1953 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 9, 1953
Five Boats With But One Thought: "Beat Slo-Mo"
There was drama at the South Turn in the Gold Cup. This was where Miss Great Lakes II lost her propeller on the first lap of the race, and never came hack.
This is where Lou Fageol and the Slo Mo IV licked Lee Schoenith and the Gale II on the third lap of the second heat.
This was where disaster had struck in past years: this spot generally conceded to be the most dangerous portion of the course.
The way Fageol whipped Gale II on that third lap brought a tremendous ovation from the crowd.
Gale II was out in front. Fageol and the Slo-Mo IV a roostertail behind, perhaps 200 feet.
Schoenith slid around the markers in the conventional "U" turn.
But Fageol shot past the first marker like a bullet, slowed his big red-tailed hydro, sharply and spun it north in a dangerous but brilliant "V" turn.
The maneuver enabled the Slo-Mo IV to pick up straight-away momentum much faster than the Gale II and to overtake the Detroit boat on the northbound straightaway.
From that point on it wasn’t much of a contest.
There were gasps when Miss Great Lakes went dead in the water its first time around the South turn. Some of the spectators thought the boat was going to sink, and others gasped fearfully. "Is it the Slo-Mo? Is it the Slo-Mo?"
There were anxious moments in the turns as the powerful great hydroplanes were lost to the crowd in their spray and as their motors coughed and sputtered—the inevitable result of the rapid deceleration necessary to negotiate the sharp turns.
At the south turn the great spitting, spray-kicking boats passed closest to the spectators—within a hundred feet at times—and the drivers could be seen hunching over wheel, bracing for the turn.
The nearness of the powerful big boats, roostertails flying high, brought alternate squeals of delight and fright from the children along the bank.
Before the race a congenial atmosphere prevailed among the spectators, but when the powerful hydroplanes made their first appearance there were angry shouts of "sit down!" and "Down in front!"
Between heats the friendly, picnic-like atmosphere returned, and the spectators, in a happy holiday mood, played cards, soaked up sunshine and cool drinks and some even went in swimming.
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