1953 Imperial Gold Cup
Ohio River, New Martinsville, WV, September 27, 1953
Two World Speed-Boat Records Set in One-Mile Time Trials in
NEW MARTINSVILLE, W. Va., Sept. 26[, 1953] — Two world records in speed boating were set today in ten hours of one-mile straightway time trials on the Ohio River, which was unusually tranquil and lived up to its reputation as the fastest fresh-water race course in the country.
What's more, several pilots achieved the goal that has become a popular vogue. In their average of two runs through the one-mile "trap," one downstream and one upstream against the current, they did better than 100 miles an hour, which will gain them admission this season into the now famous Gulf One Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Club.
Exciting as these feats were, the day was in the nature of a dress rehearsal for tomorrow's inboard regatta. This will bring together for the last time this year the country's Gold Cup and Unlimited Class rivals and particularly the two most outstanding.
These are Stanley Sayres' Slo-Mo-Shun V from Seattle, winner last week of the President's Cup and last month of the Gold Cup, and Jack Schafer's Such Crust III, the mammoth two-engined speed boat which beat Slo-Mo in the third heat on the Potomac last Sunday and may do it again.
Last Appearance of Slo-Mo
Incidentally this also will mark the third and last of the Eastern regatta appearances of Slo-Mo's invasion. Tomorrow she will be driven by Joe Taggart and then she will be shipped back to Seattle. Chuck Thompson of Detroit again will drive Such Crust III, and another boat in the Schafer fleet, Such Crust V, will have Bill Cantrell in the cockpit.
Others entered for the feature event will be the Gale II, winner of the Silver Cup at Detroit on Labor Day and driven again by Lee Schoenith, and the rebuilt Miss Wayne, also of Detroit, with Doc Terry driving. There may be other entrants among the fleet of speed boats converging here by truck and trailer.
One of today's new world records was set by B. G. Bartley, Sr., of Pittsburgh in Wildcatter, a 7-liter creation. Bartley's average of 102.278 miles per hour, erased the old mark of 101.856, which his son had made in the same boat last December at Miami. The father today was clocked at 106.195 on the downstream run and of 98.361 going upriver.
The other record was established by Bob McAllister of Ventnor, N. J., in Yankee Boy, a 44-cubic-inch outfit. Today his average was 50.74 m.p.h., replacing the former record of 45.57 which he established last month at Cambridge, Md.
The new One Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Club members will now include Jack Schafer, Detroit sportsman, who has spent close to half a million dollars developing his fleet of boats named Such Crust. Never a race driver himself, he went out today with Thompson in his Such Crust III and, sitting on the edge of Thompson's cockpit in a boat not meant for two passengers, Schafer was on board when 139.535 miles per hour was clocked. This was downstream.
Schafer Takes Wheel
Then Schafer took the wheel, this time with Thompson hanging on precariously, and drove upstream at 104.348 m. p. h., for an average of 121.942. Thompson previously had registered an average of 151.58 riding alone. Cantrell, in Such Crust V, had an average of 140.1805 in this single-Allison craft.
Another notable performance was that of William Ritner, a box manufacturer of Merion, Pa. Last February at St. Petersburg, Fla., he lost his right arm in a speed boat regatta when he was tossed out of his own ship and an oncoming rival's propeller mangled him.
Today with only one hand he drove Frank Foulke's Sagana at 101.213 m. p. h. Others who qualified at better than 100 miles an hour included Marion Cooper of Louisville, Ky., in Hornet, a 266- cubic-inch job, at 100.139, and Glen Parish of Covington, Ky., in Stormy Weather, a 225-Class boat which made an even 100 miles an hour each way and for the average.
The aspirants for the records bad an allotment for three trials, but this was not enough for some of them. James Camp of Newark, N. J., for instance, in Slo Poke II, a Jersey speed skiff, broke the record of 49.611. But his mark of 49.621 did not meet the requirement of being better than one-tenth of a mile faster.
Others who tried included Joe Mascari of New Hyde Park, L.I., in his boat Cary. But his 53.218 didn't come near Enoch Walker's record of 56.247.
Jack Van Deman of Long Branch, N. J., driving his new 48-Class, Why, was clocked at 65.755, but this fell short of the record for this racing division set last year at Seattle by Vic Klette at 82.436.
[Reprinted from the New York Times, September 27, 1953]
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