1958 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 10, 1958


Hawaii Kai Wins 51st Gold Cup Race
Jack Regas Drives Edgar Kaiser's Boat to Victory at Seattle
By W. Melvin Crook

Who's going to Win the Gold Cup?
How to See the Gold Cup
A Yachtsman's Guide to the Seattle Seafair

Miss Pay 'n Save Second To Qualify
Hawaii Kai Captures Gold Cup; Thriftway, Patrol Boat Sink in Crash
Hawaii Kai Wins 51st Gold Cup Race
Hawaii Kai III ... Greatest of Them All
Statistics

Seattle, August 10 [1958] — Topping a field of 10 of the fastest unlimited hydroplanes ever assembled, Edgar Kaiser's Hawaii Kai, driven by Jack Regas, today captured the Gold Cup and hung up a new record in the doing, Kai garnered perfect point score of 2,000; three first places at 400 each and two 400 point bonuses — one for the fastest heat, another for fastest total contest. The new record, the only one of the day, was the average speed of 103.481 m.p.h. attained by Kai for the full 90-mile race.

The Summaries, 1958 Gold Cup Race:

Boat

Driver

Points

Hawaii Kai III

Jack Regas

2000*

Coral Reef

Harry Reeves

1000

Gale V

Bill Cantrell

638

Maverick

Bill Stead

600

Gale VI

Lee Schoenith

525

Miss Burien

Bill Brow

450

Miss Spokane

Dallas Sartz

450

Miss Pay 'n Save

Al Benson

400

Miss Thriftway

Bill Muncey

400

Breathless Too

Jay Murphy

225

Wildroot Charlie

Bob Schroeder

169

Thriftway Too

Brien Wygle

169

*Including bonuses for fastest heat and fastest contest.

total

Heat One Section A figured to be the hottest in the history of unlimited hydroplane racing with the draw-by-lot bringing together much of the cream of the qualified fleet — Hawaii Kai, Maverick, Miss Bardahl, Miss U. S. 1, Miss Seattle and Breathless. As it developed, the heat was so great that it melted the iron from three of the six starters.

The fleet timed its start all the way from the back stretch and roared up to the line close to clock zero, with Kai slightly ahead of Bardahl, and Bill Stead in Maverick a close third. Stead quickly moved ahead of the Bardahl entry and the race positions settled down exactly as the "form" experts had it figured. With the exception of Fred Alter having to abandon the chase with U.S. late in the first lap, positions remained unchanged for the first 15 miles of the heat. Little Jack Regas kept the Kai in front by a safe distance.

Bardahl made several unsuccessful attempts to nip Maverick, but each time Stead poured on a bit more throttle and held his second spot. Miss Seattle and Breathless trailed. On the sixth back-stretch Bardahl threw a connecting rod while trailing Maverick some 200 yards. Breathless passed the failing Miss Seattle at the end of the same round. Kai, after lapping Seattle on the latter's seventh circuit, came on to will by one-half mile over Maverick. Breathless was the only other finisher. The winner's heat speed was 108.734 m.p.h.

Qualifying Boats. 1958 Gold Cup Race:

Boat

Owner

Driver

Qualifying Speed

Maverick

William Wagoner

Bill Stead

119.958

Hawaii Kai III

Edgar Kaiser

Jack Regas

113.445

Miss Burien

Greater Burien

Bill Brow

111.870

Miss Thriftway

Willard Rhodes

Bill Muncey

108.144

Miss Seattle

Stoen-Anderson

Chuck Hickling

108.000

Miss United States 1

George Simon

Fred Alter

107.427

Miss Supertest

James Thompson

R. D. Hayward

103.91

Breathless Too

Philip Murphy

Jay Murphy

103.280

Miss Spokane

Spokane Citizens

Dallas Sartz

103.250

Coral Reef

Austin Snell

Harry Reeves

103.18$

Thriftway Too

Willard Rhodes

Brien Wygle

102.208

Gale V

Gale Electric

Bill Cantrell

101.58'I

Gale Vi

Gale Electric

Lee Schoenith

100.859

Miss Bardahl

Ole Bardahl

Mira Slovak

88.901

Miss Sammamish•

Lyle Parks

Norm Evans

97.885

Wildroot Charlie

Shutt-Hart

Bob Schroeder

98.428

Miss Pay'n Save

Anderson-Stoen-Ausland

Al Benson

95.832

*Withdrawn

Confusion was the keynote as Miss Burien, Thriftway Too, Miss Pay 'n Save, Gale VI and Wildroot Charlie met in Section B of the first heat. Pay 'n Save was late coming out of the pits and managed to square away for the starting line at a mushing speed. Burien stalled some 150 yards short of the line and driver Bill Brow struggled to start her big engine as Wildroot Charlie, Gale VI and Thriftway Too roared over. The fleet strung out with Thriftway Too on top, Gale VI in the runner-up spot and Pay 'n Save third. Burien was started just one lap late and quickly lit out into what appeared to be a safe lead — if only she hadn't been three miles behind.

Wildroot Charlie fell to a crawl on the very first turn. Thriftway Too, while leading through the north turn of the fourth circuit, also dropped to a fraction of her top speed. With two slow-pokes and one late starter in the five-boat field, few spectators were able to figure their relative positions. Gale VI took the lead momentarily on the final lap, but crossed the line 100 feet behind Pay 'n Save. Burien was third. Thriftway Too limped in, in sinking condition, many minutes later. Wildroot Charlie was flagged off on her ninth round, the 30-minute time limit having expired. Pay 'n Save's victorious heat speed was 93.701 m.p.h.

The breeze had freshened slightly for Section C of the first heat, lifting a light chop that would have been ideal for top competition and a new set of records. As it worked out, the section turned into a parade and the records remained inviolate. As the big clock reached zero the fleet was traveling at high speed and formed an almost-perfect line with Coral Reef having a narrow lead. The inevitable happened on the long run to the south turn. The favored Miss Thriftway broke into a decisive first place, with driver Bill Muncey wasting no time in proving his intention to take the cup for the third straight year.

From that point through the end of the eighth lap, it was a rather dull parade. Thriftway led, Coral Reef ran a somewhat distant second, Miss Spokane successfully withstood Gale V's occasional challenges, and Miss Supertest brought up the rear. Spokane lost the end of her superstructure tail during the third circuit and Supertest died on the south turn of her ninth. The order of finish was: Thriftway (average speed 108.259 m.p.h.), Coral Reef, Spokane, and Gale V.

Heat Two, Section A, turned into a near tragedy. The re-draw following the completion of the sections of the first heat populated Two A with Miss Thriftway, Coral Reef, Miss U. S. I, Pay 'n Save, Gale VI and Breathless. Running down the chute after a fast, close start, Al Benson, in Miss Pay 'n Save, became involved in a heavy roostertail and her engine belched a sheet of flame. Benson wheeled her into an end-swapping maneuver, extinguishing the fire.

An instant later Thriftway, leading and on the inside, tossed her rudder high and far into the infield. Muncey threw his hand in the air to warn the other drivers as Thriftway roared straight for the mass of spectator boats on the log boom along the south turn. Midway in her wild run, Thriftway collided with a 40-foot Coast Guard picket boat, burying one-third of her length in the government vessel. Muncey was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter, transferred to an ambulance and rushed to a hospital, apparently without serious injury. Of the four Coast Guardsmen on board the picket boat, two were injured. Both the Coast Guard boat and Thriftway sank and the section was stopped promptly.

The abortive first attempt at Section Two A having incapacitated Thriftway and Pay 'n Save, another drawing was held to split the remaining 10 running boats. Chosen for the rerun of Two A were Breathless, Spokane, Gale V, Coral Reef and Burien. Spokane failed to emerge from the pits for a start. Breathless led them over the line but was quickly passed by Coral Reef and Burien. Gale V settled into the tag-end spot. Breathless died on the south turn of her third lap. Harry Reeves kept Coral Reef in front by some 100 yards and drove the turns tight and fast, giving Bill Brow in Burien no opportunity to sneak through.

While trailing by 300 yards on the sixth lap Burien encountered engine trouble and lost much of her speed. Coral Reef went on to win, with Bill Cantrell a good second in Gale V. Burien, which was lapped by the leaders on their eighth round, limped in for third place points. Coral Reef's speed for the 30-mile heat was 101.237 m.p.h.

The B Section of Heat Two brought together the two fastest boats still in competition, the westerner's Hawaii Kai and Maverick, plus three eastern challengers — Wildroot Charlie, Miss U. S. I and Gale VI. Maverick led by a shade in a high-speed start and held the lead and pole position through the first-turn. As they entered the first back stretch Jack Regas made his bid with the Kai and took over first place. From that point to the finish line it was a tough battle between those two, with Regas holding a lead varying from 100 yards to mile and Bill Stead in Maverick hammering along, many times airborne, in Kai's wake. On the final backstretch Maverick slowed so that Regas' winning margin was stretched to a full mile: Third place went to Gale VI which the leaders had lapped on their seventh time around and fourth to Wildroot Charlie, which Kai and Maverick had lapped on their sixth circuit. Regas' heat speed was 106.299 m.p.h.

The final heat was anticlimactic. The seven boats which had earned the right to take part in this 30-miler, on the basis of having earned the highest point scores during the several sections of Heats One and Two were: Hawaii Kai, 800 points; Coral Reef, 700; Maverick, 600; Gale VI, 525; Gale V, 489; Burien, 450; and Spokane, 225. Hawaii Kai had two added edges, the fastest heat up to that point with

Gold Cup Speed Records (prior to 1958 race)

Lap (3 miles) —113.804 m.p.h., Miss Wahoo, driven by Mira Slovak, Seattle, Wash., 1957.
Heat (30 miles) —109.823 m.p.h., Hawaii Kai, driven by Jack Regas, Seattle, Wash., 1957.
Race (90 miles) —101.979 m.p.h., Miss Thriftway, driven by Bill Muncey, Seattle, Wash., 1957.

its potential 400 point bonus, and an elapsed time advantage of nearly one minute over the Maverick.

Maverick was unable to make an appearance for the third heat. Roy Duby, taking over the cockpit of Gale VI, pushed his charge over the starting line first, but his boat was unable to continue in the running past the first turn. At that point Hawaii Kai was in front and there she stayed for the full 30 miles. Coral Reef held second spot throughout, but never after the initial skirmishing did Regas allow her to get closer than 150 yards astern. The pace throughout was far less hectic than that of the earlier sessions. The order of finish in the third heat was: Hawaii Kai, Coral Reef , Burien, Spokane and Gale V. The winner's average speed for this heat was 96.273 m.p.h. Burien was later disqualified for a buoy infraction.

(Reprinted from Yachting, September 1958, pp.38-9, 180-2)


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