1952 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 9, 1952
Gold Cup 1904-1952
Action on Lake Washington, the world's greatest speedboat water! All through the week, August 4 (the opening day) to August 12, the finale; there will be action for the speed boat fans.
Qualifications for the Gold Cup open Monday, August 4, continue through Thursday, August 7, with each entering craft required to do 75 miles an hour through three laps of the three-mile course.
On Friday, August 8, the outboards go in Andrews Bay —that protected area which Seward Peninsula provides.
Saturday is Gold Cup day with the unlimiteds and limiteds to race in a giant program of eleven heats, three in the Gold Cup, two each in the 48-cubic-inch class, 135-cubic-inch, 225-cubic-inch and 226-cubic-inch inboard classes.
Sunday, August 10, starting at 12:30 p. m., the 100-mile outboard marathon is to be run.
And immediately it is over comes the Seafair Trophy race with the unlimited or Gold Cup boats going again through three 12-mile heats.
Monday and Tuesday, August 11 and 12, in East Channel over that measured mile where Slo-mo-shun IV set her 178.497-mile-an-hour mark, there will be more of those attempts to set new world marks.
How they have tumbled since the Slo-mos entered the picture.
First, in June, 1950, came that awesome 160.3235-miles-an-hour that startled the whole speedboat world. Slo-mo IV set that one off Sand Point.
She then went to Detroit, set a competitive mark of 78.215 m.p.h. in winning the Gold Cup, a heat record (30 miles) of 80.892 m.p.h; a lap record (3 miles) of 86.200 m.p.h. She tumbled all Harmsworth marks, too.
Came the 1951 Gold Cup race on Lake Washington, the advent of Slo-mo-shun V, she the winner of the race with Lou Fageol at the wheel.
She set a new lap record of 97.826 m.p.h.
She set a new heat record of 91.766 m.p.h.
Then came that eventful July 7, 1952, and the 178.497. m.p.h. which Slo-mo IV clicked off to a new world speed mark.
And so we're down to Gold Cup time again.
The powerful Detroit team, the very definite threat of Hurricane IV from Los Angeles, the veteran Miss Birmingham which as Miss Great Lakes won the Gold Cup in 1948, are here seeking to take that great trophy back to Detroit or to Los Angeles.
The answer is a thundering "you'll have to be good" and all the Pacific Northwest, which has adopted those Slo-mos and their valiant crew, is doing the thundering.
The speedboat capital of the United States moved west in 1950 when Stanley Sayres' Slo-mo-shun IV first set a new world speed mark of 160.3235 miles an hour, then invaded Detroit and successfully took first the famous Gold Cup and then the Harmsworth trophy.
Those three feats meant that Seattle and Lake Washington became THE hub around which all unlimited speed-boat racing revolves.
Seattle Yacht Club, under whose burgee Slo-mo-shun IV and last year Slo-mo-shun V raced, is the official holder of both Gold Cup and Harmsworth. That is according to the deed of gift. Not an individual but the yacht club to which the owner belongs is proud possessor of these trophies.
The combination then developed by which Greater Seattle, Inc., promoter of Seattle's Seafair, which had the financial ability to stage the great race, and Seattle Yacht Club, in theory the manager of the regattas, joined in the gigantic test.
A Greater Seattle-Seattle Yacht Club Gold Cup committee, headed by Jerry Bryant, vice-president of Greater Seattle, Inc., was set up.
Seattle Outboard Association joined up, added both its annual big regatta and, with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the newly created 100-mile outboard marathon to the Seafair picture.
To insure that there will ever be an unlimited race here the Seafair Trophy was created, it the handsomest trophy ever put up for such an event.
The committee formed by Bryant and Dr. R. Philip Smith, commodore of Seattle Yacht Club, took in men long connected with speedboat racing and organizational work.
Art Shorey, president of Seattle Outboard Association, did the surveys, laid out the course. Lin Ivey, named vice-chairman of the committee, coordinated preparation of the course in which the U. S. Coast Guard and U. S. Navy offered important materiel and manpower. Frank Morris handled course patrol coordination in which U. S. Coast Guard plays the important part. Seattle Harbor Patrol helps out. Seattle police department, fire department and King County sheriff's office contribute, too.
Ross Merrill took over the tremendous detail of registration and reservations, was named a vice-chairman of the committee. Latham Goble bossed the pits, this year gave way to Don Cooney in that big job.
Howard Richmond handles the official and spectator barges. Conrad Knutson heads the entertainment of the hundreds of guests, the big presentation banquet set for Saturday night after the Gold Cup. Cliff Harrison bossed a committee handling press facility.
Stanly Donogh does the trophy procuring. Mid Chism and Andy Joy head the official committee. Ken Metcalf is the financial officer. Russ Gibson handles the log boom to which spectator craft make fast.
Along with these and dozens of others who assist are Stanley S. Sayres, the Slo-mo man, and Dr. R. Philip Smith, Seattle Yacht Club's commodore, in advisory capacities. Charles Jones, Seattle Yacht Club manager, acts as secretary.
The committee's first action was to obtain the very best in the way of officials. Mel Crook, associate editor of Yachting, nationally known yachting magazine, was named as referee. Al Hart, considered the outstanding authority in the country on boats, was named measurer. Otto Crocker, a Californian of long experience and the man who developed the timing clock used in all such events, handles that end.
All these men as a committee start their work early in January, are at it continually until the big race and all its related events are out of the way.
Nature played an important part in making Seattle and Lake Washington a natural. Lake Washington's usually placid waters make for the finest course possible. The miles of Seattle Park Board property along its shores make for the finest of spectator sites. Seattle Park Board and its superintendent, Paul Brown, appreciating the national prominence the great show gives the city, have cooperated to the fullest.
And so more than a quarter million Seattleites and visitors will see the big race Saturday, August 9, will have watched the qualifying trials through the week, the outboard regatta in Andrews Bay (Seward Park) and the 100-mile marathon and Seafair trophy race Sunday, August 10.
If you enjoy them, the men who have worked to give them to you will feel well repaid.
(Reprinted from the 1952 APBA Gold Cup Programme)
History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010 .
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Leslie Field, 2006