1959 Silver Cup
Detroit River, Detroit MI, August 29, 1959
Mulford Silver Cup Goes To "Maverick"
W. T. Waggoner, Jr.'s Maverick driven by Bill Stead the same combination that earlier in the week had waged a valiant but losing defense of the Harmsworth Trophy easily topped a ten-boat field to capture the O. J. Mulford Silver Cup at Detroit on Aug. 29. Maverick thus reestablished the winning streak which had brought her victories in the Diamond Cup and Gold Cup races.
The eventual winner was drawn into Heat lA along with George Simon's Miss U.S. I driven by Don Wilson; Such Crust III, owned by Jack Schafer and piloted by Walter Kade; KOLroy with owner Bob Gilliam at the wheel; Joe Schoenith's Gale VI and Leo Mucutza's Yeller Jacket. The latter two had to be withdrawn before the start.
Maverick had the best of the start. Wilson, in U.S. made a bid to take Maverick in the first turn only to have his Rolls cut off in the midst of the flying rooster tails. Don was badly shaken by the sudden stop and before he could restart, U.S. was in last place.
As the Simon craft finished the first lap. Wilson appeared quite groggy.
Maverick led to the finish at an average speed of 104.505 m.p.h. KOLroy took second and Such Crust third. U.S., lapped by the winner, finished a distant fourth.
Drawn for heat 1B were Ole Bardahl's Miss Bardahl, driven by Bill Brow; Bill Cantrell at the wheel of Joe Schoenith's Gale V; Willard Rhodes Miss Thriftway with Bill Muncey piloting; Sam DuPont's Nitrogen, Don Dunnington the driver; the Hardt syndicate entry Miss Buffalo steered by Bob Schroeder; and Miss Detroit. owned and driven by Chuck Thompson.
In one of the closest, fastest starts in unlimited history, the six roared over with Buffalo slightly ahead. Bardahl led into the first turn and was hanging onto a slim 50-ft. lead at the end of the first lap. Gale was pushing the leader hard, with Detroit, Thriftway, Buffalo and Nitrogen trailing.
At the second turn of the second lap Bardahl stalled and was unable to restart until the leaders had lapped her three times.
Thriftway, charging close astern of Detroit at the start of the second backstretch, was flung violently about in the wake of Thompson's craft causing Muncey's charge to shed her after superstructure and tail fin. Thriftway finally caught and passed Detroit on the final backstretch.
Cantrell piloted Gale V home in first spot at a 105.428 m.p.h. average the day's fastest. Her second lap speed, 109.801, was also the fastest of the race. She was followed by Thriftway, Detroit, Buffalo, Nitrogen and Bardahl. After the finish the committee disqualified Thriftway for striking and damaging a buoy on the second lap.
Heat 2A brought together Miss U.S. 1, Miss Bardahl, Such Crust III, Miss Buffalo and KOLroy. Donnie Wilson, revived by medical aid between heats, maneuvered U.S. over the line in first position and was never headed. He turned the first circuit at 109.080 m.p.h., building a lead over Bardahl.
On the second turn of the second lap, Bardahl hooked a sponson and did a partial spin. Wilson finished the heat with an average of 103.053. Bardahl was a not-too-close second and Such Crust a distant third. KOLroy, obviously suffering from a washing-down at the start, and Buffalo, fighting engine woes from the third lap on, trailed.
The following were allotted to heat 2B: Maverick, Gale V, Miss Thriftway, Nitrogen and Miss Detroit. Nitrogen led the pack in so close a start that the DuPont entry was caught beating the gun. Maverick quickly moved into the lead, with Gale taking over second from Thriftway as they entered the backstretch.
Maverick was in front by 75 yd. at the end of the first lap. At the next turn, Cantrell moved Gale to the inside and into the lead. But Bill's advantage was of brief duration; coming out of the turn, Gale's engine went dead.
Nitrogen and Thriftway, then in second and third spots, respectively, died on the fourth backstretch. Maverick, with a 104.647 m.p.h. average, won the heat with Miss Detroit the only other finisher.
The six boats eligible for the final heat and their point scores for the two were: Maverick (800); Miss Detroit (600); Miss U. S. I (569); KOLroy (469); Such Crust III (450); and Miss Bardahl (427). Running for the start Bardahl swerved across in front of the pack, nearly forcing U.S. ashore, Driver Brow was thus able to lead over the line but U.S. emerged from the first turn on top while Bardahl lay dead in the water in mid-turn.
Stead, with a commanding point advantage, was content to keep Maverick in second spot behind U.S. There was no further passing throughout the heat except when Such Crust slowed to a walk while running in fourth spot with one lap to go. U.S. took the finale at an average of 99.431 m.p,h. Following her in were Maverick, Detroit, KOLroy and Bardahl which got moving after three had finished.
Maverick took the cup with 1100 total points to 969 for the second Place Miss U.S. 1. [W. M. C.]
(Reprinted from Yachting, October 1959, pp.38, 150)
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