Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Boulder City History
by Roseanne Schoaff, Manager
Boulder Dam Hotel

The Race That Wasn't
Known as the Gold Cup, the American Power Boat Association presents a most coveted trophy to the winner of the unlimited division of hydroplane racing. Since the inception of the internal combustion engine, man and his boat have challenged the rivers and lakes across the United States to attempt to break speed records over the Gold Cup’s three mile course.

In November, 1960, the Yacht Club of Las Vegas was given the opportunity to host the Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious water races in the United States. They chose Lake Mead as the site.

From the time of Lake Mead’s inception, water enthusiasts traveling across the world have enjoyed the offerings the lake has provided. Powerboat specialists had raced along the lake for years, making the selection of Lake Mead to host the 1960 Gold Cup an excellent choice.

The week long activities gave every indication of a successful event: the Challenge Cup Race the weekend prior to the Gold Cup Competition went off without a hitch; a free fall parachute jump exhibition throughout the weekend entertained and amazed spectators and competitors alike; and Hoover Dam and Lake Mead were the focal point of sightseeing, camping, leisure boating, and cookouts.

The following Monday would start qualifications for the Gold Cup Race, with the final heat to commence on Sunday, November 13, at 2:00 p.m. As the week progressed, the trials and qualifiers all seemed normal. But by the finals on Sunday, Mother Nature had added another challenge to the race. Wind gusts of up to 35 MPH brought the race to a halt when driver, Bill Cantrell, flipped his boat in the second section and was thrown into the water at 90 MPH.

Cantrell did not suffer serious injuries. However, the race was then officially called a “no contest” by the racing commission. This would be the first race in 53 years that would not have a boat cross the finish line to claim the Gold Cup of hydroplane racing.

On behalf of the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association.

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