1951 Seafair Trophy
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 12, 1951
World's Fastest Speedboats
|Left, the Slo-Mo-Shuns in motion. Top, Lou Fageol in Slo-Mo-Shun IV takes the north turn turning the Seafair Trophy Race on Lake Washington August 12. The world's fastest boat established a new 10-nautical-mile race record of 111.742 mph. Right, the two Slo-Mo's. The V, with designer Ted Jones at the controls, won the Seafair Trophy Race, taking the first and third heats.
The Seafair Trophy Race, staged on Seattle's Lake Washington over a 5-nautical-mile course comparable to the Harmsworth Trophy course, developed into an exhibition race between Stanley Sayres' two Slo-Mo-Shuns, the IV and the V. This race was run for unlimited class hydroplanes August 12 and was planned to give the Gold Cup racers a chance to show their speed over the longer course.
However, after the complete drubbing given visiting unlimiteds by the Slo-mo's in the Gold Cup, the two Seattle craft had to go it alone-the race was made official by the entry of three limited class craft.
A new world's record for speedboats in competition, 111.472 mph for 10 nautical miles was established and will be in the American Power Boat Association's books - another leaf in the laurels of the Slo-mo's gathered in the last year and a half.
The new record was set by Slo-Mo-Shun IV, the elder sister of the Sayres' Slo-mo family and it was Lou Fageol who was driving her. The record was made in the second heat.
The Seafair Trophy, however, goes to Slo-Mo-Shun V which, with designer Ted Jones at the wheel, won the first and third heats to add that trophy to the Sayres-Seattle Yacht Club collection.
Slo-Mo-Shun IV's 111.742 mph was almost four miles an hour faster than the 107.394 mph set last September in Detroit by Miss Pepsi over the Silver Cup course.
Slo-mo IV beat her younger sister in the 10-mile second heat just 11 seconds, which meant that Slo-Mo-Shun V also exceeded that previous record. Slo-Mo IV did her first lap of that record-breaking heat in 3 minutes, 6.8 seconds; Slo-Mo V in 3:11.8. The 10 mile times were 6:11 and 6:22 respectively.
Slo-mo V won the first heat of the race after trailing Slo-mo IV most of the way. Lou Fageol in Slo-mo IV had to swing away wide on the last turn to avoid Chuck Hickling's Snapper, one of the smaller boats entered.
Jones in the V, taking that last turn slightly slower and sharper, was able to sneak past the IV and win.
Despite the fact that the third heat was slower, it was the most sensational of all. They missed by only 2 seconds of having a perfect start. Slo-mo IV was on the outside and took the lead on that run to the southeast turn. She gained slightly on the turn. But on the run north-that long straightaway Slo-mo V pulled up almost even. Jones had to give way on the northeast turn and IV again was in front.
Swinging into the straightaway, V pulled up and they went past the starting barge nose-and-nose. Fageol got away faster out of the southeast turn, but Jones poured on the gas to V on the long straightaway and had Fageol by 200 feet when they hit the north turn. Jones held that edge to the finish line, where 7/10ths of a second separated them.
(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, October 1951)
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