1903 Season Summary [From The Rudder] (II)

Report Of American Power Boat Association
by John H. McIntosh, Secretary

In submitting this, the first annual report of the American Power Boat Association, I think we can look with satisfaction at the result of our first racing season, and feel that a great step forward has been made for the benefit of power boats, and for the good of the sport of racing them. With increasing interest among the clubs, and good-natured rivalry astir among individuals, and the contemplated building of many racing crafts for next season, the future of our Association looks most bright. Applications for membership are encouraging, and the financial condition satisfactory. The Marine Motor Association of Great Britain has paid us the compliment of adopting our table of time allowances, and after several trials of it expressed their satisfaction of its correctness. Many clubs who are not members of our Association have done us the honor of holding races under our rules, from some of which we have received applications for membership, and from others letters of praise for our work and expressions of their general satisfaction with the fairness and correctness of our rules, rating, and time allowances.

Our racing season was opened by the Columbia Yacht Club, of New York, on June 20. The weather was most disagreeable, being cold and rainy. Five classes were filled. The course was a triangular one of 8 miles in view of the clubhouse. In class B there was a misunderstanding in starting, and this class was resailed on June 27th over a ten-mile course. Of the other classes two were composed of yacht tenders, and the balance were mostly cabin cruisers. The best time was 8 knots in 54 minutes and 10 seconds. The race of the tenders was most interesting, two sailing the entire course and finishing 8 seconds apart.

The second race was held by the Indian Harbor Y.C. on July 28. For this event there was gathered together a most interesting number of boats, but the weather was almost too stormy for them to start. However, a start was made, but only two boats finished, as the northeast gale compelled the balance to withdraw. (We are not in receipt of the record of these two boats.)

The race scheduled by the Hempstead Harbor Y.C. was also postpones on account of storm, August 5. On August 13 the Atlantic Y.C. had their day of races with perfect weather conditions, light air and smooth sea, and on this occasion were seen for the first time the launches Standard and Express. I speak of these particularly, for they are of the distinct racing type, and have been much heard of hereabouts. Their time over the 12 1/2-knot course will be seen to be good. The actual number of boats that crossed the starting line was reduced by several on account of some little mishaps a few minutes before the starting signal, which was unfortunate, but the race, however, was a great success and witnessed by many people from the clubhouse.

The Brooklyn Y.C. had a large entry list for August 29, but the weather was unfavorable, and the race for all classes except class H was postponed until September 2. Class H brought together the launch Adios, from Syracuse, and the Standard, of New York. Both of these boats are of the racing types, rated close to one another, and it was the only opportunity for the Standard to meet anything of her type during the season. The sea was rough and the wind strong, and the spectacle of the start of these boats can be imagined when it is borne in mind that the winning boat covered the course of 10 1/2 knots in 34 minutes and 17 seconds, and they crossed the starting line close together. It was a sight well worth seeing.

On September 2 it was impossible for most of the boats entered for the race of August 29 to attend, but the contest was held and much enjoyed. The course was 13 miles and the weather conditions good.

The next races were held by the American Yacht Club on September 5, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and were most interesting contests. The morning was devoted to an endurance contest, the speed part of which was calculated according to our rules, and the endurance rules were furnished by the club. No other race of the season brought forth such interest, argument and enjoyment than this contest, and I think that in the development of this class of racing this Association will find much usefulness. The course in the morning was 21 miles with a smooth sea and little wind. Each boat came with three men aboard, and by drawing lots the representative of one boat became a judge of the motor on another boat. He was furnished with instructions before the start as to what he should report upon, and after the races furnished the committee with his written report of the operations of the motor. Such trials cannot help to bring out the good and bad points of a motor and the data obtained is of great value.

The afternoon contest was for speed only. The course was 10 1/2 knots. Soon after all of the classes had gotten away a very heavy storm came up and shut in so dark that it was difficult for the boats to find their turning marks, yet some good time was obtained and some close finished made.

The last contest was held on September 12th by the Knickerbocker Yacht Club, which was most disappointing as only four boats came to the starting line, and only two finished. The committee had arranged a splendid course, and the weather was ideal. On this occasion there were a great many good power boats under way within sight of the committee boat, but they could not be induced to enter the contest, claiming they were not racing types. I would like to remind boat owners that these ideas that our time allowances are calculated to bring all types of boats together on an equal basis and gives a fair opportunity of winning, and it is only from the data obtained by all classes of craft going into a contest that we can correct and improve our tables and rules.

I do not wish to close this report without expressing the thanks of the Association to the various clubs for the races they have held this season, and the appreciation of the courtesies they have extended to our members.

(Transcribed from The Rudder, November, 1903, p. 588. )

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