1966 British Columbia Cup
Lake Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada, July 17, 1966

Tahoe Miss Wins In Canada

bullet $15,000 Prize for Hydro Races Here in July
bullet Work Crews Hit Snag in Hydroplane Pits
bullet 2.5 Mile Track Hinders Fast Entry Onto Course
bullet Trouble Spots to be Watched
bullet Trying for B.C. Cup
bullet Excitement Building : Kelowna Enters Big League of Racing
bullet Tahoe Miss Leads Boats to Kelowna
bullet Okanagan Marked by Roostertails
bullet Hydroplane Happenings
bullet Allisons and Rolls Royce Share the Spotlight
bullet Owner Rebuilding: A New Miss Budweiser Might Race in Kelowna
bullet Tahoe Miss Wins Cup
bullet Tahoe Miss Wins in Canada
bullet B.C. Cup Hydroplane Race Results

Mira Slovak drove Tahoe Miss to her second win of the season and western Canada's first unlimited hydroplane championship on July 17 to top a field of 11 boats on the waters of Okanagan Lake near the resort town of Kelowna, B.C.

The draw for the initial heat matched $ Bill, piloted by four-time Gold Cup winner Billy Muncey, Tahoe Miss and a new Miss Smirnoff driven by Bill Cantrell. The latter was the former Gale's Roostertail and replaces the Smirnoff entry that disintegrated in the Gold Cup Race, claiming the life of veteran driver Chuck Thompson. Wayfarers Club Lady with Bob Fendler, Savair's Probe driven by Red Loomis and Hilton's Hy-per-lube piloted by Bob Gilliam completed the field.

At the flying start, Tahoe Miss led the pack by two boat lengths. Just when it appeared Muncey had been trapped, he sprinted from his fourth place position anti drove through the pack to enter the first turn in a three way tie for the lead. Sandwiched between Smirnoff on the inside and Tahoe Miss in the outside lane, Bill had the $ Bill roaring. Never had the California boat looked better. Then, at that precise moment, an overdose of water from his alcohol-water injection system knocked out three cylinders and Muncey relinquished his advantage to everyone except the trailing Hy-per-lube. Meanwhile, Mira charged into the lead.

Referee Bill Newton's green flag indicating the start of the final lap seemed to spur the second place Smirnoff and fourth place Savair's Probe to a great final effort. With a tremendous burst of speed on the last stretch Cantrell came within a boat length of catching Slovak at the finish.

Two new-comers to unlimited racing plus the new Miss Budweiser joined Miss Tri-Cities driven by Bob Miller and Savair's Mist piloted by Walt Kade in heat 1-B. Rookie Jim Ranger in his My Gypsy and rookie Bill Sterett in his twin-powered Chrysler Crew comprised the new racing teams.

Bob Miller brought Miss Tri-Cities (15-year-old former Slo-Mo-shun V) across the starting line first but soon lost his advantage to the fast closing field. Out of the first turn, Seattle milkman Bill Brow steered the Budweiser boat into the lead with Chrysler Crew close behind. To stay ahead Brow set a new lap record of 98.908 m.p.h. on his first circuit of the 2-mile course.

Then Chrysler Crew dropped out with steering failure, and My Gypsy moved up to second behind Miss Budweiser.

In Heat 1-B Muncey steered $ Bill to the front at the start and led all the way to post the fastest heat speed of the regatta. His six-lap average was 99.264 m.p.h., well ahead of second place Miss Budweiser's 94.339.

It was Tahoe Miss all the way in Heat 2-B. Coming over the line in a near perfect start, Mira was never pressed as he posted a heat average of 95.812 m.p.h. and finished with a 36-second lead.

At the conclusion of the first two heats the six high-point boats eligible to compete in the final heat were: Tahoe Miss with 800; Miss Budweiser with 700; Wayfarers Club Lady 525; $ Bill 495; Savair's Mist 450; and My Gypsy with 427 points. The close battle for total points meant the regatta championship hinged on the final six laps.

Coming up to the starting line in the last heat, it was apparent the high point leaders were determined to be first across. No one backed off. This resulted in the first three boats jumping the gun. Tahoe, Wayfarer and Miss Budweiser were penalized an additional lap, Fourth across and first legal boat to start, $ Bill, powered past the leaders to come out of the initial corner in front. From there on Muncey continued to extend his advantage to finish nearly a lap ahead of second place My Gypsy. Third place went to Savair's Mist followed by Tahoe Miss and Miss Budweiser.

The summaries:



Prize money


Tahoe Miss, Mira Slovak




$ Bill. Bill Muncey




Miss Budweiser, Bill Brow




My Gypsy,Jim Ranger




Savair's Mist, Walt Kade




Wayfarers Club Lady, Bob Fendler




Savair's Probe, Red Loomis




Miss Smirnoff, Bill Cantrell




Chrysler Crew, Bill Slerett




Hilton's Hy-per-lube, Bob Gilliam




Miss Tri-Cities, Bob Miller



(Reprinted from Yachting, September 1966, pp.180, 196)

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