The Beginning of James Simpson's Racing Career [1908]

"Peter Pan"

Here is a boat that has fulfilled every promise of her builders and every hope of her owner. She is Peter Pan, owned by James Simpson, winner of two important races on Lake Hopatcong this season. In winning the 30-mile race--a handicap event open to all boats of over 10-hp.--she averaged about 14 miles an hour on a triangular course five miles long, making eighteen turns during the entire distance--a remarkable performance for a boat of her size and type. Peter Pan is built of 5/8-inch planking, and is 23 feet 1 inches long, beam 4 feet 8 inches. She was designed for comfort rather than for excessive speed, and is fitted with two cross seats and four armchairs. Her motor is a two-cylinder 14-16-hp. Mercury, which turns an 18x18-inch Harthan propeller wheel, when running at full speed, at the rate of 875 r.p.m.

A remarkable feature of Peter Pan's performance during the thirty mile run is that a comparison of her time in each five-mile lap showed a variation of only one to four seconds. The prize for this event was a very handsome sterling silver cup valued at about a hundred dollars.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Oct. 10, 1908, p. 25 )

{This minor race heralds the beginning of James Simpson's distinguished career in power boat racing. He campaigned a long series of Peter Pan boats into the 1920's. While he never won the Gold Cup or the Harmsworth races, he was always a tough competitor who had fine equipment at his disposal. If there was a Hall of Fame that had representation from the first decades of power boat racing, Mr. Simpson would surely be included - GWC}

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


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Leslie Field, 2001