Miss Columbia [1924]

Miss Smith Christens Miss Columbia
Gold Cup Challenger Built by Members of the Columbia Yacht Club is Successfully Launched on the Hudson
Boat to Race Against All Comers at Detroit on August 30

The dream which the Columbia Yacht Club of New York has had for several years has come true. Miss Columbia, the finest race boat of her class ever built, has been launched. Miss Emily Smith, daughter of the Governor of New York, did the honors with such grace, sincerity and seriousness, that if the crew which will drive Miss Columbia in the races at Detroit on August 30 do as well, the famous Gold Cup of the American Power Boat Association will be brought back to Eastern shores.

It was back in 1904 that the Columbia Yacht Club presented this same Gold Cup, for which they will race this month, to the American Power Boat Association. It was the first trophy presented by any organization for motor boat racing, so naturally it was stipulated by the donors that their gift should be for the motor boat speed supremacy of North America. It has represented just this ever since, and is now by far the most historic and most coveted of all trophies in the world.

The Gold Cup has been raced for annually without interruption since 1904. It has been won by such famous boats as Standard and Vingt-et-Un II in 1904, Chip in 1904, Chip II in 1906 and 1907, Dixie II in 1908 and 1910, Dixie III in 1910, Mit II in 1911, P. D. Q. II in 1912, Ankle Deep in 1913, Baby Speed Demon in 1914, Miss Detroit I in 1915, Miss Minneapolis in 1916, Miss Detroit II in 1917, Miss Detroit III in 1914 and 1919, Miss America in 1920 and 1921 and Packard Chriscraft in 1922 and 1923. Up to 1922 the Gold Cup event was an unlimited and unrestricted class but as the boats became faster and faster, and consequently more expensive each year, the entries became fewer and fewer and the race became only a rich man's sport, so, at the annual meeting of the American Power Boat Association held in the fall of 1921, the rules were changed so that hydroplanes with unlimited power were barred and in their stead only sensible types of displacement craft with motors of not over 625 cubic inches allowed to enter. From the very moment the new rules were announced interest in the race began to increase. In the first race instead of two starters, as was the case in the days with the old hydroplanes. there were 13 boats competing.

Miss Columbia is a product of the east—eastern designed, eastern built, and powered with an eastern motor.

She was designed by Geo. F. Crouch of New York, built by Henry B. Nevins of City Island, N. Y., and is powered with an eight cylinder Wright motor of 624 cubic inches piston displacement.

The race for the Gold Cup will be held at Detroit on August 30. It will consist of 3 heats of 30 miles each. While at this writing it is too early to give a complete list of the entries, yet the prospects at this time are that there will be between twelve and fifteen starters.

Miss Columbia was built by a syndicate of members of the Columbia Yacht Club headed by Commodore John A. Harriss, and consisting also of Ex-Commodore Frederick Berg. Vice-Commodore Coleman du Pont, Rear-Commodore Grove Warner, and others. The Race Committee of the Columbia Yacht Club who will have charge of Miss Columbia's racing activities consists of Fred R. Still, formerly Chairman of Detroit's Gold Cup Committee, C. H. Moore, Charles S. Baeder, Robert E. McAllister. W. B. Fox, Jr.. Howard Lyon, William Ottman, and C. F. Chapman.

(Reprinted from Motor Boating, August 1924, pp. 20-21)

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