1951 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 4, 1951


"Slo-Mo V" Roars To Gold Cup's Fastest Win [1951]
It Was The New "V" For Victory All The Way
She Tore Across The World's Finest Gold Cup Course Shattering Lap And Heat Records...

bullet The 1951 Gold Cup Remembered
bullet Sayres Readies Boat for Defense of Gold Cup in Seattle Race
bullet Nation's Top Racers to Invade Seattle
bullet New Slo-Mo-Shun May Be Ready For August Races
bullet Can They Beat "Slo-Mo-Shun IV"?
bullet Are the Big-name Racing Boats Challenging with Revised Hulls?
bullet Just Two Boats Qualify
bullet Set Speed-boat Record
bullet 100 mph Record for Dossins' Craft
bullet Miss Pepsi Chief Threat in Gold Cup
bullet "Slo-Mo V" Roars to Gold Cup's Fastest Win
bullet Slo-Mo-Shun V Wins Gold Cup At Seattle
bullet Pilot and Mechanic Killed As Gold Cup Race Boat Sinks
bullet Cup Racer Called a "Runaway" Boat
bullet Gold Cup Rules Changed
bullet Safety Committee Named
bullet Death at Seattle
bullet Quicksilver (from This is Hydroplaning)
bullet Statistics

Slo-Mo-Shun V raised the proudest plume of a rooster tail the 44-year old Gold Cup has ever seen to tumble lap and heat records-and win the Gold Cup for 1951.

In turning in her amazing performance, Slo-mo-shun V established a new lap (3 miles) record of 108.633 mph., a new heat (30 miles) record of 91.766 mph. and averaged 90.881 mph. for the two heats of 60 miles.

The Slo-Mo-Shun V never once was out of the lead in 60 official miles of grueling speed. Lou Fageol sped her down the starting straightaway of the Lake Washington course twice for the heats in beautiful split second-timed drives across the starting line never to be headed.

The official race was held to two 30-mile heats instead of the regulation three heats. This made it a 60-mile instead of 90-mile event as tragedy stalked the course just as the third and final heat was getting well underway. Orth Mathiot's Quicksilver, with Orth at the wheel and Tommy Whittaker in the mechanic's seat, went into a death-dealing crash to the bottom. The "slow and hold your position" signals went up and 30 seconds later, out of respect to the two game sportsmen and the danger of loose floating material from the accident, the third heat was halted. Thus, officially, it reverted to a two-heat, 60-mile race.

This was the greatest racing and regatta affair in the West. It's all the Pacific Coast needed to prove that we have the courses, the weather, the good water to let the best racers in the world turn in amazing performances. And where do spectators get a natural amphitheater for view, like Lake Washington, remarked all the Detroiters.

This is the second straight year, the "Slo-mo" boats won the Gold Cup. Sayres can bring the classic event right back to Lake Washington in '52, but it is too early to announce details.

The Sayres' team has set up a whole new concept for racers and racing. As Horace Dodge put it, "I have a green-eyed monster in the Hornet, but wait until next year when we are out here to get back that Gold Cup."

Pacific Coast entries finished in first, third and fourth places. The total points for Pacific Coast entries came to 2441, which was a sizable portion of the 3503 points scored by all of the racers. *

Certainly the performance of both "Slo-Mo's" in the Gold Cup classic plays up the superb workmanship and superior equipment embodied in these speedsters. Both were designed by Ted Jones, who also doubled as driver of the "IV," and were built by Anchor Jensen of Seattle.

Equipment includes a 1700 -hp. Allison engine in each boat, Western Gear Works' step-up gears, "Hi" Johnson wheels, K-Monel shafts and Monel fastenings, Champion spark plugs. Standard's Chevron high-test aviation grade gasoline was in the tanks. The Sayres' boats used Amalie lubricants all the way.

Credit for the outstanding performance of the two Seattle boats must also be given the mechanical staff of Mike Welsh, Elmer Lennischmidt and Joe Schobert. The two "Slo-mo's" at no time developed serious trouble. They were in no hurry to return to the pits between heats and waltzed up to the official barge for a stop as casually as a kid pulls up in a new convertible. Like real champions, the Sayres' team with all that sound preparation made it look easy.

The huge crowd of a half a million spectators got its biggest thrill as Walter and Roy Dossin's Miss Pepsi, with 3500 hp. pouring out of two inline Allisons, sped across the starting line for the first heat just outside and right on the "Slo-mo V's" tail.

For four laps both drivers gave the two boats everything they had. It was 75, 100, sometimes 150 yards that gapped the two determined competitors. The difference varied slightly from turn to straightaway and around again. Both boats were handling beautifully under the expert touch of their drivers, Lou Fageol in "Five" and Chuck Thompson in "Pepsi."

Before one lap was completed everyone could sense that both drivers intended to put into the race everything his boat and engine could give. Fageol was just streaking into the backstretch from the south turn with his champ-to-be revving out about 165 mph. when the Miss Pepsi faded out of the race with all the oil virtually pumped out of her back engine. It was crankshaft trouble that let the oil past the seal in the front end of this right-hand engine.

Fageol stayed right on the pace to establish new Gold Cup records.

Slo-mo-shun V raised the 3-mile lap record from 86.200 mph. to 108.633 mph! The old record was set on the Detroit River by Fageol in My Sweetie. Slo-mo V made this speed on the fourth lap of the first heat while still hard pressed by Miss Pepsi.

The 30-mile heat record of 91.766 mph. was established also in the first heat, erasing the mark set by SloMo-shun IV, driven by Ted Jones, in the Gold Cup race in 1950. Jones' mark was 80.892 mph.

Slo-mo-shun V no doubt would have been credited with a new race record if the event had gone the full 90 miles. This record is still held by Slo-Mo IV and Ted Jones, 78.215 mph. Fageol drove the "V" for the 60-mile average of 90.881 after making an average of 89.997 mph. for the second heat of 30 miles.

As the race began to shake down to the grind, all the finessing, strategies, ifs and possibilities began to take shape.

Once Miss Pepsi had faded with oil trouble Slo-mo-shun V stood unchallenged with all her well-wishers hoping for no mechanical breakdowns-which are always a threat.

Then all eyes would momentarily shift to Slo-mo-shun IV. The Stanley Sayres' racing team appeared to have planned to run her slightly under wraps for two heats as insurance. Coupled with this, the able and likable Ted Jones, the designing genius of these two crack racers, got off to a poorer start in the first heat than he would have liked. His craft and Visel's got into an unexpected delaying action for the starting run.

Jones lay back just a little and never over-pressed the second place winner Hornet. Bill Cantrell was at the helm of this green-colored Dodge entry. He'd had carburetor trouble ever since he got out on the coast. She was burning too much gas. So he held her down to nothing over 3,000 rpm's. and barely made it in to the pits on the dwindling supply of fuel.

This all led up to the second heat, which turned out to be the final one. Fageol, who'd been eyeing and figuring that start for four days, again went down under the western approach to the floating bridge to come roaring under the arch headed for the starting line right on the button. Again, Miss Pepsi was right on his heels, with daring Chuck Thompson holding the throttle clear down. Came the first turn at the south end and out of the race went Miss Pepsi -out for good with a broken crankshaft in that back engine.

In the Hornet this time was the popular Danny Foster from Detroit. He replaced Bill Cantrell at the wheel. Jack Schafer approved the switch because both "Crust" boats were out for good. Foster kept his eyes off the gas gauges and opened her daringly wide. He went out to take both "Slo-mo" boats, or run out of gas trying. The carburetion was the best at any time since arrival and he settled down to making a thrilling second-place race out of it with the Slo-mo-shun IV. By the third lap he was 150 yards ahead of "Four." Into the fourth lap he widened this to 250 yards and the two boats fought it out at that pace and spacing the rest of the way in.

By the end of two heats, Hornet became the big threat with two second places for 600 points. "Slo-mo IV" had been third twice. If, Fageol in "Slo-mo V," would have a mechanical breakdown in the final heat, it would be tip to "Four" and Jones to take first place in the final heat, plus a top lap speed, to keep Hornet from coming through the winner if, of course, all big ifs, the Hornet could follow up such a break of the race.

The eastern contingent were hoping. But Sayres and Jones had some strategy ready for the "Four" in the final heat, you can bet on that one. But, with the Gold Cup champ streaking it down the course without a falter, the untimely and much regretted Quicksilver accident clamped down on the finale.

Hard telling what Fageol might have squeezed out of Slo-Mo-shun V if the Dossin boat had pressed him all the 10 laps. Even so, he maintained a terrific pace all the way. She lapped the ill-fated Quicksilver midway in the third, bore right down on Horace Dodge in the venerable My Sweetie and passed her going into the fourth lap.

Coming up to the sixth lap he passed Hurricane V [sic, actually Hurricane IV], of Los Angeles, with Morlan Visel at the wheel. Then on the seventh "Five" lapped her older sister "Four." In the meantime Hornet, the boat that owner Horace Dodge calls his "green-eyed monster," was hanging onto second place, far behind the front-running winner. As Hornet made its sixth lap, Such Crust, with able Danny Foster at the wheel, broke its supercharger shaft and was all through for the day.

On the "Slo-mo" kept flying. Far back the Quicksilver and My Sweetie kept up a slowed-down battle of their own and finally finished with Quicksilver ahead in sixth.

But Fageol gave the final turn at the north end of the course everything "Five" had. He came around wider than at any time, cut back for the home stretch, and flew past Hornet to lap every boat in the field.

They finished the first heat, in this order: Slo-Mo-Shun V, Hornet, Slo-Mo-Shun IV, Gale II, Hurricane V, Quicksilver, and My Sweetie. Miss Pepsi conked out, so did Such Crust., Golden Crust couldn't get jockeyed for the start and Dee Jay V couldn't get running to qualify.

Miss Pepsi: Walter and Roy Dossin, accompanied by Ernie Dossin, were out from Detroit with rightful pride. They held high hopes and their entry gave the huge crowd that lined the natural amphitheater its biggest thrill as the boat crowded "Slo-mo V." Chuck Thompson, who owns an electric company in Detroit, the driver, recapped the mechanical troubles of the week for Pacific Motor Boat:

"As you know we were pumping oil out of that right hand engine even during our trials. Even when we qualified at that 100.5586 we were not satisfied as we expected to get her to around 114 mph., and have done it. (Bill Cox, mechanic, chimed in and said it was true.)

"We used 12 quarts of oil in that engine during the trials. It was pumping out through the front seal and into the blowers. What we learned was happening was that the hollow crankshaft was breaking, chipping at the end and damaging the seal. Finally, when the craft quit in that second heat, the shaft broke altogether and we couldn't move the engine.

"We have been operating her at 3600 rpm's. We did only 3150 rpm's. in the trials and only 3200 rpm.'s in the race."

Hornet: Horace Dodge's newest provided a consistent entry. But Bill Cantrell, its driver, was plagued with carburetion trouble ever since arrival. It was a common ailment throughout the fleet, of racers, too. During a morning spin over the course, he used 22 gallons of gas in 3 laps-and only carries 68 gallons. In the first heat he held the craft to 3000 rpm.'s and "coughed" his way into the pits. At the float he stood up to acknowledge a welcome from the crowd, which turned to loud mirth, when lie revealed a large, gaping hole torn in the seat of his pants during the race.

For the second heat, Danny Foster took the wheel. He was over from Schafer's "Crust" boats now out of commission. Foster was told to let her go and "hang the gas supply." The carburetor was functioning much better and, as recorded, elsewhere, Hornet did a good job.

My Sweetie: Horace Dodge, the famed owner, drove her. This was probably the final race for the 1949 Gold Cup Champion and the Sweetie that formerly held the lap record at 92.402. The hours of pounding took their toll and Dodge plans to retire her.

John L. Hacker was out for the races. He designed My Sweetie and Miss Pepsi, two mighty able craft.

Such,Crust and Gold'n Crust: Detroit owner Jack Schafer was present. Like the other owners he stoutly praised the course. After both his craft were out of the race his first thought was to go home and get the boats ready for racing again. Then he reconsidered and as this article was rushed to press his final decision was not made.

He had two capable drivers in Roy Duby and Danny Foster. Owner and crew were highly popular with the crowd. Gold'n Crust also suffered in the carburetion epidemic.

She went out to the starting line, wouldn't rev up and came back in.

Such Crust qualified at 93.3485 mph. She'd served notice, but in the race she couldn't stay the first heat and carne into the pits with a broken shaft in her supercharger.

When smiling, likable Danny Foster leaped off the Such. Crust as she reached the pits after breaking down lie went up to Owner Jack Schafer and suggested, "We've so much work to do we'll never get ready for more racing here. Let's head back to Detroit and pull these engines and go back to the Allisons. We could use the same gear boxes by having one new plate. These Rolls really have the power, but we've just had too much bad luck. If we hadn't broken that shaft we'd have been in there, Jack. On the first straightaway that I put her "down" I closed right up oil both "Pepsi" and "Five," then we were through. Let's get those Allisons back in for the rest of the season."

Hurricane IV: Owner and driver Morlen Visel drove very consistently with this blue "bucket." He qualified at 90.6075. He couldn't get her "up" fast enough for the starts. He ran up 296 points for fourth place. She was a good boat, well-driven and a popular entry.

With her fourth place, this made the Pacific Coast stand mighty high. First, third and fourth places went to the coast entries.

Hurricane IV hit some wreckage from poor Quicksilver in that final heat and tore a two-foot hole in her port bow. She was brought in and the crew was busy patching for the rest of the week's busy events.

Gale II: The J. A. Schoenith boat was a popular one and there was disappointment that brother. Lee Schoenith didn't get to have her in serious competition. She is the boat that was cutting up the trials so fast, only to wash away her rudder and go crashing into the lake. Feverish work had her qualified just before race time. But wiring trouble and general tune-ups plagued the crew, and the Schoenith's and Dan Arena, designer- builder, who came out to watch her take the Cup. It was just too much to expect to get her into working order again after that dousing. Getting her started was a tough one and she went onto the course late for the heats, still gamely trying.

GOLD CUP POINT RESULTS

Boat

Owner

Points

1. Slo-mo-shun V

Stan Sayres

1600

2. Hornet

Horace Dodge

600

3. Slo-mo-shun IV

Stan Sayres

450

4. Hurricane IV

Morlan Visel

296

5. Gale II

Joe Schoenith

264

6. My Sweetie

Horace Dodge

198

7. Quicksilver

Orth Mathiot

95

(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, September 1951)


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