1953 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 9, 1953
Boat Banter: Schafer Reluctant to Return to Seattle
By Fred Runnells
Jack Schafer, one of Detroitís foremost Gold Cup Challengers, tossed a bombshell into the annual Gold Cup contest meeting recently when he stated he would not take his Such Crusts out to Seattle to renew the challenge in 1954.
Looking at the picture from all sides, we can understand why the Detroit challengers are getting a little fed up in trailing their boats way out to Seattle, like they have for the past three years, only to see Stan Sayres run them into the ground with his fabulous Slo-Moís.
We know how expensive it is to truck the huge Gold Cup boats all the way across the country, and we also know the winner gets only glory and the losers a bunch of headaches when they see their temperamental crafts conk out, explode and burn or just plain get beat.
On the other hand no one is demanding that they go to the expense of building the ships and taking them to the regatta. They are doing it for the glory alone.
Joe Schoenith, Schafer, Al Fallon and George Simon, this yearís challengers, all more or less agreed they wouldnít challenge in 1954 in the Seafair regatta in Seattle "win, lose or draw" before the 1953 races began. Schafer stuck by this agreement, Fallon is hedging, Simon doesnít say anything and Lee Schoenith, driver of his dadís Gale II, wants another crack at the Slo Moís.
From this corner it looks as if Schafer has had enough. After all, he has built six Such Crusts and trailed them to Seattle three times. He has every right to give up: Schoenith has challenged twice, as has Fallon. Only Simon is a newcomer to the Unlimited class racing. These men have all poured small fortunes into the project of trying to wrest the famous old Gold Cup from Sayres.
We remember back when Gar Wood was defending the Harmsworth trophy. How many challengers brought boats from foreign countries and failed for more than two decades. Itís true there were only two challengers who tried unsuccessfully more than twice to defeat Gar Woodís Miss Americaís. They were Betty Carstairs and Wilson with his Miss Canadaís.
I wonder if our local challengers donít think those sportsmen and women didnít incur expenses.
They had much further to ship their boats and it had to be done via freighter and trailer, which took much more time than it takes to trail a boat out to Seattle.
Itís true former challengers finally gave up just as the present ones are attempting to do. But the way they are going about it is wrong in our estimation. According to reports Schafer suggested the Gold Cup regatta not be held in one city for more than two years. This suggestion was squashed by Sayres himself when he said "If I went for that idea I would have to move my business and residence. Iíd have to move out of town. The Gold Cup is the nub of the whole Seafair regatta and without it the entire week would be a dull affair."
Sayres is right. Didnít he bring his first Slo-Mo to Detroit, at considerable expense, and romp off with the cup? Why, then, must special concessions be made for the local men so they can race their boats in their own backyard? The Gold Cup rules are well founded and if a challenger cannot whip the defender on the waters of his choosing then they have not the- right to ask for a change in the rules.
Gentlemen, there isnít a single person in this area demanding that you go to the expense of winning the cup back. It is all your own idea. If you can bring the Gold Cup back to the Detroit River, that would be wonderful.
[Reprinted from the Grosse Pointe News, August 20, 1953]
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