1959 Diamond Cup
Boat Race ‘One Big Accident’
COEUR D’ALENE, Ida.—Bill Stead, of Reno, Nev., drove Maverick to victory in the accident-marred Diamond Cup Race for Gold Cup boats here Sunday. Jack Regas, Gold Cup winner and world water-speed record holder was critically injured in the most serious or three accidents.
Regas suffered a fractured skull, a crushed chest, three broken ribs and leg injuries when Miss Bardahl dug in during the third elimination heat. Water ripped the side of Miss Bardahl and drove the engine cowling back through the cockpit.
The windshield and dashboard slammed against Regas, who was wrapped around the steering wheel. The steering wheel and shaft were bent like a pretzel from the force.
Regas was injured in the same turn that Bill Brow was hurt only moments earlier. Brow’s Miss Burien disintegrated at 130 miles an hour and Brow was thrown into the water.
Coast Guard patrol boats rescued Brow before Miss Burien sank in 110 feet of water. He was rushed to a hospital in shock.
The heat was restarted and Miss Bardahl went into her near-fatal spin on the third lap. Maverick was awarded the heat victory when the contest was stopped.
Brian Wygle won the ether elimination heat in Hawaii Kai, the boat Regas drove to the world record and victory in last year’s Gold Cup.
The final heat and the race was stopped when Norm Evans, of Chelan. Wash. was thrown out of Miss Spokane at the end of the third lap. Maverick and Bill Muncey’s Miss Thriftway were tied with 1,100 points. Race officials declared Maverick the winner by a mere 1.8 seconds on total time.
Wygle, former driver of the nose-driven Thriftway Too, finished third, Nitrogen was fourth and Fascination was fifth.
George Simon’s Miss U.S. I was edged by Maverick in the first elimination heat. But driver Don Wilson couldn’t get Miss U.S. I started for the fourth elimination heat, and the Detroit boat was through for the day.
Hawaii Kai had the fastest lap of the day at 115.632 Maverick set a heat record of 107.290.
(Reprinted from the Detroit Free Press, July 20, 1959)
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