Poor Turnouts for the 1905 Season

Power Boat Races

We have had so far this season, in this neighborhood, but three power boat races of importance, the first on memorial Day, under the auspices of the Manhasset Bay Y.C., in which were started but seven boats in three classes, besides the eleven one-design 21-footers of the Knickerbocker Y.C.

Had it not been for the interest centered in the Knickerbocker "Sea Skunks," in this their first public appearance, the Manhasset Bay meet would have fallen flat.

The following Saturday the Columbia Y.C. held their annual power boat race. This was a remarkably good event and power boat owners were considerably encouraged at the successful nature of the meet.

Of all these boats taking part in the race, a total of seventeen, all but two belonged to the Columbia Y.C.

At the third race, this time under the auspices of the New Rochelle Y.C., interest seems to have been lost for there were but eight contestants in six classes, with the Knickerbocker Sea Skunks to again, as at Manhasset Bay, save the day.

Considerable dissatisfaction seems to have arisen over this race on the part of White Fox's owner, at the classification of his boat, but as he entered his boat subject to the rules of the American Power Boat Association he was simply unfortunate. The regatta committee could not have done otherwise. The facts are that Simplex was designed by Tams, Le Moine & Crane who were perfectly familiar with the intricacies and big advantages of large midship section and high power, while the designer of White Fox looked for high speed with low power, with no regard to midship section. The result was that White Fox was a lean boat, and according to the rules rated high.

June 17th the Atlantic Y.C. had scheduled a power boat race, but abandoned it on account of no entries.

Why has interest in the sport seemed to have lessened? There are plenty of boats and boat owners who ought to be ready to race their boats and undoubtedly would, but they do not like to be beaten. If the present rules are unfair they should be modified. If they are fair or unfair it looks as if there would be very little power boat racing around New York this season, more's the pity.

And we are looking for a remedy.

It seems that it only lies in one design and restricted classes, boats, say 21, 26, 32, 40 and 50-ft lengths, and the horse-power and width restricted.

The present time allowances seems unsatisfactory, no matter how equitable. At best measurements are not easy to take, and it is no simple matter to figure the ratings of a dozen boats, knowing the measurements necessary and the horse-power of the engines. One member of a regatta committee is reported as saying that the reason they had no power boat races scheduled was because they had no one in the club who could figure out a boat's rating and be sure the result was within 50 per cent of correct.

The yacht clubs so far holding power boat races should be complimented for one thing and that is their treatment of the representatives of Power Boat News. Every attention has been awarded him, all information of entries, ratings and various detail has been carefully explained, making it very much easier for him to lucidly report the races without giving uninteresting details or making attacks upon the regatta committee. To be sure we did not have our entire staff on the grounds or to crowd the judges' boats, and then "roast" the management.

(Transcribed from Power Boat News, July 8, 1905, p. 256. )

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


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Leslie Field, 2000