Gold Cup - 1976
Picton Gazette - 8 Sep 1976 - with permission.
Racers Protest Outcome
Despite beautiful weather and a heavy turnout, the second day of the Gold Cup Races was marred by two collisions and a series of protests which postponed the announcement of winners and the subsequent awards presentation until well after the moon had risen above a darkened bay.
The races under protest were the 5-litre and the Grand Prix, with Tom D'Eath, the eventual winner of the latter race, at the centre of both controversies.
Officials were hesitant to discuss details of either incident until final decisions were made, but everyone else, from spectators to the drivers and pitt crews, were willing to speculate.
Ron Denard, president of the Prince Edward Racing Club, who came under mounting pressure as minutes turned into hours and most of the large crowd drifted away, said at one point, "John Simon is no longer the winner of the 5-litre." Pressed for further information, he refused to comment.
While drivers were called over he public address system into a sequestered meeting with the Committee of the Day, rumours of all sorts flew back and forth. One typical comment from a driver was,"I didn't see it, but somebody cut somebody bad."
Jim Helsel, who placed fourth in the Grand Prix while, suffering considerable damage to his boat, said of that particular controversy,"I do not know if D'Eath hit a buoy or what. If he did, that would move everybody up one place."
Dave Norton, another driver involved in the protest, said, "Moneywise it does not mean a thing to me, but D'Eath crossed in front of me."
Contradictory stories continued to generate from the barge, the barn like affair on the water's edge which had been turned into the official headquarters. More than one official was seen walking away from that particular arena in disgust, as the terrific weekend of powerboating seemed certain to end in confusion and anger.
Finally after all but the stalwart few had given up hope, the awards presentation began in the fading daylight. Before all of the announcements and presentations could be made, car headlights and even a flashlight were pressed into service in order that the names could be read and the winners seen.
John Simon, obviously pleased with his win in the 5-litre, had nothing but praise for the competition and hopes to return again next year. "If the Canadian Boating Federation continue the way they are, the American Power Boating Association will be holding no more races in the States. The CBF is really moving ahead in promoting boat races," he said.
And as the last flashbulbs popped and the last die-hard enthusiast prepared to leave, Tom D'Eath, arms full of prizes and trophies, was asked how he felt after such a gruelling day. He smiled and said simply, "I feel great."
Tom D'Eath wins Cup
Tom D'Eath of Fair Haven Michigan won the 1976 Gold Cup in the final Grand Prix heat, run Monday at Hatyward Long Reach. Mr. D'Eath is not a stranger to the trophy, as he won it once before in 1974 and he has also been the recipient of the American Power Boating Association Gold Cup.
Mr. D'Eath, was delayed however, in receiving the trophy as he was involved in one of the numerous protests drivers lodged following the day's races. After about two and a half hours of discussion Mr. D'Eath was presented with the Gold Cup and though it was not an unprotested he commented, "I feel great".
Mr. D'Eath was also the winner of the North American Championship for Grand Prix Inboard Hydroplanes for the Labatt's award. This was a one day event which was held Sunday.
Norman Lauterbach of Norfolk, Virginia ran a close second with Gordie Gillmer of Tacoma, Washington placing third and James Helsel of Erie, Pennsylvania in fourth.
Monday, the five litre final resulted in John Simon of Duffalo winning with Burnett Bartley of Pittsburg in second place, Patrick O'Connor in third and Tom D'Eath in fourth.
The Sunday winners in the 3 Litre Class sponsored by HiWay Food Market were: first, Bill Bates of Perth, Ont.; second, James Monahan of Campbellville, Ont.; third, Alex Stewart of Beeton, Ont.
The Sunday winners in the FE Class sponsored by the Prince Edward Racing Club were: first, Leonard Smithson of Almonte, Ont.; second place, Lloyd Michie, Ottawa, Ont.; third, Doug Doran of Carleton Place, Ont.
The Sunday winners in the FJ Class, sponsored by the Prince Edward Racing Club were: first, Anthony Garofald, Massideque, NY.; second, Sandy Harrison of Kingston, Ont.; third, Richard Ferris, Warwick, Ont.
The winners of the SE Class, sponsored by the Prince Edward Racing Club, Sunday were: first, Jeff Newell, Prescott, Ont.; second, Lorne Pinel of West Hill, Ont. and third, Peter Ferguson, Islington, Ont.
The race for SS/SK Ski Boats sponsored by The Pro Hardware Centre was won Sunday by: first, Andrew J. Kachmarik Stratford, Conn.; second, Dick Buller, Oshawa, Ont.; third, Cyril Smith, Orillia, Ont.
The Sunday winners in the final for the SJ Class, sponsored by Bulova Watch Co., were: first, John Sherlock, Kingston, N.Y.; second, Jerome Rice Tecumseh, Ont.; third, A.S. Hlodin, Hudson, Quebec.
The Sunday winners in the Mod. 50 Class, sponsored by J.B. Cole Ltd. were: first, Terry Booth, Corrosion Place, Ont.; second, Tire Toole, Midland, Ont.; third place, Gerald Kowalski, Southfield, Ont.
The Mod. 100 final Sunday which was sponsored by Prince Edward T.V. was won by Spencer Dunn of Mississauga, Ont.; second place was taken by Oley Berkis, Toronto, Ont., third place winner was Mark Rotharmel.
In the finals of the 145 class Sunday the winner was Gilles Coulliard of Valleyfield, Quebec with second place going to Robert Theoret of Valleyfield and third place going to Yvan St. Onge of Valleyfield.
In Sunday's 280 Inboard finals Marty Niles of Whitman, Maryland took first place with Germain Broissoit of St. Timothie, Quebec taking second. Third place was captured by John B. Turner of Grand Island, New York.
Monday, John Simon of Buffalo, New York took the championship in the five litre class with Burnett Bartley of Pittsburgh, Pa. taking second and Patrick O'Connor of New York taking third.
In Monday's SS/SK class the final heat saw Dick Buller of Oshawa win with Norman E. Philips of Bowmanville in second place and Andrew J. Kachmarik of Stratford, Connecticut in third.
Winner of Monday's FJ final heat was Sandy Harrison from Kingston. Second place went to Joseph Serc of Hamilton and third place was captured by John P. Mitchell of Stoney Creek.
John Sherlock of Kingston, New York captured first place in Monday's SJ finals with A.D. Hlodin of Hudson, Quebec in second place. Third place was captured by Jerome Rice of Tecumseh.
In the 280 class Marty Niles placed first with Germain Brossoit of St. Timothie, Quebec in second and D.F. Brouse of Brockville taking third.
Monday's SE finals were won by Ron Beausolier of Rehabots, Massachusetts. Second place was captured by Islington's Larry R. Lee and Caledon's John Southwell took third.
Finals winner was Leonard Smithson of Almonte, Lloyd I. Michie of Ottawa won second and Almonte's Ray MacGregor took third place.
The Mod 50 finals were won by Tim Toole of Midland. Second was Terry Booth of Carleton Place and third was Gerald Kowalski of Southfield, Michigan.
Winner of the Mod 100 was Mark Rotharmel of Willowdale, second was Spencer Dunn of Mississauga and third was Oley Berkis of Toronto.
The winner of the 280 Inboard class was Marty Niles of Whitman, Maryland, second was Germain Broissoit, St. Timothie, Quebec and third was John B Turner from Grand Island, New York.
The 145 class was won by three men from Valleyfield, Quebec. First was Gilles Couillard, second was Robert Theoret and the third place was taken by Yvan St. Onge.
The SS/SK class was won by Dick Buller of Oshawa with second place going to Norman E. Philips of Bowmanville, and third place going to Andrew J. Kachmarik of Stratford, Connecticut.