1953 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 9, 1953
Oval for Gold Cup Cut to 3.75 Miles
More determined than ever, the Detroit owners of Gold Cup craft are planning, with tactics, strategy and generalship, their campaign to put an end to what they regard as "this Seattle nonsense." They aim to bring the famous Gold Cup bauble back to Michigan.
It left Detroit following the 1950 victory there of Stanley Sayres' Slo-Mo-Shun IV and, in 1951 and 1952, was defended successfully on Lake Washington, Seattle, by Slo-Mo-Shun IV and V. The rest of the country began to feel Sayres was making a lifetime habit of running away with the Gold Cup.
In some of the preliminary fencing, the Detroiters won an important victory the other day. They succeeded in having the course oval shortened to three and three-quarter miles. This deserves a little reflection.
For many of its forty-odd years the Gold Cup was raced on three-mile laps for its total of ninety miles. Last fall the contest board, by a 6-3 vote, lengthened the laps to five miles. This gave tremendous advantage to the Slo-Mo fleet, one of which already holds the world speed record of 108.663.
During the winter the Detroiters set about to campaign for a shorter course, particularly three of the Detroit Y. C. challengers. Jack Schafer, Albin Fallon and Joseph Schoenith. They asked for the reinstatement of the three-mile lap.
A. P. B. A. Arbiter Decides
W. Melvin Crook of Montclair, vice-president for inboards of the American Power Boat Association, was arbiter at a gathering the other day in Detroit between the five-mile proponents and the three-milers. The former argued that, in a ninety-mile race a five-mile oval would mean only thirty-six turns as against sixty turns on a three-mile course. The shorter lap folks argued that with more turns there was less chance to build up excessive and perhaps dangerous speed on straightaways.
Like Solomon, with infinite wisdom, the inboard racing commission arrived at a satisfactory in-between decision for a three and three-quarter mile course, meaning eight laps instead or either ten or six for each thirty-mile heat.
The Gold Cup race on Aug. 9 will be a part of a typically big to-do covering several days. Close to a half-million spectators will probably witness the Gold Cup and countless other thousands the other events. These will be a seven-litre race of two ten-mile heats on the same day: two racing days for inboard hydroplanes. Aug. 8 and 9, with prize money as high as $250 per heat; the Western Divisional outboard championships on Aug. 7 and 8; a stock utility outboard regrata on Aug. 6; and one-mile straightaway time trials to taper off the excitement on Aug. 10.
Qualifying trials for the Gold Cup classic will be held daily on Lake Washington between Aug. 3 and 7.
[Reprinted from the New York Times, May 31, 1953]
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