"But what's that distant sound we hear from the lake in the dead of night? /And now we catch it, low but clear, like a thunderbolt in flight./The rumble's growing louder, men, it's the old familiar roar. /The phantom hydro rides again, the ghost of Slo-Mo IV." These lines from Royal Brougham's column in Seattle's Post-Intelligencer may not be deathless but they lyrically convey the sentiment felt by Seattle for Master Designer Ted Jones's "backyard" boat with which in 1950 he revolutionized hydroplane design and wrested the Gold Cup from Detroit.
Slo-Mo tore apart and sank in 1956 but, thanks to the efforts of her old crew, Slo-Mo has been restored, and today occupies a rightful berth in Seattle's Museum of History and Industry. "I'm pretty cold and practical about boats, not like the public," says Jones, whose Hawaii Kai is the defending champion in this week's Gold Cup races, "but I must admit that Slo-Mo IV holds a special place with me—she was a dream come true."