Dixie II (1910)
Dixie IIísOwner Speaks Right Out
It seems quite possible at this time that the famous International racer Dixie II, which won and then successfully defended for the United States the Harmsworth Cup, will not be seen in the contest for the trophy next August under the auspices of the Motor Boat Club of America. Three British challengers are now in course of con- struction, including a new Thornycroft hydroplane, which is variously credited with speeds from 35 to 40 miles an hour.
Frederick K. Burnham of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club recently purchased Dixie II from E. J. Schroeder at a price reported to be upward of $10,000. He has another forty-footer, the 200 horse power Intruder, now in process of building at Jacobís yards in City Island, and Intruder is guaranteed by its designer, Henry Gielow, to deliver a speed from 34 to 36 miles an hour. But Mr. Burnham said yesterday that neither would be seen in the defense of the Harmsworth Cup unless committees surrounding the competitions changed very much and quite suddenly.
"The manner in which the Motor Boat Club of America is proceeding with regard to the British International Cup races is not at all to my liking," said Mr. Burnham. "For that matter, it never has been.
"My craft will be on the St. Lawrence in July and August previous to the Harmsworth Cup races, and it would cost me $2,000 to bring Dixie II down here. Besides which I have important engagements of my own on the river in defending the Gold Challenge Cup for my own club and in a few private races that I have scheduled there.
"The Motor Boat Club of America recently held a meeting here and gave out the information that a syndicate had been formed, with subscriptions of $25,000, to build a defending boat for the British International, to be held Aug. 20 at Huntington Harbor. I have been unable to get track of any real money on that proposition.
"To try to build a defender in the four months that remain between the meeting of the Motor Boat Club and the international races is absurd. It would be utterly impossible to try her our properly. And, mark you, the successful boat in that contest will, as I have seen predicted in The Times, have to travel close to forty or more miles an hour. On the very face of it, then, to construct and groom a band-new forty-mile defender in four months is to attempt the impossible.
"Now, if the Motor Boat Club of America wants to do the proper thing and get out of the way, thereby letting some well-managed, non-partisan yachting or power boat club conduct the challenge races, I will, if invited, enter my boats. Otherwise, nary a chance will the Motor Boat Club have to use either Dixie II or Intruder as
"I am perfectly willing, yes, eager, to do my share toward keeping the Harmsworth Cup, which Dixie II won and defended for the United States in this country. But I am not willing to put myself in the position in which Mr. Schroeder was once placed by the Motor Boat Club. I want to do everything I can in the way of popularizing power boat racing which is a corking fine sport."
(Transcribed from the New York Times, Apr. 3, 1910, Sect. V p. 3.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page --LF]
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