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Thread: Chicago River: I can't believe this picture is still around....

  1. #11
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    Bill Van,

    That Chicago race was held in the lock basin where the Chicago river meets Lake Michigan. It was the second race I ever attended. It was held there for a couple of years. The water was very strange due to the quick rise and fall when the locks were operated. Made for some tough currents and swirls. It was the only time I ever saw Homer Kincaid go out of a boat. He was running his C and caught a roller in the first corner. Lot's of memories from that era.

    Dan

  2. #12
    Team Member MN1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Van Steenwyk View Post
    where I attended a race in the late 60's. It was put on by I am sure Outboard Club of Chicago, as it was an "Alky" race, although there may have been a few classes of OPC, I am not sure about that as we are talking 40+ years ago, and as the saying goes, I can't remember where I put my car keys this morning, much less that long ago, but sometimes the problem is the opposite. Funny how that works, or doesn't. ANYWAY:


    The thing I remember most about the site was the pit access to the water, or lack of same. There was a VERY steep bank going down to the water, and I mean STEEP and like 15-20 feet from top of bank to water, took 6 to 8 crew members to get a boat down to the water so you could start. I don't remember racing there as I may have had engine problems as that was my 1st or 2nd year back after about a 10 year layoff and it took awhile to get my stuff together (some might say I never did) but I do remember the site and the hard way to the water.

    Anybody remember or know where this site was??
    I remember being in Chicago with my parents as a kid and hearing the Alky boats from where ever we were in Chicago. We begged and begged to go watch the boat races. Finally our parents gave in and we followed the sound to the races. I don't remember much but being in the pits and seeing and smelling those cool motors.
    Mark N

  3. #13
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    Here are a couple of shots of the pits from the Chicago race.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  4. #14
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Love those shots in the pits.



  5. #15
    Team Member ProHydroRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Van Steenwyk View Post
    where I attended a race in the late 60's. It was put on by I am sure Outboard Club of Chicago, as it was an "Alky" race, although there may have been a few classes of OPC, I am not sure about that as we are talking 40+ years ago, and as the saying goes, I can't remember where I put my car keys this morning, much less that long ago, but sometimes the problem is the opposite. Funny how that works, or doesn't. ANYWAY:


    The thing I remember most about the site was the pit access to the water, or lack of same. There was a VERY steep bank going down to the water, and I mean STEEP and like 15-20 feet from top of bank to water, took 6 to 8 crew members to get a boat down to the water so you could start. I don't remember racing there as I may have had engine problems as that was my 1st or 2nd year back after about a 10 year layoff and it took awhile to get my stuff together (some might say I never did) but I do remember the site and the hard way to the water.

    Anybody remember or know where this site was??
    Hey Bill,
    No OPC at the OCC race. This was the worst place I ever raced, rollers where two to three feet high. It was so rough that the Konig died out as I came to the start on the back field. The pack jumped the start and I was able to restart the Konig. I ended up winning the "B" (350) race, and won 200 or 300 dollars. The winning paid for the Konig I got from Ray Hardy's freind John (?).
    My old V-15 (V-13 Kurps)

  6. #16
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    Hi Bill:

    It is John Winzler you are thinking about? Harry ZAK was his daughters Godfather. Either she or John got interested in model boats when she was a teenager (probably John although he said it was hers) and Harry built a small expansion chamber for the little glowplug engine that was in it. This was along the same time frame he made the "ZAK PIPES". (mid/late 60's) First little engine I ever saw with a pipe. Up to then all I was familiar with was an open slot for the exhaust port.

    If it was that rough, then I probably did not get out because of engine problems. I would have remembered it if I was able to race.

  7. #17
    Team Member Gene East's Avatar
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    I have been watching this thread to see if the Alky race in Chicago would come up before I added my 2 cents worth.

    Larry Latta told me the Coast Guard would not sign off on the sanction permit until the Admiral was told Mayor Daley #1 supported the race. Such was and still is the power of the Daley name.

    I echo any negative comments about the Alky race in Chicago. Terrible pits, tight course. A Navy (Reserve?) ship was moored just off the first turn. I kept waiting for somone to swing wide and crash into the ship.

    The tight course did produce some action that the spectators enjoyed.

    As mentioned in an earlier post Homer Kincaid went out of the boat there in C-hydro.

    He had some help!

    Jim Schoch and Homer put on quite a show in C-hydro that day swapping the lead several times.

    They touched on the last lap and Jim's steering bar poked a hole in the side of Homer's boat. The crowd cheered wildly as Jim crossed the finish line and Homer slowly sank.

    As I recall, Homer wasn't nearly as thrilled about the results as the crowd was. However; being the gentleman he was, Homer came over to our pits and congratulated Jim.

    Interesting note, both drivers were piloting white Schultz 4-point hydros.

    Has anyone ever seen a Schultz that was not white? We never did paint ours yellow like all the other Quincy boats.

    It took forever to find the setup on that boat. When we did, it was never very fast but it performed very well in rough water and went through the turns like it was on a rail.

    So did Homer's!

    Homer Kincaid was a super star! If my memory serves me correctly Homer is the only man in history to win every heat of every class of a sanctioned regatta.

    Hopefully someone can confirm this statement and provide the details of this amazing accomplishment.

  8. #18
    Team Member ProHydroRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Van Steenwyk View Post
    Hi Bill:

    It is John Winzler you are thinking about? Harry ZAK was his daughters Godfather. Either she or John got interested in model boats when she was a teenager (probably John although he said it was hers) and Harry built a small expansion chamber for the little glowplug engine that was in it. This was along the same time frame he made the "ZAK PIPES". (mid/late 60's) First little engine I ever saw with a pipe. Up to then all I was familiar with was an open slot for the exhaust port.

    If it was that rough, then I probably did not get out because of engine problems. I would have remembered it if I was able to race.
    No Bill, the John I bought the Konig from was one of Ray & Jean Hardy drinking buddies. This John was afraid of racing the engine, I started racing in 1966 and never seen John (?) race.
    I remember the night before the first race, the Chicago cops tried to run us out of the pits, they thought we where all a bunch of driffer looking for a place to sleep.

    Do you remember the Navy Ship right after turn one?

    Dan is right about the location, but I thought it was called the "turning bason". The large ships could use it turn around before going into the lake.

    During one of the races a large ship went by and the rollers must of been four foot high!!

  9. #19
    Sam Cullis Mark75H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene East View Post
    Homer Kincaid was a super star! If my memory serves me correctly Homer is the only man in history to win every heat of every class of a sanctioned regatta.

    Hopefully someone can confirm this statement and provide the details of this amazing accomplishment.

    That's correct. It happened sometime in the early 1960's. The next time I find the article that relates to it, I will start a thread on it with the location and exact date.
    Since 1925, about 150 different racing outboards have been made.


  10. #20
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    I seem to remember that Outboard Club of Chicago ran the first two years and then the OPC ran on the river and the Offshore ran a year or two later in the lake.

    There was also a drag race that Ray Hardy and I raced. It was near the zoo in a rowing canel. It had stone sides 3 or 4 feet high. All kinds of boats ran, there was even a hydro inboard. Was that KOOL!!!! We all had a hard time turning around after each race. The canel was about 20 feet wide.

    My picture was taken at that race by someone and was used for years in an ad for Florida property.

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