly Lake Washington water is expected to go even faster than the 78.215 averaged in last years 90-mile Gold Cup.
So there is a lot of general, but authentic, talk that indicates that many of the other entries are coming out with improvements. There could be a lot a surprises. The builders arent exactly broadcasting the results of their trials and preparations. But they all figure to be able to keep the hulls on the water at faster speeds.
Dan Arena has been building and rebuilding several boats in Michigan that will be competing out here. He is modifying these hulls with some kind of special air-foil arrangement, mounted forward to hold the bows down. Presumably, his boats will continue the mid-ships sponsons. These boats weigh 4200 pounds, are mahogany-plywood planked, and have 1700 hp Allisons for power.
The word is that his boats have a complete mechanical assembly of engine, gears and rives all mounted in a package unit. Each unit can be quickly unbolted, de-mounted from the hull, and replaced with another unit that has a varied combination of gear-ratios to propulsion and propeller. It is not known if he will have these alternate units here in Seattle.
With optional equipment on hand these boats could be ready to take on any unusual course conditions and win.
Morlan Visel, of Hollywood, who will have his Allison-powered Hurricane IV entered, will have a special air-foil attached forward. This will be adjustable from the cockpit during the race and is aimed to keep the bow down at high speeds.
Another of the boats that is modified for this years racing is Horace Dodges My Sweetie. Orth Mathiot will stick with his Quicksilver much as she is.
Henry Kaiser could provide an upset with either, or both, of his craft, Aluminum I and Hot Metal. Each is a metal boat. Hot Metal is a big, heavy craft and the crowd wants to see what she can do with her tremendous power coming from twin Allison engines.
What? A new Slo-Mo-Shun?
By the first week in July, Stanley Sayres and his associates, Ted Jones and Anchor Jensen, had installed the engine in Slo-Mo-Shun V, his new racer which was first announced in the July issue of Pacific Motor Boat.
Owner, Stanley Sayres, doesnt believe it can be ready for the Gold Cup race, but allows that it well can be ready for some of the Seafair scheduled events. He makes no exaggerated claims for the boat. He want her performing acceptable well after thorough trial runs.
It will take time to give "Five" these shakedown trials and take out any bugs. However, Sayres does not believe it will take as long to get this new boat ready for racing as the "Four" because of the incorporation of so many key principles already proven during recent races.
Still, the new Slo-Mo V stands as a dark-horse and nothing would tickle western racing fans more than to see two "Slo-Mo" in the same race.
If this should become reality, Sayres has not made up his mid on drivers. Readers will recall that when Ted Jones was injured last year prior to the Harmsworth, Lou Fageol took the wheel.
"Slo-Mo-Shun V is the same length as IV, of wider beam and with a number of changes in planing angles and areas; and with larger non-trip areas," commented owner Stanley Sayres.
"We have more in mind than the creation of another good race boat. This new boat will be a proving ground for new ideas in props, drive shafts, rudders, gears and the characteristics of hull design. It is not entirely impossible that this craft will contribute to developments of high-speed small naval craft," he added.
Slo-Mo V will us propellers designed by Hi Johnson of Newport Beach, California, has International Nickel Co. K-Monel drive shafts and Western Gear Works of Seattle gear boxes.
The Story About Slo-Mo-Shun
It is a familiar story to a lot of boating fans how owner Stanley Sayres, designer-driver Ted Jones, builder Anchor Jensen and mechanics Mike Welsh, Elmer Leninschmidt and Joe Schobert took this boat back to Detroit and set new records in 1950.
However, many that will follow the race this year may not know that Slo-Mo-Shun IV holds the straightaway records and the course records. That she is not only a fast boat on the course but very steady in any kind of running.
By setting such a fast pace, and not have been opened wide, she has set race designers and builders to revising their speed goals. Already, these men are talking of records of 175 to 200 mph. And before "Slo-Mo" went east a year ago, 140 miles thereabouts, was top record.
It is not just a matter of more power in the hull. It is one of successfully stabilizing the hull so that it will stay on the water when the power is applied. In the past, the nose of the racers is inclined to rise too high and flip over backward.
The general principles of the Jones' design are this: The sponsons are flared widely and this gives a steady three-point suspension. But under the bow is a fourth suspension point. this is like a pyramid, reversed, and is a step. As the boat rises this hold the bow to the water and makes the whole craft manageable. It increases steering ability, too. The "Slo-Mo' is 28 feet long, has a beam of 11 feet, 5 inches and drives directly through the gears to the shaft without transfer gear box. A two-bladed prop is used and the rudder is off-center to provide better steering.
(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, August 1951, pp. 10-11, 44)
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