1951 President's Cup
Miss Pepsi Again Takes President’s Cup Race
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23  — Last fall's winner of the President's Cup, the Detroit-owned Miss Pepsi, with Charles F. Thompson driving, made it a repeat triumph this afternoon on a Potomac River somewhat subdued from yesterday, when the first heat had to be postponed.
On rough but usable water Thompson captured three straight heats, totaling forty-five miles, for a perfect score of 2,000 points. In second place with 825 was J. Lee Schoenith, also of Detroit, driving his father's Gale II. But part of the three thrilling heats provided a duel between the heavy-footed 39-year-old Thompson and the equally slam-bang driver from Louisville, W. J. (Wild Bill) Cantrell, 41-year-old former auto driver as well as speed boat daredevil.
Cantrell was in the cockpit of Horace E. Dodge's green and white Hornet and hanging close behind the winner until the third lap of the final heat, when leaks from the pounding and some ominous motor sounds forced him to turn off the course and head back to the pits.
In a few days Thompson and Miss Pepsi's owners, the brothers Walter and Roy Dossin, will be called to the White House for a repeat performance of the ceremony of a year ago, when President Truman will formally present the trophy to them for another year.
Tempo VI Fails to Start
Miss Pepsi, with her pair of Aircraft Allison engines under her hatch covers giving her twice as much horsepower as any rival, probably used less than two-thirds of her speed. She didn't need to of her speed. She didn't need to call on more. The competition did not demand it.
Besides Gale II and Hornet, she faced another Dodge speed craft, his new My Sweetie, driven for the first two heats by Walter Kade of Detroit and for the final test by Guy Lombardo, whose own Tempo VI could not be put into condition to start. The band leader had some bad luck and did not finish. On the third lap he lost his way, cut a couple of buoys and then had to reverse himself, losing precious time getting back on the beam.
Two laps later a splash and spray was seen near the bridge at the north turn, but Lombardo was safe and the boat was sound although it needed a tow because of the damaged rudder. My Sweetie had slipped and slid in making the turn. Five craft came out from the pits at the Naval Air Station for the first heat when Thompson coaxed the good speed of 81.372 m. p. h. out of Miss Pepsi. Her 36-foot hull favored the rough water, giving her steadiness when the smaller and shorter creations yawed and porpoised at times.
Speeds Away From Rivals
Thompson drew away from the field from the start, getting a half mile into the lead by the end of the first 21-mile lap and gradually building this to a mile and then a mile and half over Gale II and lapping the outclassed Chesapeake Cat from Baltimore. This was a tiny job powered by a 331-cubic-inch converted Cadillac V-8 engine and driven by Bob Dawson, a Baltimore city fireman.
Hornet held the runner-up spot for four laps. Then possibly because of the damage en route from Detroit to the portside sponsons, Hornet began lagging and was passed by Gale II but kept ahead of My Sweetie. The Jack Schafer entry, Such Crust, broke a supercharger driver and could not start. Schoenith, not satisfied with the President's Cup excitement, entered Gale II in a special race described on the program as the American Speedboat Championship. But Gale II had built up such a reputation that no rival appeared at the starting cannon and the Detroiter steered her around the 10-mile heat at a speed of 71.3421 m.p.h. for the somewhat hollow crown. Clockers timed her at 8:24 3/5.
In the second cup heat Miss Pepsi looked every bit as smooth on better water as the afternoon wore on and the wind diminished. But somehow Thompson couldn't get out in front as far and at the checkered flag finale he was a scant 35 yards ahead of Hornet. Thompson had been in front by as much as a quarter mile, but this was being cut down with every lap. Rough water began claiming a toll before the first racing heat was a half minute old. Joseph Mascari, a Long Island contractor from New Hyde Park who normally drives his own speed boat Cary, was behind the wheel of Hydrogen, a Class E racing runabout owned by Sammy DuPont of Wilmington, and when Hydrogen struck a particularly wicked wave it flipped over, tossing Mascari into the wreckage.
The craft sank to the river bottom before a rescue boat arrived. Elwood J. Pliescott of Cambridge, Md., driving his My Boy Woodie, thought Mascari was seriously hurt and sacrificed his own chances for victory by turning out of the race to help the Long Islander.
Pliescott stood by until a Coast Guard patrol boat put Mascari on board and took him to the pits. The first diagnosis was a burned arm and body injuries with the possibility of internal injuries. Pliescott resumed the race and finished fourth in the field and actually first in his category, Class D racing runabouts, which ran with the Class B's for separate prizes.
CLASS D RACING RUNABOUTS
First Heat. 5 Miles—1. My Boy Woodie, Elwood J. Pliescott, Cambridge, Md.; 2, Adonis, Edward J. Buchanan, Norfolk, Va. Time—9:26 2/5. Speed—31.779 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1. Pliescott; 2. Buchanan. Time—7:33, Speed—39.473 m.p.h.
Point Score—Plieseott 100, Buchanan 600.
CLASS E RACING RUNABOUTS
First Heat. 5 Miles—Dot E., Al Endres, Grand Island, N.Y.; 2. Panic, W.S. McKelvey, Pittsburgh; 3, Schmo, Larry Buedel, Essex, Md. Time—7:56 4/5. Speed—37.731 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1. Endres; 2. McKelvey: 3, Buedel. Time—7:23 3/5. Speed—40.505 m.p.h.
Point Score—Endres 800, McKelvey 600, Buedel 450.
225 CUBIC-INCH CLASS, DIVISION I
First Heat, 5 Miles—You-All, Bobby Rowland, South Norrolk, Va.; 2. Bee Jay, Carl Ryberg, Detroit; 3, Thunderbird, Franklin M. Craig, Norfolk, Va.; 4. Copperhead, C. A. Widenhouse, Concord. N. C.; 5. Sugar II, W. J. Morgan, Cleveland; 6. Fo-Mo-Co Kid, Stuart A. Wilson, Dearborn, Mich.; 7. T. M. Special, Edmond Thompson, Baltimore: 8. Hare-Em, Hank Bowman, Cornwell Height., Pa. Time—5:27 3/5. Speed—34.043 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1. Ryberg; 2. Rowland; 3. Craig; 4. Wilson; 5, Morgan. Time—5:22 2-3. Speed—55.831 m.p h.
Point Score—Rowland 700, Ryberg 760, Craig 450. (Rowland wins on better elapsed time).
225 CUBIC-INCH CLASS. DIVISION II
Jezebel IX, Auhiey L. Thacker, Washington, only starter, won both heats for score of 800 points at times of 7:27 1/5 and 7:13 1/5.
135 CUBIC-INCH CLASS
First Heat. 5 Miles—1. Wa-Wa, Wm. A. Ritner Jr., Merion, Pa.; 2. Shirl III, Clarence H. Collins, Norfolk. Va.; 3. B. & W. Spec, Jerry Powell, Richmond, Va.; 4. Sabra, John M Kipp, Baltimore; 5. Dickie Boy, Warren D. Tucker, Norfolk, Va.; 6, Stardust, John Carl Nelson, Salem, N. J.; 7. Fancy Free, Frank E. Vernon, Washington. Time—5:48 2/5. Speed—53.597 m.p.h
Second Heat—1, Ritner; 2, Collins: 3, Pee Dee Jr., Silas Stein, Pleasantville, N. J.; 4. Kipp. Time—5:28 1/5. Speed—54.848 m.p.h.
Point Score—Ritner 800, Collins 600, Kipp 338.
CLASS D SERVICE RUNABOUTS
First Heat. 5 Miles—1. Dynaflo, Dick Cooper, Front Royal. Va.; 2. Skip, Harry M. Bickford, Hampton. Va.; 3. Let's Go II, Tom Hutton, London Bridge, Va. Time—6:50 2/5. Speed—43.969 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1. Cooper; 2, Bickford; 3. Hutton. Time—6:43 1-5. Speed—44.643 m.p.h.
Point Score—Cooper 800, Bickford 600, Hutton 450.
CLASS E SERVICE RUNABOUTS
First Heat, 5 Miles—1. Phantom VII, W. K. Neville Jr. Norfolk, Va. 2, Fireball, B. G. Bartley, Pittsburgh. Time—6:47 3/5. Speed—44.161 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1, Neville; 2, Swamp Girl, W. L. Engle, Washington, Pa. Time—7:27. Speed—47.214 m.p.h.
Point Score—Neville 800, Engle 525.
CLASS F SERVICE RUNABOUTS
First Heat, 5 Miles—1. Nitrogen, Samuel F. DuPont, Wilmington. Del.; 2, Rock-A-Bye, Russell Kirkpatrick, Clarksburg. W. Va.; 3. Medico III, Dr. George E. Firth, Philadelphia. Time—7:08 1/3. Speed—92.037 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1. DuPont; 2. Miss Stoney Creek, Edgar Thomas, Baltimore; 3, Dr. Firth, Time—6:39 1/5. Speed—45.09 m.p.h.
Point Score—DuPont 800, Thomas 469, Firth 450.
AMERICAN SPEEDBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
One Heat. 10 Miles—Lee Schoenith, Detroit, Gale II (only entrant). Time—8:24 3/5. Speed—71.342 m.p.h.
PACIFIC ONE-DESIGN CLASS
First Heat—1. Roger Phelps, Hampton, Va.; 2. Frank Kocsis, Silver Spring, Md.; 3. Francis Pasquini, Washington. Time—6:39 4/5. Speed—45.023 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1. Kocsis; 2. Phelps; 3. Pasquini. Time—6:26 3/5, Speed—46.560 m.p.h,
Point Score—Kocsis 700, Phelps 700, Pasquini 430. (Kocsis winner on better elapsed time).
First Heat. 15 Miles—1. Miss Pepsi, Roy and Walter Dossin, Detroit, driven by Chuck Thompson; 2. Gale II, Joe Schoenith, Detroit, driven by Lee Schoenith; 3. Hornet, Horace Dodge, Detroit, driven by Bill Cantrell; 4. My Sweetie, Horace Dodge, driven by Walter Kade; 5. Chesapeake Cat, Roland Flanagan, Baltimore, driven by Robert Dawson. Time—11:03 3/5 Speed—81.372 m.p.h.
Second Heat—1. Miss Pepsi; 2. Hornet; 3. Gale II 4. My Sweetie. (Chesapeake Cat did not start). Time—11:41 1/5. Speed—77.031 m.p.h.
Third Heat —1. Miss Pepsi; 2. Gale II (only finishers). Time—11.37 2/5. Speed—77.430 m.p.h
Total winner's time for 95 miles—33.82 2/5. Average Speed—78.611 m.p.h,
Total points—Miss Pepsi 2,000; Gale II 825, Hornet 525, My Sweetie 335.
[Reprinted from the New York Times, September 24, 1951]
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