1951 Silver Cup
Detroit River, Detroit, MI, September 1 & 3, 1951
Miss Pepsi Wins Silver Cup
|Miss Pepsi, winner of the Silver Cup||Chuck Thompson, driver of Miss Pepsi, with the Meehan Memorial Trophy and Silver Cup he won at Detroit on Labor Day.|
Sixty-six boats showed up from eight states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario for Detroit's Labor Day week-end regatta. They represented six classes: unlimiteds, seven-liters, both 225 divisions and the 135- and 48-cubic inch class.
The usual number couldn't "get going" but there was plenty of racing Saturday, Sept. 1, in Detroit's. 250th Birthday Anniversary Regatta and on Labor Day in the Silver Cup Regatta, No racing was held Sunday.
Saturday's racing was marked by the coldest day in Detroit regatta history, with clouds low, a mist falling, an eight-mile wind blowing out of the north, and the thermometer at 58.
Monday the sky was blue and cloud-flecked and the temperature a pleasant 70, the breeze northeast.
The river's current is west, southwest at the point of the three-mile course and, with the winds northerly, the racers escaped a not unusual up-stream disturbance.
For that reason, they had a "perfect course" as far as Detroit is concerned. But no records were broken.
Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, director of personnel for the Army and the man who exclaimed "Nuts!" when the Germans demanded that he surrender at Bastogne, was present as an honorary ,judge. Five "men of Bastogne" (paratroopers who jumped) formed a color guard in regatta-starting ceremonies. Two cities sent representatives to "learn how Detroit runs a regatta." Washington, D. C., sent Ed Carr, general chairman of the President's Cup regatta. Miami, Fla., sent Vivyan Hall because Miami plans a big Orange Bowl regatta December 28-29.
Chester S. Ricker is in ill health and Col. R. A. Leavell was the chief timer and scorer. Gar Wood and Sheldon Clark were among those present.
The fastest boat on the river was the two-Allison-motored, 5½-ton Miss Pepsi, owned by Walter and Roy Dossin and driven by Chuck Thompson, all Detroiters.
On Saturday this Hacker-designed racer, often called "an enlargement of the once famous My Sweetie", won the Henry Ford Memorial Trophy. This was a two-heat race, 12 miles to the heat. The first of the four first-heat laps was Miss Pepsi's fastest, 89.256 miles an hour. She averaged 88.212 m.p.h. in that heat and 82.212 m.p.h. for the race: Four boats started against Miss Pepsi. They were Jack Schafer's Such Crust, Danny Foster driving; Joe Schoenith's Gale II (with son Lee, driving) and Gale I, Al D'Eath driving; and Horace Dodge's Delphine X, Walter Kade in the cockpit. Gale II finished second twice, both times far back but ahead of Delphine X. Such Crust failed to finish the first lap of the first heat but did start and finish the second heat. Gale I made three laps in the first heat, finished the second.
On Monday Thompson and Miss Pepsi again had it all their own way and the Dossins came into possession of John W. Mulford's Silver Cup for the first time; just about the only trophy except the Harrnsworth the Dossins had not won. Thompson revved up Miss Pepsi to her best performance on the second lap of the first of five 12-mile heats, averaging 98.084 m.p.h. The first heat also was her fastest, 96.47-4 m.p.h. For that the Dossins also receive the Lt. James J. Meehan Memorial Trophy, donated by the father of a Detroit flier who died in World War II. After that Thompson took it easy, averaging only 76.759 m.p.h. for the race.
Actually, Miss Pepsi ran out of opposition. Gale II, with which Lee Schoenith won two starts, came to grief. Dodge's Hornet tried but quit with rudder trouble; Such Crust cracked a water-jacket. Eventually two seven-liter boats got into the race — Joe Taggart's Tomyann, of Canton, 0., and Burnett . Bartley's Wildcatter, of Pittsburgh. Wildcatter got second place points and Delphine was third on points.
Taggart's Tomyann was as much the class of the seven-liter races both days as was Miss Pepsi in the unlimited. Altogether she won three heats, two Saturday and one Labor Day, heating Wildcatter, Wally Harper's Bon Voyage and Bill Stroh's Nuts & Bolts. Her first heat, on Saturday, was her best—75.766 miles an hour. Only the four boats named raced, though there were eight entries.
Among the horde of 225 Div. 1 racers, Phil Rothenbusch's Wild Goose of Cincinnati ruled the waves on Saturday. She beat a fleet of 11 boats in two six-mile heats Saturday. To win the first heat she had to average 75.781 m.p.h. and race even faster to win the second, 76.468 m.p.h. Each time Bill Linss' Briar Hopper, of Dayton, Ky., was second and also each time Bill Braden's Ariel, of Watertown, Ont., was third. Each finish was close. Saranac Lake's Bob Bogie, in his Blitz III, got a fourth and a sixth. This has been Bob's off-year. He hasn't won a race.
Wild Goose was gone from town Labor Day and Briar Hopper won a similar two-heat race, but on points. She got two seconds. Cal Connell's Miss Cadillac, of Detroit, won the first heat at 71.268 m.p.h. and Braden's Ariel took the second at 74.964 m.p.h. Ariel missed the first heat, Miss Cadillac missed the second.
In the 225 Div. II racing Audrey Thacker's Jezebel IX, of .Washington, D. C., showed the way to seven Saturday rivals as she averaged 66.821 m.p.h. to win the first six-mile heat and 61.393 m.p.h. to take the second. But each time Chuck Hunter's Miss Columbus, of Columbus, O., was on Jez's stern.
Monday Miss Columbus won the first heat, Jezebel the second, so they tied on points, 700 each. Miss Columbus averaged 62.856 m.p.h. to win her victory but Thacker had to kick Jez up to an average speed of 65.261 m.p.h. to win the second.
With the second beat over, the mathematicians huddled and came out with the announcement that Miss Columbus was the winner on elapsed time for the two heats, some four seconds.
Seven 135-cubic-inch class boats, the full entry, came down on the line hull to hull on the opening day and each time Dick Rankin's Hi Ball of Pontiac, Mich., managed to eke out victory, averaging 64.199 m.p.h. in the first six-mile heat,
[Reprinted from Motor Boating, pp.23, 88]
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