1975 Desert Thunderboat Classic
Phoenix AZ, September 14, 1975
Bud Nips Weisfield’s
PHOENIX - (Special) — Mickey Remund remembered.
Remund, a master at negotiating tight turns back in his days as a small boat driver, used that experience to win the Desert Thunderboat Regatta for unlimited hydroplanes yesterday.
The 38-year-old driver from Palm Desert, Calif., overtook the Weisfield’s on the final turn of the 1⅔-mile Firebird Lake course and sent Miss Budweiser across the finish line about 125 feet ahead of the Weisfield’s in the decisive final heat.
Weisfield’s second-place finish was enough to boost Billy Schumacher back atop the season-long point standings. Heading into Sunday’s final race of the year in San Diego, Weisfield’s has 349 points more than Pay ‘n Pak in the scramble for the national title.
Pay ‘n Pak, which held a 151-point lead before yesterday’s regatta, failed to land a spot in the final heat after running aground in a preliminary race.
Bernie Little, Budweiser owner, announced after the race that the winning boat has been sold to an Australian. Delivery is not scheduled until after the San Diego regatta.
"This really is a fantastic boat, and I sure hate to sell it," Little said. "But I think we’re taking a step forward in going to a much lighter boat."
Little has purchased a new, Ron Jones-designed hydro from the Walther Corp. of Dayton, Ohio, and plans to convert its cabover design to a conventional cockpit setup, with the driver sitting behind the engine.
Remund, registering his second victory in nine unlimited races this season, said his crew, as well as his experience in negotiating small courses, accounted for the victory, witnessed by about 10,000 spectators.
"If I wanted to go faster, all I had to do was push on the pedal — the crew kept it running perfectly all day," he said.
The Budweiser earned the inside, front-row position for the final heat after registering the fastest average speed in winning a pair of two-boat preliminary match races. Ten two-boat prelims were used to determine finalists.
Only four boats — Budweiser, Weisfield’s, Lincoln Thrift and Hamm’s Bear — were allowed in the final heat because of the size of the course, smallest in unlimited-racing history.
The Budweiser-Weisfield’s duel in the final heat stretched through the entire five laps. The two boats exchanged the lead about a dozen times in a side-by-side match which wasn’t decided until the Weisfield’s dropped back on the last corner.
Lincoln Thrift was third, while Hamm’s Bear failed to finish.
Schumacher, on the outside of Remund for the distance, had more difficulty negotiating the 500-foot turns because of his boat’s steering setup. The Bud was handicapped by about a 1,400-pound weight difference.
"There was nothing I could do to go faster,"
Schumacher, on the outside of Remund for the dis boat could turn a little tighter. It just wasn’t quite enough."
Pay ‘N Pak’s driver, George Henley, missed the final heat because his boat veered off the course to miss another during a preliminary match race and ran aground on an island in the middle of the course.
Henley scrambled ashore, lifted the nose of the boat free and resumed racing, but he lost too much time to catch Atlas Van Lines in that heat or to qualify for the final.
Another boat sale also was announced during the regatta. Pete LaRock of Seattle, previously the youngest unlimited owner at 27, said he has sold the U-22, Sunny Jim, to Tad Dean, 24, also of Seattle.
Heat 1A — Weisfield’s (Schumacher, Seattle) beat Miss U.S. (Tom D’Eath, Fair Haven, Mich.) when latter failed to finish
1B — Miss Budweiser (Remund) beat Vernors (Bob Miller, Everett, Wash.)
1C — Lincoln Thrift (Milner Irvin, Coral Gables, Fla.) beat Oh, Boy Oberto (Bill Wurster, Seattle) when latter did not start
1D — Hamm’s Bear (Jerry Bangs, Seattle) beat Sunny Jim (Tom Martin, Mercer Island) when latter DNF.
1E — Atlas Van Lines (Bill Muncey, San Diego) beat Pay ‘n Pak (Henley).
Heat 2A — Pay ‘n Pak beat Sunny Jim
2B — Hamm’s Bear beat Atlas Van Lines (DNS)
2C — Miss Budweiser beat Vernors
2D — Weisfieid’s beat Lincoln Thrift
2E — Oberto, DNF, and Miss U.S., DNS.
Final heat — 1. Miss Budweiser (average speed, 110.32 mph.), 2. Weisfields, 3. Lincoln Thrift. Hamm’s Bear, DNF.
FINAL POINT TOTALS
Miss Budweiser, 1,200; Weisfield’s, 1,100; Lincoln Thrift, 925; Hamm’s Bear, 900; Pay ‘n Pak, 700; Vernors, 600; Atlas Van Lines; 400; Sunny Jim, 300; Miss U.S., 0; Oh, Boy Oberto, 0.
Weisfield’s, 7,913; Pay ‘n Pak, 7,664; Lincoln Thrift, 7,353; Budweiser, 5,577; Miss U.S., 4,795; Hamm’s, 4,509; Atlas, 4,017; Vernors, 2,915; Miss Valvoline, 844; Miss Van’s PX, 747; Probe, 650; Oberto, 469; Sunny Jim, 300; Miss Shenandoah, 169; Sunny Jim "Jam," 95.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, September 15, 1975)
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