Pacific Coast Powerboat Racing [1909]

Notes From Up and Down the Coast
Short Items of Interest Sent in by Special Correspondence


A meeting of the Pacific International Power Boat Association was held Tuesday, Oct. 12th, at the offices of the Pacific Motor Boat in Seattle. Several matters of importance came up, chief of which was the matter of the Long Distance race of next year. The subject of handicapping received a thorough discussion, but no conclusions were arrived at and the matter was left in the hands of the racing Committee. It looks as though the race would either held under the present rules or that two classes will be established, one of which will race under the present rule and the other under the actual performance system. James Wood of Withrop was present, representing Mrs. James Wood, skipper of the Clansman in the long distance race of last year, and another protest was filed against the awarding of second place to the Sunset, on the grounds that she was not reported by the stakeboat at Port Angeles. This matter was also referred to the Racing Committee. The association was urged to take some action in regard to the legislation which is to come up before Congress regulating motor boats, but it was decided that being an international organization, it could not logically join the National Power Boat Association or officially take any action in lobby work at Washington. The Secretary was instructed, however, to take up the matter with the yacht clubs and secure their individual action. It was decided to hold the Long Distance race over a course from Tacoma to Victoria, via a stakeboat in Vancouver harbor, with no other points of report intervening on the course.


Gus Flemming, chairman of the regatta committee of the Willamette Club, has started building a 32-foot speed boat, the model of which is the same as the Nymph, designed by Otto W. Ranft.

Allen Birdick of Silver Heels fame, but now owner of Spangles, has returned to Corvallis to attend school. It is already rumored that Allen will build a still faster boat this winter.

James B. Welch has purchased a new 20-horsepower, 2-cylinder Emerson engine from the Rober machinery Company of that city.

The Curtis Boat Building Company have modeled a 31-foot racer every part of which has been standardized, which makes it possible for them to turn out these models in a very short time. With a 20-horsepower Emerson engine they expect to be able to guarantee a speed of 20 miles an hour.

Joe Mathiot launched his new boat Kitty II on August the eighth and made a trip to the duck lakes next day.

The next racing events of the Willamette Motor Boat Club will be held on New Years Day, in the morning. Portland boasts of being one of the few cities on the coast that can hold race meets in the middle of the winter.

A meeting of the Willamette Motor Boat Club was held at Rainier, Ore, Oct. 16th, preceded by well-attended races in the afternoon. Two races took place. The Alta, Billiken, Augusta and Berly competed in the first race. This race was won by Billiken first and Augusta second. The second race was run by the Pacer and Happy Heine. This race was disqualified. The Happy Heine, which is owned by Captain Milton Smith of Rainier and which took a silver cup on Labor Day, was manned by little Wilbur Smith, aged 10.


Church Brothers of Coos River are having a new speed boat built at the Columbia Boat and Engineering Works. It will be 32 feet long with 4 ˝-foot beam and will be equipped with 17-horsepower engines. She will be modeled after A. H. Powers’ General II.


Sacramento is soon to have an addition to its fleet of speed boats. The latest acquisition is being built by S. Pankost. It will be called P. N. B. Mr. Pankost expects to make twenty-six miles an hour. The engine will be a high power Pierce, Nye & Budd. The hull will be made largely of aluminum. The boat will be very light and fully equipped will weigh only 550 pounds. Clarence Reynolds, a well-known boat builder, is working upon it. It will be a contender for the state championship.

Members of the Sacramento Boat Club are rejoicing at the victory on San Francisco Bay in October of the cruiser Palachan, which won the first race for the perpetual challenge cup presented to the San Francisco by Frederick A. Robins. Although the scratch entry, the Palachan easily overtook the Roamer of the San Francisco Yacht Club and the Liberty of the Pacific Motor Boat Club. In the speed boat contest, which was the feature race of the day, the Fighting Bob II, owned by E. Forrest Mitchell and Bernard Klune of Sacramento, who also own the Palachan, finished second. The Fighting Bob II showed the greatest speed of any of the boats entered in the race, but two break downs cost her the race. The Konocti won by six seconds with the Azores, owned by Doctor Silva of the Washington Boat Club, third.

(Transcribed from Pacific Motor Boat, November 1909, pp. 28-35.)

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

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