The Racing of Power Boats [1903]

At various times during the past few years since the introduction of naphtha and gasoline launches and yacht races have been sailed by them under many different rules and classifications, the results of which have been usually unsatisfactory, as far as determining the relative merits of the boat were concerned, and it was not until THE RUDDER took the matter up and published a scale of time-allowances and a set of rules to govern such races that we had anything definite which we could adopt.

About this time last year the Regatta Committee of the Columbia Yacht Club arranged for a race of power boats, which was ailed over a 12-mile triangular course on the Hudson River, under the rules and time-allowance scale as published in THE RUDDER. The results were quite satisfactory and the event a success. But it still was evident that many improvements and revisions of those rules, etc., could be made to cover types of boats not represented in that particular event. The race showed that there was a great and rapidly growing interest in power boats, both for pleasure and speed. The problem that presented itself was how it would be best to further that interest and give the sport a permanent foothold. After many informal talks and exchanges of ideas on the subject among some of the enthusiasts, a circular was sent to all the nearby yacht clubs, inviting any of the members who were interested to meet for the purpose of forming and organizations whose subject would be to promote the interest in and the racing of power boats.

The meeting was held and the A.P.B. Association was formed. Committees were formed to draft the Constitution, By-Laws, Scale of Time Allowance and a System of Measurements. How well they performed their work is now known by the published pamphlet of the Association, and practical demonstrations of the same will occur during the coming season.

The American Power Boat Association at the time of writing is composed of representatives from twenty-three well-known yacht clubs, and many more have signified their intention of going in as soon as the necessary formalities can be compiled with and their representations appointed. members of the Association will please not that the Columbia Yacht Club will hold a power-boat race on June 20th, under the auspices of the A.P.B. Association, and I heartily request you all to send in your entries as soon as possible. There are a number of prize cups waiting for those of you who win them.

W. H. Ketcham, President A. P. B. Ass'n.

(Transcribed from The Rudder, June, 1903, p. 369. )

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


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Leslie Field, 1999