1973 UIM World Championship
Return, at last, of Handy-Dandy Hydro Guide
Over the years, as a dispensable service to the aquanut who has a hard time telling a sponson from a sponsor, this space on Seafair Race Day has devoted itself to Meyers’ Handy-Dandy Hydro Guide.
It got to be a fairly easy thing to put together. All you had to do was skulk among the hulls in the Stan Sayres Memorial Pits, scratch the paint surreptitiously with a fingernail and read what was under there.
But an appointment in Munich interrupted the tradition last year. It is staggering how many new coats of paint can be slapped on a hydroplane when you miss a whole year.
So, the 1973 Handy-Dandy is virtually a brand-new product, made possible only through the overwhelming assistance of Fred Farley, hydromania’s official historian.
It is startling to reflect that of the 17 boats crammed into the pits for the 1973 World Championship regatta for unlimited hydroplanes, 11 were built in the past four racing seasons, including this one.
Five boats, remarkably, never have kicked up a roostertail here under any other name. One of those, of course, is that new-fangled turbine-powered job, U-95 — so new that, at last look, it had neither name, sponsor nor roostertail.
Another 1973 newcomer is Pay ‘n Pak, not to be confused with the boat built in 1970 as Pride of Pay ‘n Pak — the third of that name — which also is here now, gussied up as Miss Budweiser.
There were, as all urchins in the street can recite, six Budweisers before that.
You never glimpsed the present Miss U. S. under any other identity. Built in 1971, she is the ninth of that name, and most of them got wet in Lake Washington.
Notre Dame boasts the oldest name in hydroplane racing, dating back to 1935. The present Notre Dame, built last year, is the tenth.
The Miss Madison here is not the Miss Madison that won the Seattle Trophy in 1961. That one originally was Nitrogen. Nor is it the second Miss Madison, which started life as Nitrogen Too and, in 1971, at the age of 11 became the oldest hull to win big, as Gold Cup and Atomic Cup champion.
The present Miss Madison was built last year. Atlas Van Lines, built in 1971, always bore that name — the fifth hull to do so.
From there on, it gets sticky.
Among the newer boats is Valu-Mart II, built last year as the second Valu-Mart.
That is not the same as the present Valu-Mart, the third of that name, which was built in 1965 as the first Gale’s Roostertail. She also has masqueraded over the years as the second Miss Smirnoff, Miss Schweppes and Towne Club.
Red Man bears a special distinction because in 1971 it was built in three weeks — from blueprints to water (off the drawings for the fifth and last Miss Bardahl) as the second Hallmark Homes. Red Man also raced once last year as the second Miss Van’s P-X.
Red Man II also was built in 1971 (but not in three weeks) and campaigned as Country Boy, driven by Salt Walther, who was injured seriously in the Indianapolis 500-mile race (for automobiles).
The boat with the most cumbersome name, Lincoln Thrift’s 7¼% Special, was built in 1970 as the fourth Atlas Van Lines.
The freshest paint here also covers some of the thickest.
Pizza Pete, the second of that name, raced earlier this season as the third Gale’s Roostertail. She was built in 1968 as the third Miss Smirnoff and later raced as Myr’s Special, Myr Sheet Metal, Atlas Van Lines II (second of that name) and Go Gale.
The only hydro honored as Mister — Mister Fabricator — was built in 1964 as the third Tahoe Miss and has raced as Harrah’s Club and Budweiser Malt Liquor, honestly.
There also is a first Ms. — Ms. Greenfield Galleries. She was built in 1962 as the fifth Notre Dame and — hold your hat — subsequently made the scene as Shu-Shu, the fifth Miss Budweiser, Miss Budweiser II, The Smoother Mover and Burien Lady, no relation to the former Miss Burien.
The first Pizza Pete also is here under another yummy label, Sunny Jim, and raring to go for anybody who wants a veteran that began life in 1960 as KOLRoy I. That is the same hull which later appeared as the second Fascination, Tri-City Sun, Hilton Hy-Per-Lube, Mr. P’s, Totum Trailer Sales and the first Valu-Mart.
The Grand Old Grandmother of the fleet is Shakey’s Special, glued together in 1957 as Breathless Too. She also has cruised as the first Blue Chip, The Loaner and Miss Wickman and has been resting up since 1967.
Now you’re caught up. No use saving this thing until next year. The hydro people still have lots of paint.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 5, 1973)
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