La Rapiere II Makes A World's Record At Trouville [1906]

The Coupe du Trouville meeting, which is the successor to the former Paris-to-the-Sea race, was held this year on August 3 to 6 and was notable for the remarkable performance made by La Rapiere II, which covered the distance of 94 kilometers, from Rouen to Tancarville, on the third day, in 1 h. 51 m. 12 s.; or at the rate of 31.3 miles per hour, and the 108 kilometers from Rouen to Havre in 2 h. 10 m. 17 s., which is practically the same rate. Through the sale of Antoinette IV, which is to go to Germany, La Rapiere II becomes the French champion, and it is very probable that if Antoinette IV had remained in France she would have to be pushed to maintain the premier position which she won at Monaco.

In the cruiser classes, which comprised the greater number of the events, as the meeting was originally held for the cruisers which made the trip from Paris to the sea, several different rating systems were used, including that used for cruisers at Monaco, the old rule of the Yacht Club of France and several others. it was expected by the promoters that by allowing boats to choose the rules under which they would race, they would get a larger number of entrants, and that these would naturally select the rating rule which would be more favorable. The result was that, although the entries were numerous, there were several cases of only one boat being entered in a class, and the number of divisions was nearly as great as the number of contestants.

The race for cruisers was divided into two stages, the fist day being from Rouen to Caudebac, a distance of 66 kilometers, and the second day's run was from Caudebac to Tancarville, a distance of 28 kilometers. The racers started from Rouen and ran through to Tancarville, 94 kilometers in one day. The third day's event consisted of a short run through the canal from Tancarville to Havre, 14 kilometers. The last day was devoted to standing mile and flying kilometer runs at Havre. On the first day Meldelssohn covered the 66 kilometers in 3:33:53, Calipso took 1:43:48, and La Lorraine 1:49:54 for the same distance. Mendelssohn for the distance of 108 kilometers, from Rouen to Havre -- which was covered in 2 h. 10 m. 17 s. by La Rapiere II -- took 5:46:35, Calipso 2:51:33, and La Lorraine 2:58:13, which is excellent time for boats of their respective sizes. These boats are in the French cruiser class, which in reality are only modified racers, but under the rule the contestants are required to carry a large number of passengers or equivalent weight, so that, were the boats allowed to race light, as is customary in racer class, they could undoubtedly make records very close to that of the racers and only lower because of the increased weight of hull and motor. La Rapiere did not contest in the standing mile and flying kilometer trials, but carried off the cup for her record over the complete course.

(Transcribed from The Motor Boat, Sep. 10, 1906, p. 28. )

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


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Leslie Field, 1999