The Unlimited Hydroplanes return to the Columbia River this weekend for the 49th time!
The Gold Cup was run in Detroit two weeks ago as the Oberto got the checker.
The APBA Gold Cup – the biggest race in boat racing – was run in the Tri-Cities back in the day. The special event was held in 1973, 1975, 1977 and for the final time in 1984.
Lets go back 30 years and remember the 1984 race.
The race was held on July 29 over a 2 1/2-mile course.
Each boat had to run in three heat sections and the final. Every heat was 6-laps (15 miles) = 60 miles.
All the big-shots were on hand:
Atlas Van Lines, Chip Hanauer
Miss Budweiser, Jim Kropfeld
The Squire Shop, Mickey Remund
Miss Tosti Asti, Steve Reynolds
It was the sixth race of the year and the Miss Budweiser had won three of the prior races, while The Squire Shop and the Atlas Van Lines each had one victory.
This was the first turbine-powered Atlas Van Lines. During qualifying, the Atlas set a world record by running one lap in 145.867 mph before slowing to a crawl just after the finish line as an ominous plume of back smoke was gushing out of the turbine.
The Squire Shop was the top qualifier but encountered a bunch of hull damage Saturday afternoon. A crewman was using a torch, trying to break some glue loose so they could repair some damage brought about by the propeller as told to the media. The Squire Shop, owned by Bob Steil, had to be worked on all night Saturday and Sunday morning.
The Seattle Times headline on Monday:
Dream race just another nightmare
The championship final was basically determined before the starting clock hit zero.
Here’s an excerpt from The Seattle Times’ Glenn Nelson….In the shape-up for the start of yesterday’s grand finale, the Miss Tosti Asti, driven by Seattleite Steve Reynolds, was washed down by the Bud’s roostertail. The Tosti went airborne for about five terrorizing seconds, its control panel destroyed and its turbine engine wheezing to a halt.
Jim Kropfeld and Miss Budweiser were disqualified by race officials. “The officials said we were DQ’d, so we must have deserved it,” said owner Bernie Little.
Then the Squire Shop, the field’s fastest qualifier and owner of a convincing lead over Atlas for one lap, sputtered to a halt after Mickey Remund detected a dangerously low oil level during the middle of the third lap.
Chip Hanauer would go on an easily win his third Gold Cup.
This last Gold Cup held in Seattle was in 1985 – Miller American (Hanauer).
The last Gold Cup not held in Detroit was in 1989 – Miss Budweiser (Tom D’Eath).