1953 - review of result

By Ian Kaynes CIAM reviewed the result of the 1953 Wakefield Cup event. It confirmed the original decision to engrave only Joe Foster's name on the Cup. The following is the report to CIAM: There has been a request asking for the recorded results of the 1953 Wakefield competition to be reconsidered to engrave the Cup to show equal winner status for the three competitors who tied after the first 3 flights of the competition. In response to my research comments have been received from Hugh O’Donnell and from John O’Donnell (Hugh’s brother and also a competitor in the event).

This was the first competition for which 3 competitors all achieved the 5 minute maximum time on each of the 3 official flights. There is some ambiguity in the rules as shown from the originals provided by Hugh O’Donnell (reproduced in the attachment file), which state that - with emphasis which I have added:

(a) rule 10 states that “…. If two or more competitors make the same score the final placing shall be established by a fourth flight which will be timed to the end. The fourth flight must take place within one hour of the last contest flight and the competitors must depart within three minutes of each other.”

(b) rule 16 states that “The winning nation for the Wakefield Cup shall be that which has in its team the individual competitor attaining the highest total flight time for the three rounds.”

Thus rule 10 supports a modern flyoff to determine the final placing of competitors, while rule 16 uses a rather different approach to determine which nation holds the cup. It would seem that the formal conclusion from the rules would be that

(1) the individual winner was Joe Foster following the fourth flight under the consideration of rule 10.

(2) the three nations USA, Great Britain and Argentina were joint holders of the Wakefield Cup.

It was reported by Charles Rushing in his history of the Wakefield Cup that the jury had made a statement on the nations jointly holding the Wakefield Cup, but no official jury report is available.

The request concerns the names engraved on the Cup. However, the names engraved on the cup are primarily the individual flyers rather than just the nations. If the engraved winners showed just the nations winning the Cup under the terms of rule 16 then it could be justifiable to include Great Britain and Argentina as well as USA. However, the engravings include the individual names and these thus have some reference to rule 10. It is thus concluded that it would be inappropriate to add the 1953 second and third place individuals to the trophy.

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