1969 Seafair Trophy Race
The Sporting Thing
Hydros vs. Yanks
The Annual Manual
By Georg N. Meyers, Sports Editor, The Times
Seattle sports fans never dreamed the time would come when, on a Sunday in August, they could choose between a hydroplane race and the New York Yankees.
That's the menu today. It will be the first time since the old Slo-mo-shun V sent Seattle into hydromania in 1951 that the grand climax of the mid-summer Seafair has bucked such daring competition for the attention of the celebrant.
There are fans enough to swarm the shores of Lake Washington and fill the stands in Sick's Stadium. If either of the conflicting attractions is wounded, it would be the baseball game between the Pilots and Yanks.
The populace gets three cracks at the Yanks during their weekend stay here. The thunderboat appeal may be a little diluted, because the Seafair Centennial Trophy Race is not the Gold Cup.
But the commotion on Quill Shaft Lagoon is a once-a-year show, and these woods teem with aqua nuts who cannot resist the mash and the din and the lure of deadly peril.
Moreover, the boat race is free, and the ball park wants to take your money. That, factor alone nullifies anybody's effort to prove one is a greater attraction than the other.
As usual, the city at this season is brimming with vacationers who don't know a quillshaft from a sponson. The natives will be happy to fill them in on the lexicon of thunderboating.
Before they know it, the tourists will be prattling blithely of splines, blowers, cavitating, multifluxes and cravastats.
For the veteran shorebird, duty dictates a 1969 revision of the annual Handy-Dandy Hydro Manual.
Old-timers, at a glance, can tell you, for instance, that Myr's Special, the highest-scoring boat on the unlimited circuit this year, really is the hydro you saw here last year as Smirnoff, the third craft of that name campaigned by the Schoeniths of Detroit.
Miss U.S. is three years old, one of a long line of hydros raced under that name by George Simon of Detroit.
The present Budweiser is the sixth of that name, racing here for the second year. Eight boats named Notre Dame have preceded the one here now, a replacement for the Notre Dame which went down in the 1968 San Diego Cup.
Parco's O-Ring Miss, in a third year of competition, never has raced under another name. Nor has Pride of Pay 'n Pak, Spokane's successor to Eagle Electric; which disintegrated in the 1968 Gold Cup.
The Bardahl is fifth in her line, the national high-point champion the past two years, and pulled out of retirement just in time for the 1969 Seafair race.
The romantically named Wanderer, now in the deeps of Lake Washington, was the original $ Bill. She had not been in the water for five years —and now may never be out of it again.
The other entries are the real matriarchs of the circuit.
Savair's Mist has kicked up roostertails as Miss Michigan, Coe-Z Miss, Dewey's Lumberville and, in 1961, began life as Miss Lumberville.
Mr. P's is out of the fascinating fleet created by that one-man-gang of- hydroplaning, Bob Gilliam. You have seen Mr. P's here as Fascination, Hilton Hy-Per-Lube, Tri-City Sun and, in 1960, KOLroy I.
And beneath the paint of Atlas Van Lines (the third of that name) lurks the hull of Lincoln Thrift & Loan Association, Miss Wayfarers Club Lady, Miss San Diego and Coral Reef.
And that is the same hull that burst onto the hydroplane scene as Miss Rocket, in 1957.
Passing and Fancy: Since you asked: If two or more boats are tied in points after the final heat of the Seafair race, there will be no hassle over "bonus points." (The position in dispute will go to the boat which crosses the finish line ahead of the other boat or boats involved in the tie. But, as usual, that does not necessarily mean that the boat which wins the final heat wins the race.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 3, 1969)
History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010 .
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Leslie Field, 2004