1904 APBA Gold Cup[second running]
Autoboat Winner for Ormond Races
Owner of Vingt-et-Un II Expects to Take Her to Florida
Challenger's Poor Showing
Chippewa Club in the Thousand Islands Now Holds the Challenge Cup
New Boats Being Built
W. H. Kilmer, the owner of the Vingt-et-Un II, which won the Gold Challenge Cup on Saturday in the final race in the series of autoboat contests held under the auspices of the American Power Boat Association, felt so gratified with the success of the boat that he bought during the Summer as a pleasure craft for his country home in the Thousand Islands that he practically decided to take the boat to Ormond this Winter for the autoboat races to be held there. Mr. Kilmer was present at the Columbia Yacht Club for the first time on Saturday. In the feature races he will probably handle the boat himself, for he is an expert autoboat manager, and has become thoroughly acquainted wit the Vingt-et-Un II since he has had possession of her.
The credit of victory was shared with no less enthusiasm by the designer of the boat, Clinton H. Crane, and the manufacturers of her motors, Smith & Mabley. In fact, she was the boat originally built to compete for the Larchmont Cup, now only open to amateurs, and which was raced for in June by the boats entered by the Smith & Mabley and Hollander & Tangeman firms. The Vingt-et-Un II won handily, and the cup is now in custody of the Larchmont Yacht Club, waiting for challenges among amateurs.
The amateur interest in motor boat racing has not grown so rapidly as ahd been predicted early in the season. Practically all of the boats in the races last week represented different manufacturers' interests, and the amount of talk that was disseminated as a result of business rivalry on the alleged shortness of the course, the failure to make proper measurements, and a host of other minor things, might have formed serious drawbacks to the interest in the races were one inclined to take them seriously. Indeed, one man came to the club primed with an alleged official Government survey of the course, showing conclusively that it was one-third of a mile shorter than the committee claimed it to be.
The protests, however, did find sufficient weight with the committee to order the remeasurement of the Mercedes VI, Vanderbilt's boat; the Mercedes U.S.A., H. L. Bowden's boat, and the Macaroni, but as the latter is now destroyed, she will cease from giving trouble to her rivals. The Vanderbilt boat was remeasured early in the day, but the committee, while not announcing the figures, stated that the chalking would practically make no difference in the result of any of the races.
The Vingt-et-Un II, the Speedway, the Mercedes U.S.A., and the Marcerine II, a cabin boat, all showed splendid seaworthy qualities. The winning boat stamped herself as a boat that can go against a considerable force of wind and rough water and yet not show an appreciably diminished speed. Her average in statute miles for the first two days was a trifle over 25 miles, and on the last day, with the water very rough, she did over 24 1/2 miles. While her consistent showing demonstrates that motor boats can be built for safe usage in rough weather conditions, the opposite view of the case was shown by her sister boat, but of heavier horse power, the Challenger. The latter boat, while rated at 119 horse power, had trouble with her engines every day. The second day she did not attempt to start, but on neither of the other days did she finish. Yet this was the boat that represented America abroad for the Harmsworth Cup. Its defeat had been predicted before the boat was taken across the water.
C. M. Hamilton steered the winning boat at the request of Mr. Kilmer. Mr. Hamilton managed the boat in all of her races since she was launched last June. Although connected with the firm that built the boat and her motors, Mr. Hamilton is virtually an amateur automobilist. He is a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club, and before his attention was attracted to automobiles he was an energetic golfer, among his triumphs on the links being the championships of the Larchmont and Baltimore Clubs. He has shown himself to be one of the most skillful handlers of autoboats in America.
A new boat is now being built somewhat on the lines of the Vingt-et-Un II, but it is said she will show even faster time. The new boat will be launched in a short time and may be taken to Florida for the races. this Winter. The motor-boat races are over for this locality this season. There are early indications that early challenges will be made in the Spring for the Challenge Cup. The owner of the boat entered her from the Chippewa bay Yacht Club in the St. Lawrence, but that does not signify that the next race must be sailed from that club. In fact. the Ving-et-Un II's owner, Mr. Kilmer, is a member of both the Larchmont and the Manhasset Bay Yacht Clubs, and while the negotiations for the next race will be conducted through the Chippewa Club, Mr. Kilmer could elect to have the race sailed in New York waters, and it is generally believed he will do so. His home during the Winter is in New York.
(Transcribed from the New York Times, Sep. 26, 1904 )
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. LF]
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