1964 Governor's Cup
Ohio River, Madison, Indiana, September 6, 1964
Tahoe MissWhips Jinx
Tahoe Miss and her driver Chuck Thompson, plagued by final-heat gremlins that had arrived during the Gold Cup race, finally shook them off to win the Governor's Cup at Madison, Ind., on Sept. 6. Thompson, probably the greatest "charger" among unlimited hydro drivers, concurred with the suggestion of Tahoe's owner Bill Harrah and coasted to the second place in the finale that was all he needed to win.
Chuck won heat 1-A under ideal racing conditions, posting a Governor's Cup heat record of 112.142 m.p.h. and a new 114.227 mark for a three mile lap. He then went on to take 2-A at 110 m.p.h. plus (the timing device broke down and stop watches were put to use). In the final heat Tahoe came in four seconds behind Bill Cantrell who was first to finish with Miss Smirnoff at a 109 average.
Don Wilson won heat 1-B at 110 plus with Miss U.S. V looking impressive after builder Les Staudacher had revamped her sponsons. In 2-B, won by Miss Smirnoff at some 110 m.p.h., Wilson failed to finish after U.S. V bounced on a wake, propelling the driver's helmet into the windshield with a resultant deep cut above his eye.
Rex Manchester took 1-C with Notre Dame at a speed of 104. Bill Muncey, who had been driving Notre Dame all this season, presented his resignation to owner Shirley Mendelson McDonald prior to the start of the Madison race. Mrs. McDonald said that Muncey had not been fired. The Seattle driver had been bothered by a bad back, a hangover from his crash with Miss Thriftway into a Coast Guard patrol boat at Seattle years ago.
Season point-leader Ron Musson speared one of the orange course markers on the first lap of heat 2-A and carried it impaled on Miss Bardahl's bow for the next four laps as he chased Tahoe Miss across the finish line. In heat 1-B Musson miscounted, slowed down after finishing lap number four and watched Miss Madison pass Bardahl to win, 200 yards short of what Ron thought was the finish of his safety lap.
Final point scores: Tahoe Miss1100; Miss Smirnoff-1025; Miss Madison driven by Buddy Byers-825; Notre Dame-794; Miss Budweiser (Chuck Hickling)-727; Roostertail (Jerry Schoenith)-469; Miss U.S. V -400; Miss Bardahl-352; Savair Mist (Ed O'Halloran) -394; Such Crust (Jim Fyle)-169. Blue Chip, Mariner Too, Miss Exide failed to score.
GEORGE E. VAN
(Reprinted from Yachting, November 1964, pp.29, 168
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