Regatta Review #171

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Just one more day before the boats hit the water here in Detroit!

Our Fan Guide has all the spectator info including ticket details & prices, the event schedule, as well as the parking locations and Box Office hours.

See you there!

Gold Cup Coverage

Coverage planned for this year is an audio streaming broadcast from our PA system as well as live video streaming of the Unlimited heats.

Audio Streaming (during event hours):

Video streaming (during Unlimited heats):

H1 Unlimited will have all the official news on their site & Facebook:

Navy F/A-18 Tactical Demo

The Navy's F/A-18 Tactical Demo team flys at Noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Don't miss your chance to see them "Shake The Sky" above the Detroit River!

Here's a fan video on YouTube captured from the Waterworks Grandstands with one maneuver during the show:

Live Entertainment

On the Air National Guard stage we'll be having local live entertainment on Friday and Saturday.  On Friday Kari Holmes will play from 2:30-4:30 and Aeris will play from 5:30-7:30.  On Saturday Aeris will be 2:30-4:30 then Groove Worthy takes the stage for 4:00 to 6:00.

50 Years Ago In Detroit: 1962
By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

The 1962 Detroit Unlimited hydroplane race almost didn't happen.

The Internal Revenue Service was questioning the sport's deductibility as a legitimate business expense. For racing to survive, it had to professionalize itself.

Newly elected Unlimited Commissioner J. Lee Schoenith saw it necessary to maintain a hard line stance on the issue of cash prizes--even if it meant turning down two sanction requests in his own home town.

The issue of prize money proved to be the undoing of the Windmill Pointe Yacht Club, sponsor of the Detroit Memorial Regatta. After fifteen years in the sport, the WPYC bowed out of the boat racing business.

Prize money problems also brought down the curtain on the traditional O.J. Mulford Silver Cup race, sponsored by the prestigious Detroit Yacht Club. This was a major blow to the sport, because the DYC had for nearly half a century been the acknowledged Capitol of big-time power boat racing in North America.

For the first time since before World War II, the Motor City was in danger of being bereft of Unlimited hydroplane racing entirely.

Happily, a new organization--the Spirit Of Detroit Association--was formed (in the space of six weeks) to stage an Unlimited event in Detroit on August 26, 1962.

Headed by the likes of Joe Schoenith, Jack Love, and Detroit hockey legend Jack Adams, SODA became the driving force of a new racing tradition for the Motor City. The Spirit Of Detroit Association went on to host every Detroit Unlimited race between 1962 and 2002.

As for the 1962 Detroit race itself, it was won quite handily by Bill Muncey and MISS CENTURY 21, which finished first in all three 15-mile heats. Muncey was really on a roll in 1962 and won five of the six races on the Unlimited calendar that year.

MISS CENTURY 21 was the former third MISS THRIFTWAY, renamed to publicize the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

In adding the first annual Spirit Of Detroit Trophy to his ever-growing list of accolades, Muncey was the only one of fifteen entries with a heat speed of better than 100 miles per hour. He did so at 104.530 in Heat 2-B.

The fastest 3-mile lap of the day was turned by GALE V's Bill Cantrell at 108.488. Cantrell managed to win Heat 2-A but ran into bad luck and couldn't finish either the 1-B section or the Final.

Rookie Warner Gardner won the first heat of his career with the new NOTRE DAME in Heat 1-A but was beaten decisively by MISS CENTURY 21 in the next two outings.

Russ Schleeh, "The Flying Colonel," was having a difficult season with Bill Harrah's TAHOE MISS. Schleeh nevertheless managed to post the second fastest heat of the day with a 99.603 mark in winning Heat 1-B and placed an overall third in points behind Muncey and Gardner.

The new "Green Dragon" MISS BARDAHL and the straightaway record-holding MISS U.S. I both had horrendous luck at Detroit and didn't score a point all day.

The generally poor showing by some of the better financed boats allowed a couple of low-budget teams(MISS MADISON with Marion Cooper and THUNDERBOLT with Bud Saile) to qualify for the Final Heat and finish very respectably overall.

In claiming the 1962 Detroit race, Bill Muncey now had a total of fifteen Unlimited Class wins. He had now moved ahead of the previous leader Danny Foster, who had been the most victorious Unlimited driver up until that time.

On a human interest level, Muncey had the opportunity at Detroit to run against the "Old Pro" Foster who finished fourth in Heat 2-B. Danny was making one of his rare 1960s appearances as pilot for Joe Schoenith's workhorse GALE VII, powered by an enormous Packard PT-Boat engine.

This was to be the last appearance in competition by the two Superstars on the same race course with each other. They had first crossed competitive swords at the 1950 Silver Cup when the veteran Foster was the winner with the original SUCH CRUST and the rookie Muncey had sunk in the First Heat with MISS GREAT LAKES.

The one time that Danny and Bill had faced each other with comparable equipment was during the 1955 season. Muncey with MISS THRIFTWAY was beaten in two races out of three by Foster who was driving Guy Lombardo's TEMPO VII.

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