Dixie III Retires [1910]

The Month in Yachting

Farewell to Dixie III! Her 250-horsepower engine has been taken out and her owner, F. K. Burnham, is going to substitute less power and use her as a runabout. She had a glorious day, certainly. Her one defeat was at Monaco, a defeat which will be lost to posterity through her successful defense upon two occasions of the British International Trophy. I recall very clearly the day of the first race for the trophy on Huntingtom Bay two years ago. The trial races had been poorly attended and there was little hope that the cup would not be taken to England by either Wolseley-Siddeley or Daimler II. But that day a man "in the know" walked up to a few of those who were most interested in the success of the new boat and whispered, "Bet on Dixie. She has been doing 30 knots an hour, backward. She can’t lose." So it proved. While the breakdown of the British challenger this year was all that saved Dixie’s laurels, yet it must be remembered, that a boat depends upon her engine, and that an engine has no more business to break down in a race than a hull has to fall apart, etc., etc. "These Americans!" Why, they are so bent on winning that they claim the race when our engine gives out!" Aren’t we rotters!.

The retirement of Dixie does not mean, however, that Vice-Commodore Burnham, her owner, is to retire from the racing game. It is said that he is having a new boat built, of a hydroplane type, and will install in it the old 250-horsepower Crane & Whitman engine that has done so well in Dixie, and another engine similar to it which he is having built. These two motors in a boat of the hydroplane type should produce a remarkably fast craft.

Merely by way of showing what speed the swiftest boats of the future must make in order to be considered fast, be it announced that the best British record is held by the power boat Ursula, which once made a mile in 1 minute and 25 seconds, a speed of nearly 43 miles an hour. One of the most wonderful boats which they have built on the other side this year is Miranda IV, a hydroplane, with which Sir John Thornycroft recently startled the power boat world, at the same time upsetting all established theories. It is claimed that this little boat has done 35 knots, or something over 40 miles an hour. It is experiments with such boats as this that will make England a more dangerous competitor than ever in our future international races.

(Excerpts transcribed from Yachting, November 1910, pp. 353-354.)

[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page —LF]

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