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

Standard Wins Challenge Cup

The initial, first and original competition for the Gold Challenge Cup offered by the American Power Boat Association for club competition was held off the Columbia Yacht Club on the Hudson River on June 23, 24 and 25. Glorious weather favored the occasion, albeit Saturday, which despite the breeze that swept up the river, was rather warm. A considerable number of yachting folks were present, that is, yacht owners, power boat owners, club men, experts, architects, the press, etc., etc. But while the setting was all right, with the beautiful river, a number of boats of various kinds at anchorage, the grim Palisades on the opposite shore, the Riverside Terrace fairly well occupied with human folks, it was like Hamlet with the prince not in evidence. For, while the entries numbered nine, the competitors on the first day numbered only three, Standard, Fiat I, substituted for Fiat III, and Water Lily. On the second and third day, the Standard and Water Lily alone, for Fiat I had damaged her rudder in the first race and had to be towed home. Fiat III was not ready.

It was a pity that this very important function which, from an official point of view, is the banner event of American power boat racing thus far, drew so small a crowd and brought out so small an entry. The general opinion was that owners of the boats seen in the regattas thus far this season, bar the owners of the Water Lily and Fiat I, seemed to have come to the conclusion that there was no use trying for cup honors alongside the Standard, despite the handicaps allowed under the American Power Boat Rules. Another theory was that many fast boats have not been tuned up, and that the many other racing boats spoken of so frequently this season are not yet completed. In other words, power boat racing this season is suffering, up to the moment, from delay on the part of the builders, and it will be pretty well into midsummer before the racing fleet is really complete; in fact, it seems probable that the Fall races will, in interest, far exceed those held in the earlier part of the season.

The result of the races, running over three days, June 23, 24 and 25, that is, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, was a victory for the Standard, which was entered from the Columbia Yacht Club. The contest was determined by the point system, each boat being credited with a point for covering the course and an additional point for each boat she beat on corrected time. The cup is held by the winning club for a year. There is a rumor, however, that the Columbia Club, in view of the unsatisfactoriness of this contest, have decided to waive the clause in the conditions, so that the cup may be challenged and competed for again this year. Be it noted that, on the second day, the Standard showed 20.53 knots per hour, that is, about 23.63 miles, which is probably the highest speed yet shown by any auto boat thus far built.

The Standard allowed the Water Lily 17 m. 14 s. and the Fiat I 14 m. 26 s. On the first day, as stated above, the Fiat I, having injured her rudder by running against a submerged log, was towed back by Commodore Luttgen's electric launch, the Lutuchezi, leaving the Standard to beat the Water Lily by 5 m. 24 s., with the Water Lily's allowance figured in. On the second day Standard beat Water Lily by 3 m. 54 s., and on the third day by 6 m. 51 s.

The races showed the usual features: a lot of preliminary anticipation, then, at the sound of the gun, the Standard darting up the river at a tremendous pace, and the Water Lily hanging on like grim death. The course was from the club-house, at Eighty-sixth Street, to a stakeboat anchored off Piermont, sixteen nautical miles up the river and return.






Standard C. C. Riotte Columbia Y. C.


Express C. D. Mower Manhasset Bay Y.C.


Ardis R. M. Haddock Shattemuc Y & C


Boomerang C. A. Godshalk Riverton Y. C.


Flip C. D. Holmes Hartford Y. C.


Water Lily Frank Seaman Yonkers-Corinthian Y. C.


Fiat III C. H. Tangeman Atlantic Y. C.


Dolphin II Harold Brown South Boston Y. C.


Marcerine II J. W. Allison Cape May Y. C.


[Excerpts transcribed from The Motor Boat, 10 July 1904, pp. 3-4. ]

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

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