1940 APBA Gold Cup
Northport Bay, Northport, Long Island, New York, August 17, 1940

Hotsy Totsy Wins in Race For Gold Cup
By Everett B. Morris

bullet Speed, Spray and Spills
bullet More R.P.M. [July 1940]
bullet Hotsy Totsy III Takes Gold Cup In A Walk
bullet Hotsy Totsy Wins in Race For Gold Cup
bullet Gold Cup Stays In The East
bullet More R.P.M. [Sept. 1940]
bullet Gold Cup Class Revisited : 1940

Northport, L. I., Aug. 17 [1940] — A boat that was given up as a failure three years ago plowed through the mist and rain on Northport Bay this afternoon to victory in the thirty-Seventh race for the Gold Cup while untold thousands of spectators watched from shore and the decks of what Coast Guard officers estimated be a record fleet of yachts for such event.

Hotsy Totsy III, driven by her new owner, Sidney A. Allen, of Hampton Bays, L. I., a rank novice in motorboat competition, turned the trick in a contest which will go down in history as one of the most disappointing of the many flops which have characterized the struggles for America’s oldest and most cherished speedboat trophy

Not one of the six starters ran the entire ninety miles represented by three thirty-mile heats. One by one they dropped out with sputtering engines, or broken gear. Hotsy Totsy III fell heir to the first heat when the two leaders, Zalmon Simmons’s My Sin and Herbert Mendelson’s Notre Dame, went out within fifty yards of each other with less than a lap to go.

Allen Flagged Out of Final

She led two other slow packets, the fifteen-year-old Miss Syndicate and the new triple-engined Gray Goose III, through an anti-climactic second heat, and was flagged off the course in the final test because she could not finish within nine minutes of the first boat,. Notre Dame.

However, the 800 points Hotsy Totsy acquired for her first and second heat victories were enough. Miss Syndicate and Gray Goose, which shared second and third places before one broke down and the other was flagged off with the ultimate victor, tied for second prize with 525 points. Notre Dame, which missed the second heat while her crew repaired the damaged steering gear that put her out of the first whirl, got 400 points for her winning third-heat effort.

The fastest thing in the race, My Sin, failed to get so much as one point in defense of the ancient urn she won at Detroit last September, although she was a starter in all three heats and an apparent winner in the first until she broke her propeller. The sixth starter was Gar Wood Jr.’s converted runabout, Tinker Toy. She could not stand the pace, folded on the eighth lap of the first whirl and could not complete one in the second.

So Long Fails to Start

All the way from California came Lou Fageol’s record-holding So Long, but instead of racing for the Gold Cup she sat on her trailer ashore. Her ignition system had been knocked completely out of whack in the course of a freight car ride across the country and repairs could not be made in time to get her overboard.

Probably no one among the motorboating cognoscenti and the thousands of lookers-on was more surprised at Hotsy Totsy’s victory than Allen, to whom the bill of sale for the boat was delivered this morning by the widow of Victor Kliesrath, who had the little mahogany-hulled hydroplane built in 1937. Allen runs a small boat yard in Hampton Bay. operates a roller skating rink and occasionally drives a thirty-mile-an-hour runabout for recreation.

He didn’t go much faster than that this afternoon, but the secret of Hotsy Totsy’s success was not in her speed, but in her ability to keep running while faster boats were cracking up. Allen cruised through the first heat at 45.454 miles an hour and lifted this to 52.63 in the second. The Gold Cup heat record is 68 miles an hour, a figure which My Sin had well beaten until she broke down while leading Notre Dame three laps ahead of the field.

Hydroplanes Steal Show

It has been more years than American motor boating pooh-bahs care to remember since such a low speed was sufficient to win the Gold Cup. The little 225-cubic-inch-piston-displacement hydroplanes, which raced between the Gold Cup heats put the headline act to shame. Ten of them started in each five-mile heat and all of them finished. They put on two hair-raising races and averaged 65.693 miles an hour while the astounding Kansas City grandpop, Jack Cooper, took first money after spine-tingling duels with George Schrafft and Tom Chatfield.

Schrafft’s Chrissie IV led Cooper’s Tops III in the first heat, but both of them got bad starts in the second contest and had to pick their way through the fleet before they could get within hailing distance of Chatfield’s Viper II. Chatfield held Cooper off all the way down the backstretch on the last lap, held him outside on the turn and looked like the winner.

Pop Cooper Triumphs

But old Pop has been around a long while and knows all the tricks. Halfway around the last turn, he backed off the throttle, swung his boat across Viper’s wake and came out into the homestretch with the inside berth. Then Pop jammed his foot down to the floor, Tops III leaped from under him and got the finish gun with a length of open water to spare over Viper. Chrissie IV and Gibson Bradfield’s Hep Cat; were right up there in third and fourth places.

There was nothing to match this for thrills and driving skill in the Gold Cup race. Simmons whizzed My Sin past Notre Dame on the fourth lap of the first heat, clicked off lap after lap of the two-and-one-half-mile oval inside the 1,500 or so anchored yachts of all sizes and types at seventy miles an hour and was well on his way to a new heat record.

As Simmons rounded the north turn on the last lap with a comfortable lead over Notre Dame, which Danny Arena was keeping right on the button, My Sin broke a propeller blade and had to stop. A groan went up from the crowd, which included many of Simmons’s colleagues from the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich as Notre Dame tore by into the lead only to stop fifty yards further on because her steering gear I gave away.

After that it was just a question of Hotsy Totsy rolling around until she had done twelve laps, meanwhile keeping Miss Syndicate’s long black hull and Gray Goose’s shining new nose from getting too close.

My Sin was out in the second heat but went down again on the third lap and Hotsy Totsy continued to rumble around the course, with Gray Goose and herself gradually putting laps between themselves and the feeble old Miss Syndicate.

All the boats except Tinker Toy were out for the third heat and the crowd settled down to watch a real duel between My Sin and Notre Dame. It never materialized. Notre Dame got out front in a hurry and stayed there. My Sin tried ineffectually for a few laps to catch her and then tootled off for the pits, giving it up as a hopeless job. While Notre Dame roared around at an average of 69.77 miles an hour. Hotsy Totsy was comparatively crawling.

Boat and driver



Best lap.

Hotsy Totsy III, Sidney Allen




Miss Syndicate, Eddie Hudson




Gray Goose III, Hugh Gingras




My Sin, Zalmon G. Simmons

Out 12th lap



Notre Dame, Daniel Arena

Out 12th lap



Tinker Toy, Gar Wood Jr

Out 8th lap






Best lap


Hotsy Totsy III





Gray Goose III





Miss Syndicate





Tinker Toy

Out first lap


My Sin

Out third lap






Best Lap


Notre Dame





Hotsy Totsy III

Flagged off




Miss Syndicate

Flagged off



Gray Goose III

Out fourth lap



My Sin

Out sixth lap


225-Cubic-Inch Hydroplanes—5-Mile Heats

First heat—Won by Chrissie IV, George Schrafft, Newton, Mass.; Tops III, Jack Cooper, Kansas City, Mo., second; Viper II, Thomas Chatfield, Danbury, Conn., third; Hep Cat, Gibson Bradfield, Barnesville, Ohio, fourth: Eaglet III, David Forman, Buffalo, fifth; Miss Fireball, Jack Wood, Detroit, sixth; Meadowmere III, Chris Ripp, Rockville Centre, L.I., seventh: Tempo III, Guy Lombardo, Freeport, L. I., eighth; Baby, Melvin Crook, Upper Montclair, N. J., ninth; Awa, Jack O’Mara, New York, tenth.
Time. 4:34.
Speed. 6:.603 m. p. h.

Second heat—Won by Tops III; Viper II, second; Chrissie IV, third: Hep Cat, fourth; Eaglet III, fifth; Miss Fireball, sixth; Meadowmere III, seventh; Tempo III, eighth, Baby, ninth; Awa, tenth.
Speed—64.06 mph

Total pointsTops III, 700; Chrissie IV, 625; Viper II, 525; Hep Cat, 338; Eaglet III, 254.

Class K (unlimited) inboard runabouts—5 miles

Won by Gen. VI, David Gerli, Northport; Ali Baba, Norman Frey, Lancaster. Pa., second: Davey Jones, J. T. Kraemer, Port Washington. L. I., third; Empty Pockets, Hector Alexander, Port Washington, L. I., fourth.
Time—5:21 2/5
Speed—55.97 mph

(Reprinted from the New York Herald Tribune, August 18, 1940)

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