1953 Silver Cup
Detroit River, Detroit MI, September 7, 1953
Gale II Takes Silver Cup Regatta as Slo-mo-shun V is
Detroit, Sept. 7 The wonder speed boat of the century, Slo-mo-shun V, pride of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, was fourth today instead of first in the seventh annual Silver Cup Regatta. Just what beat Stanley Sayres' creation will continue to be debatable among the Detroit River spectators who numbered 250,000, according to Commodore R. Dean Ament of the Detroit Yacht Club.
The green decorated Gale II, first last year, triumphed again with a point score of 1,491. The winner was driven for four heats by J. Lee Schoenith, recently back from Korea, and in one heat by Dan Foster. Second in the scoring was Jack Schafer's Such Crust III, powered by two Allison aircraft engines and piloted by Chuck Thompson. Her tally was a close 1,438.
Easy First-Heat Victory
A revamped Gold Cup craft, now known as Wayne and driven by Doc Terry for four heats and Bud Saile in the last, surprised by placing third with 1,004 points. The came Slo-mo-shun V, credited with only 625 points and out of action for the fourth and final heats because a crew of mechanics couldn't overcome carburetor trouble and get the boat started.
What happened to Slo-mo? It's a long and sad story. The river was roughened with a cross wind out of the northwest to give chop and rollers to the water. Bur others endured wretched rive conditions on a blowy afternoon.
Lou Fageol drove Slo-mo in the first heat, winning handily among eight starters and sending rooster tails of prop spray at least fifty feet into the air in the rough going.
At the checkered finish flag, Slo-mo was 400 yards in front of Schafer's Such Crust V, piloted by W.J. (Bill) Cantrell.
Slo-mo's alternate driver, Joe Taggart of Canton, Ohio, took over for the second heat, which was won by at least 900 yards by gale. This time Gale was piloted by Dan Foster after his original speed boat, Albin Fallon's Miss Great Lakes II stove in a hole and had to be beached. Taggart had to be content with third place in this heat, astern of Cantrell, and later reported carburetor trouble.
Race Favorite Conks Out
The afternoon's big moment was the start of the third heat. Fageol was back driving Slo-mo, with Schoenith again at the wheel of Gale. Wave troughs were deep and wicked and rooster tails tore skyward.
The four headliners were on even terms at the start. Fageol in the middle and the Detroiters Cantrell, Thompson and Schoentih alongside. When the quartet converged on the first turn Fageol and Slo-mo took a heavy drenching of spraying water. As the fleet, trimming the buoys on the port side, straightened out around the turn, Slo-mo stopped, conked out.
The was the end of the Seattle favorite for the day. Schoenith's Gale continued to pile up points with a third-heat victory and a second in the final fifth heat.
While Gale was winning the race, Thompson in Such Crust III set records for the Detroit course with a new lap speed of 100.887 in the last heat, a new heat mark of 95.553 and a new sixty mile race record of 84.306. The previous marks were established by Thompson in 1951 when driving the Dossin Brothers' Miss Pepsi.
Truman Among Spectators
The rough water started taking its toll before the first heat was gunned on its way. Two of the expected starts came out from Kean's yard to do their sixty-mile-an-hour qualifying requirement but could not make the grade. These were one of Schafer's Such Crust cast-offs, renamed Crusty, and driven by Walter Kade under the ownership of Leo Macutza, and the all-aluminum Wha-Hoppen, with the pilot's seat jutting out from the stern transom like a bay window, and driven by Marv Henrich, one of the co-owners with Chuck Doran.
A visitor in Detroit for a Labor Day address became a regatta spectator in the late afternoon. Former President Truman boarded a Coast Guard 83-footer at the Windmill Point Yacht Club upstream and cruised down the course between the third and fourth heats to the Naval armory near the Belle Isle bridge.
Each Heat, Twelve Miles
1. Slo-mo-shun V, Lou Fageol, 400
2. Such Crust V, W.J. Cantrell, 300
3. Gale II, Lee Schoenith, 225
4. Such Crust III, Chuck Thompson, 169
5. Wayne, Doc Terry, 127
6. Miss Supertest, Bill Braden, 95
Winner's Speed85.545 mph; Fastest lapGale, 88.099 mph
Miss Great Lakes, Dan Foster and Gangway, B.G. Bartley, Sr. DNF
1. Gale II, Dan Foster, 400 (625 Total)
2. Such Crust V, Cantrell, 300 (600)
3. Slo-mo-shun V, Joe Taggart, 225, (625)
4. Such Crust III, Thompson, 169 (338)
5. Wayne, Terry, 127 (254)
6. Gangway, B.G. Bartley, Sr., 95 (95)
Miss Supertest, Braden, DNF (95)
Winners Speed90.342; Fastest LapGale 90.84
1. Gale II, Schoenith, 400 (1025)
2. Such Crust III, Thompson, 300 (638)
3. Wayne, Terry, 225 (479)
4. Gangway, Bartley, Sr., 169 (264)
Slo-mo-shun V, Fageol, DNF (625)
Such Crust V, Cantrell, DNF (600)
Winner's Speed91.757; Fastest LapGale, 95.062
1. Such Crust III, Thompson, 400 (1038)
2. Wayne, Terry, 300 (779)
3. Gangway, Bartley, Sr., 225 (489)
4. Gale II, Schoenith, 169 (1194)
Wiiner's Speed88.832; Fastest LapSuch Crust III, 95.736
1. Such Crust III, Thompson, 400 (1438)
2. Gale II, Schoenith, 300 (1494)
3. Wayne, Saile, 255 (1004)
Slo-moshun V, DNS, (625)
Such Crust V, DNS, (600)
Gangway, Bartley, Sr., DNF, (489)
Winner's Speed95.533; Fastest Lap Such Crust III 100.887 mph (new record)
(Reprinted from the New York Times, September 8, 1953)
From Slo-mo-shun V Invades the East
Equipped with a powerful Rolls Royce engine, Slo-mo V made her maiden trip to Detroit amid high hopes. An Allison engine for a spare was strapped on the trailer, and plenty of spare parts were taken along. Accompany members of the famous Slo-mo crew were Elmer Linenschmidt, Mike Welsch, Joe Schobert, Wesley Kiesling, and Martin Headman.
Some 200,000 persons crowded along the narrow course on the Detroit River to watch the Detroit boats defend the Silver Cup from the invader from the West. Slo-mo V, built for rough water and fast acceleration, was in prime condition. Arrayed against her were four Detroit boats which had been beaten the previous month at the Gold Cup race in Seattle -- Such Crust III and V, Gale II, and Miss Great Lakes II. Miss Supertest, an Ontario, Canada, Gold Cupper; the Wayne, a 25-year-old speedboat, and Gangway, a 225-class entry [7 litre? --LF], were the others.
In the first heat, Slo-mo, with Lou Fageol driving, performed as expected and won easily, with Crust V, Gale II, Crust III, Wayne and Miss Supertest following in that order. Gangway went out on engine trouble and Miss Great Lakes dropped out with structural damage.
The second heat started with Danny Foster driving Gale II in lead position. Joe Taggart in Slo-mo-shun V, closely following, lost speed as the engine faltered and during the course of the heat couldn't coax out enough speed to overtake Foster. Bill Cantrell in Such Crust V, in a last-minute spurt, nosed out Slo-mo to take second position.
The third heat saw the beautiful start that put Slo-mo out of the race. Gale II, Slo-mo, and Such Crust V hit the starting line at the same time, with Slo-mo sandwiched in the middle. With Such Crust III on the inside, they all went into the first turn together, and Lou Fageol gave Slo-mo the gun. But the motor was still sluggish and Fageol couldn't get away.
Fageol, trapped between the two Crusts on the inside and Gale on the outside, was hosed down by two 40- foot roostertails as Lee Schoenith gunned Gale II and cut over while Bill Cantrell kept Crust V on a straight course. Slo-mo-shun V, its engine flooded with water, drifted to a stop to run no more that day.
Gale II took that heat, placed fourth in the fourth heat, and second in the fifth to win the Silver Cup. Such Crust III, the big unlimited with the twin Allison engines, placed second, with Wayne, Slo-mo, Such Crust V, Gangway, and Miss Supertest earning points in that order. Gale II and Such Crust III were the only Gold Cuppers to go the full distance.
(reprinted from Sea and Pacific Motor Boat, Nov. 1953)
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