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1950 Gold Cup Boats Highlight 2016 RegattaFest

By Staff | Sep 21, 2016

Photos provided 2016 Grand National Hydro - Inboard category Grand National Hydroplane (GNH) during racing competition in New Martinsville.

Headline on-water entertainment for the New Martinsville Area RegattaFest, scheduled for Sept. 23-25, features two Vintage Gold Cup (Unlimited Hydroplanes) boats from the 1950s, the first time a Gold Cup boat has been in New Martinsville in over 50 years.

The GALE V will be on hand. Originally campaigned in the 1950s by Joe Schoenth who owned the Gale Electric Company in Detroit and won the Imperial Gold Cup in New Martinsville in 1954. The boat has been immaculately restored by Bill Black of Henderson, Arkansas. Jay Armstrong of Omaha, Neb. will be participating in the MISS U. S. IV, a boat that was built by George Simon in Detroit in 1956. The Miss U. S. I, also owned by George Simon, has the existing record for piston driven Unlimited Hydroplanes at 200.497 mph in Guntersville, Ala. in 1962. Both Unlimited boats have the original Allison airplane engine power-plants that were used in the P-40 and P-51 fighter planes during World War II. They are planning to do a “Shoot Out” on both Sept. 24 and 25 to determine speed supremacy.

Friday’s featured event will be the speed run attempts by teams looking to establish or break existing APBA/UIM sanctioned National and World 1/4 mile records. In the past five years, more than 57 records have been set in New Martinsville. Saturday and Sunday’s water activities are exclusively racing with the Inboard Grand National Hydroplanes (former 7- Liter) on the race card as well as the Sportsman Entry Flatbottoms. In the Outboard Classes, a great battle is looming in the Formula 2 Class between Ashton Rinker of Riverside, Fla. and Jeff Reno of Okeechobee, Fla. who are separated by only 15 points for the coveted Superleague Series Championship. In the Formula 3 Class, a battle is expected between Carole Reno of Okeechobee, Fla. and Toby Hood of McConnestown Pa. This will be first year that the tunnel boats will be using the new city docks at the Fireman’s Park for their famous dead engine Lemans start.

New to the RegattaFest program will be the APBA J classes, giving youngsters from ages nine to 14 professional racing experience. Appearing on Saturday, will be the Vintage hydro owned by Dave Kappel and Jack Wolf, both originally from New Martinsville.

Land based activities start on Saturday with opening ceremonies conducted by the American Legion Marne Post 28 at 9 a.m. Cruisers Unlimited will have a car show along Jefferson Avenue, and Main Street will be filled with live entertainment including the Sarah Hayes Band, the Wayward Son, variety shows, a magic show and special activities just for kids, including face painting and balloons. New this year is a corn hole tournament and scavenger hunt (open to all ages with Chamber of Commerce dollars as prizes) throughout the downtown area with stops in local businesses. The Wetzel County Museum, as the final scavenger stop, will be open with their must see exhibits including a temporary show of RegattaFest history and memorabilia. Sunday opens with a chapel service at 8:30 a.m. in the RegattaFest pit area conducted by Reverend Lauris Vidal, former NASCAR chaplain. Kids activities continue as well as live entertainment with a non-denominational revival and a variety show. Food concessions and vendor displays will be open all weekend long.

Come, join us for FAST, FREE Family Fun in downtown New Martinsville during the fifth annual celebration of speed as we continue the tradition that started in 1938 and is now known as REGATTAFEST.



The Gale V and Miss U. S. IV ,both Vintage Gold Cup Boats will be making appearances in the area starting next Tuesday, Sept. 20. Both boats will be on hand for the RegattaFest in New Martinsville, Sept. 23-25 and will do a “shoot out” to thrill the fans. This is the first appearance for Gold Cup Boats in New Martinsville in over 50 years.

* Tuesday, Sept. 20

Gale V and Miss U.S. – Microtel New Martinsville (1-4 p.m.)

* Wednesday, Sept. 21

Gale V – McDonald’s Parking Lot St. Marys (9 a.m. to noon)

Gale V – LaFayette Parking Lot Marietta (1-4 p.m.)

Miss U.S. IV – Cabela’s Parking Lot, the Highlands (1-4 p.m.)

* Thursday, Sept. 22

Gale V – Peoples Bank Sistersville (9 a.m. to noon)

Miss U.S. IV Azteca Parking Lot, New Martinsville (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Miss U.S. IV Holiday Inn Express Parking Lot, New Martinsville (3-5 p.m.)

* Friday, July 23

Gale V – Downtown New Martinsville All Day

Miss U.S. IV Downtown New Martinsville – All Day

Please join us and meet the drivers and get photos and autographs.