1903 Harmsworth Trophy

The Irish Automobile Fortnight
Cork, JULY 10. [1903]

The members of the Automobile Club reached Cork last night to fulfill their southern engagements in connexion with their fortnight's tour of Ireland. Half a dozen of the vehicles, however, experienced a few hours' delay through mishaps caused by punctured tires and derangement in steering apparatus. To-day a number of special trials took place over a two mile straight and level course in the western suburbs of the city. The competitions excited keen interest, and thousands took possession of every point of vantage by the road. The police arrangements were very strictly enforced, and there were no mishaps of any kind.

Though more than 60 of the cars are participating in the southern tour, less than half the number entered for the speed trials arranged, and of these not more than 20 actually competed. Operations began with speed trials by tourist cars for a cup presented by the executive committee of the Cork International Exhibition. Thirteen cars, embracing five types, competed. In the final heat, Mr. T. W. Dew's six-horse power Gardner-Serpollet was first, subject to there being no protest against an informality in the start. His time was 2min. 7 4-5sec.

More interesting was a match between Mr. Scott-Montagu, M.P., on a 22-horse power Daimler, and Mr. C. S. Rolls, on a 20-horse power Panhard. In spite of the narrowness of the road, both cars raced along together, the former winning by four yards in 2min. 55 2-5sec.

The final event was for cars weighing not more than 1,000 kilos, for a cup presented by the proprietors of the Cork Constitution. There were 15 entries, but only four competed. Mr. Rolls, on an 80-horse power Mors, was first, in 1min. 49 3-5sec.; Mr. J. E. Hutton, on a 60-horse power Mercedes, second, in 1min. 52 4-5sec.; and Lieutenant Cumming, on a 50-horse power Wolseley, third, in 2min. 04-5sec.

The members of the club remain in Cork to-morrow to witness the motor boatrace for the Harmsworth cup, and on Monday they start for Killarney. On Wednesday further hill-climing competitions will take place on the Killarney-Tralee road.

(Transcribed from the London Times - 11 July 1903. p. 14. )

[It should be noted that Lt. Cummins, Mansfield Cumming, would become a noted power boat racer in Europe as well as maintaining his Royal Military service, becoming a very important participant in British intelligence gathering programs during World War I. ]

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Cork, July 12. [1903]

The embers of the Automobile Club on tour concluded their programme in Cork last evening with the motor launch competitions for the Harmsworth International Challenge Cup. The Yachtsman's Cup and a handicap for cruising or yacht's launches took place under the auspices of the club. The course was from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Queenstown, to the Marina, Cork, eight and a half nautical miles.. There was a large attendance of spectators at both starting and finishing points. When the race for the Harmsworth Cup was over the spectators melted away, partly owing to the fact that rain began to fall, but chiefly because the arrangement which necessitated the boats starting in the several heats from Queenstown caused delays which tired their patience and causes popular interest in the proceedings to flag.

The Harmsworth Cup
S.F. Edge, 40ft. boat, 75 h.p. Napier engine, time 24min. 44sec. (1) 
J.E. Thorneycroft, 30 ft. boat, 20 h.p., time 30min. 28 4-5sec. (2) 
F. Beadle, 30 ft. boat, 50 h.p., eight cylinders, M.M. Co. engine, time 27 min. 44 sec. (3). 
Yachtsman's Cup (Handicap)
Thorneycroft (handicap, 11 min. 50 sec.), time 33 min. 51 1-5sec. (1) 
Beadle, (handicap 6min. 55 sec.), time 33min. 12 3-5 sec. (2) 
S.F. Edge (scratch), time 27min. 9 1-5sec. (3). 

M. Charley, Paris, had entered with a 34 1/2 ft. boat. 40 h,p, Mercedes engines, but a derangement of his machinery prevented his starting on handicap allowance. Thorneycroft beat Beadle by 5min. 8sec., while Beadle beat Edge by 51 3-5sec.

Yachts Launches Handicap:
H, Compton, 23ft. four h.p., handicap 5min., net time 56min. 31 2-5sec. (1). 
A. Bowlby, 24ft. six h.p., handicap 12min., net time 1 hour 7min. 50 4-5sec. (2). 
A. Nicholson, 31ft., six h.p., scratch time, 1 hour 7min. 2 4-5sec. 
A. Evans, 18ft., two h.p., handicap 12min.; broke down. 

Most of the motor tourists have already left for Killarney, the remainder follow to-morrow.

(Transcribed from the London Times, 13 July 1903. p. 11. )

[See also Motor Boat Races in Ireland for the Harmsworth Cup]

[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in the preparation of this page --LF]

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Leslie Field, 1999