For the first time in the history of the world championship power boat race a hydroplane powered by an automobile engine has whizzed across the finish line first.
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Background: For the first time in the history of the world championship power boat race a hydroplane powered by an automobile engine has whizzed across the finish line first. The victory in Detroit yesterday went to Bill Sterett of Owensboro, Kentucky piloting a boat named Chrysler Crew. There's nothing like getting the name of the manufacturer in the boat's title. Mine unlimited hydroplanes competed in the annual contest if we can call it that. Sterett -- in boat number 77 waged a tight duel with driver Walter Kade in Savair's Mist -- number 10 -- for a lap and a half. Then Savair's Mist engine trouble and had to drop out. From then on it was Sterett's race and he kept on widening his lead over the rest of the fleet.
Two major competitors were not even in the final heat. Miss Bardhahl -- which hit 115 miles an hour in qualifying runs -- had engine trouble and Miss Sairnoff had a blown piston.
Sterett averaged 99 miles an hour and hit 103 on his fastest lap. The victory was worth $8,000.
Chrysler Crew was powered by a pair of 427 cubic inch engines with hemispherical-shaped domes on their combustion chambers -- providing it with extra horsepower.