1953 Imperial Gold Cup
Ohio River, New Martinsville, WV, September 27, 1953
Such Crust V Wins Imperial Gold Cup on Ohio
NEW MARTINVILLE, W. Va., Sept. 27[, 1953]—It wasn't the favored Slo-mo-shun V or even her closest rival in speedboating top layers, Such Crust III, which captured the honors and applause of 50,000 spectators on the Ohio River this afternoon.
When both broke down in the first 12-mile heat for the Imperial Gold Cup it was another speed creation from the Jack Schafer fleet of Detroit, Such Crust V, and recently presented by Schafer to his wife for her wedding anniversary, which took over the show to win both heats for a perfect score of 800.
Slo-mo, winding up an eastern invasion and now ready to return to owner Stanley Sayres of Seattle, today blew out an oil cooler before she had gone two miles. This put her out of action.
Such Crust III, with Chuck Thompson driving, had a propeller shaft crack and her pit crew feared she might not last. She didn't make the third lap of the first heat but not because of the shaft. The supercharger on the forward one of her two Allison aircraft engines had a breakage and she had to take a tow.
Bill Cantrell, formerly of Louisville and now of Detroit, drove cleverly in both heats in Such Crust V. Despite a late afternoon squally, cold wind that blew downstream out of the north, roughening the river, he was clocked in the first test at 87.34 miles an hour, and in the finale he pushed the speed up to 90.576.
Runner-up both times was Lee Schoenith in Gale II and third twice was Doc Terry, driving Miss Wayne.
Taggart Pilots Slo-Mo
In the cockpit of Slo-mo today was Joe Taggart of Canton, Ohio, in place of Lou Fageol of Kent, Ohio, who won the President's Cup at Washington last week but, who has been hospitalized from a gash in his leg.
On a full afternoon of racing, with small craft building up the preliminaries for the big cup creations, a new world competitive record was set by Jack Cook of Marydel, Del. In the first heat of the 136-cu. in. class he was clocked at 56.391 miles an hour driving H. C. Defibaugh's Maggie X, supplanting with this performance the 54.848 record set last month at Seattle by Thomas Caldwell in Blue Blazes.
As so often happens in something as unpredictable as speedboat racing, Cook, after winning this first heat while setting a new mark, became a conk-out in the second five-mile heat, unable to finish.
Oversight Costs Record
Another new record was that of B. G. Bartley Jr., of Columbus in the second heat of the seven-liter class when he was clocked at 77.453, replacing the 74.196 made here in 1951 by Taggart. By a curious oversight Bartley used the Gold Cup, three-mile lap in the first heat instead of the two and one-half mile oval and his apparent new record of 78.718 was disallowed.
This Ohio River valley provides a natural setting for a regatta with terrace-like banks on both the West Virginia and the Ohio sides forming an amphitheatre for thousands of parked automobiles and countless thousands of families picnicking for the day.
No other regatta has a spectator fleet quite like this, with sternwheeler among the pleasure craft as well as the conventional design cruisers.
Here and there a low, flat Midwest river craft could be seen, sometimes with a sun canopy and looking like a surrey with the fringe on top.
[Reprinted from the New York Times, September 28, 1953]
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