Editor’s note: There are five days until the APBA HAPO Gold Cup Heat 1A race takes place on the Columbia River. At the same time, the Tri-City Water Follies’ annual event is celebrating its 50th year of racing unlimited hydroplanes. So the Herald will take a look at past stories leading up to the Gold Cup. These are in no particular order:
July 22, 1973: The first Gold Cup race on the Columbia.
Dean Chenoweth picked up his second career Gold Cup victory, driving the Miss Budweiser to some record times.
The Bud set marks for a 15-mile heat race (111.386 mph) and for a 60-mile average (105.354 mph) as the Gold Cup was held on the Columbia River for the first time.
But it had to be the Pride of Pay ’N Pak and driver Mickey Remund as the oddsmaker’s favorite going into the final heat.
Remund had driven the Pak to first-place finishes in all three of his heats, giving the team a field-best 1,200 points entering the final.
Chenoweth and Bud, meanwhile, along with Bill Muncey and the Atlas Van Lines, each had 1,100 points after three heats, winning twice and placing second once.
In the final, Remund had the lead early and was dominating before the propeller broke on the Pak.
That left the battle for first between Chenoweth and Muncey, who were dueling hard for the lead.
But Chenoweth had the lead the entire way on Muncey, although the latter was always within a roostertail.
“I knew that if we pushed hard, somebody would have to break,” Chenoweth told the Herald after the race. “So I stuffed my foot into it and went as fast as I could.”
It was heartbreak for the Pak team, which lost the national high-points lead and headed to Seattle trailing the Bud by 100 points.
“I don’t know what happened,” Remund said after the race. “Everything from the gear box to the prop is destroyed. The damage is almost the same as we had in Detroit.”
Part of the prop flew off and gouged a hole in his boat.
Things would get better for Remund and the Pak, as the team eventually regained the national high-points lead and won the season championship.