1905 APBA Gold Cup
American Power Boat Association Gold
By W. P. Stephens
The third match for the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association run in a series of three races by the Chippewa Y.C., proved to be not only the most important event of the present season but the best contest of autoboats which has yet taken place in this country. The waters of the St. Lawrence River are far superior to those of New York and Marblehead in affording clear courses in deep water, free from tides and commercial traffic; and the local fleet, including all classes of power boats from large steel steam yachts down to the homely "put-put," brought hosts of interested spectators, all keenly enthusiastic and well posted as to the merits of the respective competitors. The entry list included a notable fleet of new and old racers, and though the expected happened and the fastest and most powerful launches broke down before or during the race, there was, nevertheless, a hotly fought fight between several well-matched boats, ending on the third day with the most sensational finish yet seen in the new sport. The management of the contest was exceptionally good, the three races going off on time and without a single hitch, every detail of measuring, starting and timing working to perfection.
The Chippewa Y.C. is in some respects a peculiar organization, and but little known outside of its immediate locality. Chippewa bay and the adjacent islands are peopled by summer residents, many from Ogdensburg, 30 miles below, and some from New York and Brooklyn; among the latter being Commodore F. G. Bourne, of the New York Y.C., who has a beautiful summer home on dark Island, and C. M. Englis and H. W. Williams, of Owatonna Island, close to the main land on the West shore of the bay. The club was organized in 1895 for the promotion of sailing races, all of the members owning sailing yachts and some of the m using naphtha launches as the every-day means of transit. Many good races have been sailed under the club's burgee, and at one time it possessed probably the finest racing fleet of the Seawanhaka Cup 20-footers, including some of the best Sound boats and others specially designed for the members by Duggan, Crane and other experts in the class. As it developed to a practical proposition the gasolene launch superceded the old naphtha launch and the sailing boats, and for some years past the club has numbered a very large number of fast power boats in its fleet. When she won the challenge cup on the Hudson last fall Vingt-et-Un II was entered by her owner, W. Sharpe Kilmer, in the name of the Chippewa Y.C., and the cup came into the custody of the club. It was challenged for this year by the Thousand Islands Y.C., and under the conditions ten boats were entered from different clubs. Thought the boat was on the river, the owner of Vingt-et-Un II declined to enter her as the defender, but at the same time he offered her for sale to the club for that purpose. The next available boat, Chip, owned by Jonathan Wainwright, of Overbrook, Pa., and Ogdensburg, was of a different type and much smaller, a Leighton boat built last year, 27 ft. over all, 3 ft. 4 in. in breadth, with a 4-cylinder, 2-stroke Leighton engine, cylinders 4 by 4 in. and running 450 r.p.m.; like all launches of her class she is plainly and rather heavily built, in no sense an up-to-date autoboat.
The entry list included Panhard II, Andre Massenat, Columbia Y.C., already known about New York; the new Lozier Shooting Star II; Skeeter, E. A. Schroeder, New York A. C., a new Seabury boat of the general type turned out by this firm; Flip, W. H. Beebe, Hartford Y.C., seen in various races last year; So Long, a new launch designed and built by Pitzhunt, of Alexandria Bay, and fitted with a 4-stroke engine specially built for her under her owner's supervision; Radium, well-known last year, but recently refitted with two 4-stroke engines; T.Z.R., designed and built by Captain H. F. Johnson, of Clayton, and fitted with a Trebert engine; Invlese, designed by R. B. Clarke, of the E. H. Gotshalk Company, and fitted with a 3-cylinder Giant engine, and Livius, of Oswego. The most notable of all was the new Flying Dutchman III, built by the Williams-Whittelesey Company from the designs of E. N. Whittelesey for H. L. Bowden, of Waltham, Mass., owner of Mercedes U.S.A. of last year. This launch, 39 ft. 4 in., or 12 meters over all, is a distinct departure from all accepted theories and conventional ideas; and, whether she proves right or wrong in the end, her designer is entitled to credit for his bold experiment. The fore end from the stem 3 ft. aft is rounded in bluntly to an extent unknown in any type of vessel; the bow at the sides actually tumbles in so that the breadth on deck is less than at the water line. the run is flat at the transom, which in itself is square, but raking forward at a strong angle, being immersed to about 5 in. when in normal trim. The turtleback at the fore end has a high crown and extends abaft the engines. to throw off the spray at ordinary high speeds spray boards are fitted at the level of the deck on each side. the hull is of the Standard construction patented by Mr. Whittelsey, the double inner ribs being carried around the turtleback. The engines are the same pair of Mercedes used by Mr. Bowden in his automobile racing car at Ormond last winter, when he broke all records for over-weight cars; they are installed in the boat on the steel side frames of the car, which are bolted to the side keelson trusses. In her preliminary trials at Marblehead, in which it is claimed that she exceeded 26 miles per hour, the boat capsized, throwing Mr. Bowden, Mr. Whittelsey and the mechanic into "the drink," but with no serious effect, as they were rescued and the hull floated, having ample air tanks and compartments.
The course for this race was very carefully surveyed on the ice last winter and certified by the engineer who did the work. There are two straight runs of 6 miles each, with turns of half-mile radius. The depth varies from over 100 ft. to 18 or 20 in a few spots, the average being about 50 ft. The turns were marked by three white flags on each, and every rock and shoal anywhere near the course or to it was specially marked with one or more red flags.
The club has no station and no clubhouse, but its races start off the homes of Messrs. Englis and Williams, where several wharves and two boathouses afford the same facilities as are usual at yacht clubs. During the races an elaborate luncheon was served to all visitors, special invitations being extended to the cruisers from New York, and all hands were welcomed personally by Messrs. Englis and Williams. The whole affair was in this respect a novelty, different in every way from the ordinary club race. The special commit- tee for the match included S. G. Averell, of the club, R. H. Eggleston, of the Thousand Islands Y.C., the challenger, and Paul Dashiell. S. Y. Karma, Rear-Commodore W. H. Post, was used as the committee boat, anchoring off the Englis wharf. The club measurer, Ernest Serrell, was in attendance throughout the racing.
All the details were in accordance with the rule of the American Power Boat Association, which was represented by Secretary S. H. McIntosh. Messrs. Serrell and Averell were on hand for four days preceding the racing, every boat being run over the course at speed and her revolutions taken, many tests being made on each; the midship sections and water lines were measured and the rating computed carefully. The results obtained were naturally somewhat different from those in previous measurements of the older boats. Every boat was provided with a flag bearing her racing number, a chart of the course on a large scale, and a printed card as follows:
Chippewa Yacht Club
Date, August 24
Owner, H. A. Lozier Boat, Shooting Star II
Racing No. 8 Rating 73.66
Race Starts at 2:30:00
You Start at H., 3, M., 27, S., 39 After No. 7 Which Starts at H., 3, M., 22, S., 26
Start up Stream, Twice Around
Report to Committee and Bring This Card as Soon as You Land
Any Protest must be filed with the Committee in Writing Before 6 o'clock
Thursday, August 24, was a perfect day, even for the St. Lawrence, with a clear sky, bright sun, and a moderate breeze that kept the temperature quite as cool as was comfortable. The racing men made their headquarters at Alexandria Bay, 9 miles up the river, as there are no hotels about Chippewa Bay. About noon the procession started down, steam yachts, power boats, racing autoboats and "put-puts" of all descriptions. The larger steam yachts anchored in two rows along the course at the start, Magedoma, Calumet. Jule, Jean, kate, Louise, Artemis, Vesta, Cheemaun, Lotus, Rex, Empress, Whileaway, Stroller, Amabel, Vacuna, Sport, W. B. and others. The launches from New York ran into the bay and mostly tied up at the wharves.
The first gun was given at 2:25 and the start at 2:30, the first boat, Invlese, getting off some little time after the gun; Chip followed on her handicap time, 6 minutes and 17 seconds later, also a little late. Flip's start was well times, then followed T.Z.R. and So Long. Radium was a little late and she stopped just on the line for 30 seconds. Shooting Star II picked up very quickly, with H. A Lozier at the wheel, and ran fast with a loud husky roar. Panhard II, steered by Jos. Devantry, followed close after her, getting her speed quickly and throwing a curved veil of spray from each bow. Skeeter, carrying two men on the after thwart besides the mechanic, was the last to start, at 3:38:35, and she was over the line barely a half minute before Invlese came tearing after her to begin the second lap. The effect of the present rating is well illustrated by this instance, a boat of 40 ft. length and 75 rating being compelled to run 30 miles while one of little more than half the length and 45 rating runs 15 miles. The absolute certainty that under the A.P.B.A. rating the prize must go to one of the smaller boats, and the rivalry between Chip, a local favorite, and an unknown boat from a distance, made the work of these two the most exciting feature of the racing. The timing of Chip at the end of the round showed her to be 3 minutes and 57 seconds astern of Invlese, or 42 seconds behind her allowance for half the course.
Flying Dutchman had entered and was measured, but she broke her crankshaft on Tuesday; the engine was taken down, the shaft removed and taken by rail to Watertown, where men worked continually for 24 hours in the making of a new one. it was finally decided to remove the forward engine and to run the boat under one engine only, four cylinders, but more trouble was met with the magnetos, and though work was kept up continuously until Saturday the boat was unable to run in a single race. Radium failed to finish the first round; Panhard II, after finishing the first round with a gain of 2 minutes on Shooting Star, broke her magneto and stopped. The finish of Invlese and Chip was interesting, the former leading to the third buoy of the final turn, half a mile from the finish, when she stopped, Chip passing her and finishing with a lead of nearly 2 minutes; the cause of the stoppage was stated to be the failure of the batteries.
Friday was still clear and bright, though rather cool for August, the fleet gathered about the start at 2 o'clock and the boats were sent away as on the first day; the starters being Invlese, Chip, Flip, T.Z.R., Shooting Star II and Skeeter. This time Mr. Leighton ran the engines of Chip, and at the end of the first round she was but 34 seconds astern of Invlese. After a close finish she led by 1 minute and 47 seconds. After the finish Invlese files a protest against Chip on the ground that her revolutions were greater than her rating justified, so on Friday morning Chip was taken out and run over the measured mile. Her rating was based on a speed of 455 r.p.m. In this final test she was run over the measured mile, her time being 3 minutes and 39 seconds, the average of four tests of the revolutions being 442 1/2. She was also run up and down the measured mile, the speed per mile for the two miles being 3 minutes and 31 1/2 seconds; and the average speed of engine 440 1/2 r.p.m. Out of eight tests the highest speed recorded was 450 r.p.m. The test speed made in the first two days was 16.36 miles, or 3 minutes and 40 seconds per mile. On the trial miles in these tests she made the distance in 3 minutes and 39 seconds, the speed of the engine, as already stated, being 442 1/2. On the figures as given above, the protest was disallowed by the committee.
Saturday morning was clear, with a fresh breeze, but about 1 o'clock a thunderstorm passed down the river, the wind kicking up a sea which disappeared as the storm cleared and the sun came out. Only five boats started, So Long being absent. At the end of the first round Invlese led by 37 seconds, and she held the lead to the middle buoy of the turn off Cedar Island when Chip pressed her very hard. They came down the last mile with Chip gaining slowly but surely, the distance decreasing by inches rather than feet; as they straightened out after Chip had taken the outside at the turn of the last buoy she was still astern. The was probably the most exciting yet seen in a power boat race in this country, Chip lapped the leader, then drew abreast, and as they were some distance apart it was impossible to see which really led until they were almost at the line; here Chip spurted and took the lead, opening a few feet of clear water between her stern and the stem of Invlese as they were timed just two seconds apart.
The scoring for the cup was by a system of points, one for every start made and one for each boat defeated. As Chip won each of the three races it was not necessary to fall back upon the number of points due each boat.
In addition to the main prize, Commodore F. G. Bourne, New York Y.C., presented a very handsome silver pitcher as a prize for the best actual time made by any boat in the three races of the series, this being won by Mr. Lozier in Shooting Star II. After the finish the two cups were presented to Mr. Wainwright and Mr. Lozier. it is needless to say that the Chippewa Y.C. was even more pleased at the successful defense of the cup in its home waters than by the original capture of the cup at New York, and it will make every effort to defend it as well next year.
(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Sep. 2, 1905, pp. 421-424.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. --LF]
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