1904 APBA Gold Cup [first running]
Hudson River, New York City NY, June 23-25, 1904


Arrow Races the Standard

A race that was as unexpected as it was interesting took place yesterday afternoon for a short distance on the Hudson River between Charles R. Flint's fast yacht the Arrow and the automobile boat Standard, owned by C.C. Riotte of the Columbia Yacht Club. The race started a quarter of a mile above the Columbia Yacht Club at the foot of West Eighty-sixth Street. It began about 5 o'clock, a few minutes after the Standard had won the thirty-two-mile race for the Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association and in which the Standard made an average of 20.53 knots per hour.

C.C. Riotte, with his brother, E.A. Riotte, who managed the boat in her run up the river and back, continued to make short spurts back and forth in front of the clubhouse after the race. His boat was well out towards the middle of the river when C.C. Riotte observed the Arrow coming up the river at a fast rate. He immediately slowed down until the Arrow came within an eighth of a mile, when the Standard was let out a trifle, getting up her full speed as the Arrow drew up to her. The yachtsmen on the dock of the Columbia Yacht Club watched the race with keen interest. For a brief space of time the Arrow obtained a slight lead, and it was clear that she had accepted the challenge to race, for great clouds of smoke poured from her funnel before the boats had gone half a mile. The Standard quickly recovered her lost ground, and as far as could be judged, the boats continued for about a mile up the river on even terms, when the Standard quit racing and returned, and was moored alongside of Mr. Riotte's steam yacht, the Onawa, anchored off the Columbia Yacht Club.

Lewis Nixon, who was an interested spectator of this impromptu brush, said:

"It speaks well for the Standard, after making a record run of thirty-two miles to venture a brush with so fast a boat as the Arrow."

(Transcribed from the New York Times, June 25, 1904. )

[It seems as though the two boats were simply examining each other's running characteristics, and that this was not really a "race" as was suspected by the Times reporter. If it had been a legitimate test of top speed, the Arrow would probably have won easily as no gasoline-powered boat would approach her top speed until several years later. Still, both boats represented the state of their respective arts and it piques the interest to merely witness the two of them running at respectable speed next to each other. -- GWC]

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


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Leslie Field, 2001