1905 Beebe Cup Series Races

Power Boat Races At Hartford, Conn.

Bespattered with oil and drenched by the flying spray Daniel S. Morrell drove his sturdy power boat Rocket to victory in the power boat races this afternoon, defeating some very likely craft in consequence. The race was one of a series to be run for the Beebe Cup, donated by W. H. Beebe, of New York, and was over the river course from the Hartford Y.C. to a point just below the Middletown Y.C., and return, a distance of 31.26 knots.

A smooth sea prevailed and a light wind was blowing from the southeast, but on the run home the contestants had the tide to contend with, notwithstanding some good sport ensued. Six boats were originally intended to make up the event, but two of them did not contest. The Dayton-Budlong craft Columbia, regarded as a flyer, did not contest, having fouled her propeller a few days before and had not been put in trim in time for the event. Some great things are anticipated in this craft. Boojum, a tiny contestant (that was to be) hailing from Middletown, did not show up in time for the starter's gun and put in her appearance some time after all the other boats had crossed the line, This narrow craft was to have gone first in the event, but failing to appear, Leclair, also hailing from down the river, did the trick.

Owing to a misinterpretation of the starter's signals this craft took the water 2 minutes before her time. Two minutes was thus to be deducted from her time allowance of 15 minutes and 32 seconds. She was scheduled to have crossed the line at 3 P.M., but did so at 2:58, thus having a two-minute start on the next boat, Rocket, which crossed the line after manouvering to the start, enabling her to start exactly on time at 3:03:59.

The craft, Fantana, another down the river production, was brought to the line almost at the very last moment, 3:15:05, a few little alterations being necessary, which nearly cost her some valuable time as the next craft, 6-cylinder Hornet, was scheduled to leave 27 seconds later, which she did, although the start was hardly what it might have been.

The first boat to leave, Leclair, passed out of sight about 2 miles below the club quarters in 5 minutes and 52 seconds, and Rocket did the same trick one second slower. All the starters reached the stake boat at Middletown and had proceeded on the run to the finish, but after having just about made the turn, Leclair fouled, one of her cylinders going bad, which put her out of the contest, leaving Rocket in the lead. Fantana also fouled and had to give p the contest, and being in her own waters, had but a short distance to go to reach her quarters. Hornet was thus left to fight it out with sturdy Rocket, but "the Fates" in a measure decided otherwise, and for a time she was disabled, but eventually made the repairs and finished the course, thus winning one point in the series. For a time it looked as if the race would be Rocket first and no second, and in a measure such was the case, for Hornet was indeed a bad second.

It was this long, slim craft that Rocket most feared, and had she not fouled possibly the result would have been different, at least a little closer. The spectators at the Hartford quarters were anxiously awaiting the telephone message from Middletown announcing the arrival of the speeders, and when that message arrived it was to announce that the boats turned the stake boat in the order of the start, and that Leclair and Fantana were out of the race, and then there was but to await the arrival of the awaiting contestants. Soon some one espied in the distance a mere speck, which glasses proved to be the Rocket coming full tilt for home, and as she drew near to the finish she presented a very pretty sight as the water parted at her bow. As she finished the committee gun announced the event and after circling around, the sturdy gray craft dew up to the club float, the occupants being literally soaked from head to foot and spattered with oil. In response to a question, Morrell replied that the run had been quite satisfactory.

Of the contestants, Rocket and Hornet represented the Hartford Y.C., and the remaining ones the Middletown Y.C.

Another race is to be run in the near future.

The first gun was fired at 2:50; the second, at 2:55, and the final, at 2:58. Rocket's time, 2 hours, 15 minutes and 23 second. Hornet's time, 2 hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds. Time limit two and a half hours.

Rocket, by to-day's victory, has earned four points, one for finishing the course and three for defeating three competitors; all of which will figure for the series standing.

Rocket had been tied up to her float some little time when a telephone message announced that Hornet was coming like a streak. Soon that craft was seen looming up in the distance and on the home stretch showed some speed as she tore her way up through the water. She was accorded the gun as she crossed the line, those present feeling she deserved it for her plucky finish.

The various craft may be described as follows:

Leclair, owned by E. A. Ely, 281/2 ft. long, about 5 ft. breadth, 4-cylinder Hubbard engine, 23.14 h.p., full rating 57.79, steered by H. W. Hubbard.

Hornet, owned by A. B. Tooker, 6-cylinder Frisbie engine, 25,8 h.p., length 31.83, full rating 65.35, steered by Frisbie.

Fantana, owned R. H. Downs, 4-cylinder Hubbard engine, 23.32 h.p., length 31 ft. 10 in, 3 ft. 8 in. beam, full rating 63.21 (Now holds the record for Hartford to Fenwick.), handled by Arnold and Markham.

Rocket, owned by D. S. Morrell, 4-cylinder Standard engine, 18.8 h.p., length 27.46 ft., 4 ft. 6 in. beam, full rating 58.05, Morrell was at the wheel.

(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Aug. 26, 1905, pp. 403-404.)

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Second Series Race for the 1905 Beebe Cup

Race On Connecticut River For The Beebe Cup

Heavy seas and stiff breezes are hardly regarded as congenial elements in power boat racing, but with such the lovers of the sport had to contend in the Beebe Cup event, Saturday September 2. The event was the second of a series for the Beebe Cup. Rocket having four points in the competition and Hornet three previous to the second event. Five boats faced the starters and took the water at the gun.

Leclair, of Middletown, the Ely exponent of the sport, failed to start. Boojum, Fantana, Hornet, Rocket and Columbia responded to the start, taking the water at 1:10:30 p.m., and for a time it was nip and tuck between Rocket and Columbia. Before the latter craft had reached Naubuc, where she fouled the gray Rocket, she had the best of the argument. In the meantime Hornet and Fantana were at it, the former going to the front and maintaining that position after passing Rocket at Higganum. Thus, Rocket was an easy second, and with Fantana astern, had naught to fear. >From Hartford to Higganum Rocket maintained the lead, but released it to Hornet at the latter place. Rocket was performing beautifully, while Hornet was running on three of her six cylinders from Hartford to Middletown and complete the course on five, one being disabled the entire trip. Fantana was not working at her best and carburetor troubles worried Columbia, as did the breaking of the steering gear.

Hornet was in good shape, and nearing the finish in a befitting manner, Rocket not far astern. Fantana was accorded the proverbial stern chase and made the most of it, while her erstwhile rival, Columbia, had mishaps nearer home.

The anxious spectators at Fenwick were working the glass in the vicinity of Lynne Bridge, and some yelled, "Here they come!" "The Rocket?", was asked; "No, it's red -- Tooker's Hornet!" And how she was scooting for the finish! She presented a pretty sight as she crossed the finish line, though the white caps and spray overspread the occupants time and again. Soon Hornet drew up to the club dock and Bruce Tooker at the wheel drenched to the hide, was none the less cordial in consequence. His mechanic, Frisbie, the builder of Hornet's power plant, was also drenched bu happy. A Hartford motorist informed Tooker that he tooted him passing through Goodspeed's and came to Fenwick with all power on and reached the finish just as Hornet crossed the line. Some conception of Hornet's speed may be had in consequence.

As Hornet drew up to the dock the gray Rocket came tearing down the rough, choppy course. Her mechanic wore a smile that wouldn't come off despite the fact he was drenched and shivering, as Morrell himself. Thus Rocket, though finishing second, easily won on time allowance, and with plenty of time to spare. Morrell reduced his speed at Goodspeed's, having nothing to fear from Fantana well astern. Fantana finished cleanly and made a racket like a battery of Gatlings. Hornet proceeded to the Transportation Company's dock and Rocket anchored off the clubhouse.

Columbia was not looked for, owing to her series of mishaps. She finished, however, nearly an hour and a half after Hornet, and after crossing the line, proceeded to dock at the Point. According to her mechanic, she took fire, but no damage was done. E. N. Way, her designer, worked the wheel and Bublitz attended forward.

Columbia surely must be under the hoodo, for when she does go she performs creditably. Columbia was scratch boat. Tiny Boojum died in home waters and doubtless could not have coped with the surf at Fenwick. Hornet, Rocket and Fantana plowed through it handily. Rocket ran like clockwork and had Hornet been working her best the record would have suffered.

Columbia and Fantana have yet to fight it out with one another, the former's hard luck having made such a race impossible.

All five boats started at the same time. The handicaps were: Columbia scratch; Hornet, 5 minutes and 38 seconds allowance; Fantana, 10 minutes and 44 seconds; Rocket 24 minutes and 56 seconds; Boojum, 36 minutes and 41 seconds allowance.

Hornet finished at 3:57:36, having run the entire course in 2 hours, 47 minutes and 6 seconds. Rocket finished at 4:02:28, Fantana finished at 4:08, and Columbia finished at 5:25.

(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Sep. 16, 1905, pp. 462-463)

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Hartford (Conn.) Y.C. Final Race For The Beebe Cup

The last of the series for the silver cup given by W. H. Beebe, of New York, held under the auspices of the Hartford Y.C. Saturday, September 23rd, was won easily by M. J. Budlong and F. E. Dayton's Columbia, beating her competitors by from 7 to over 12 minutes corrected time, and from 12 to over 27 minutes elapsed time.

In the first race, Columbia was not ready to start; in the second some gasolene ignited through a "back fire" through the carburetor, and she barely escaped destruction.

In deciding the winner, the point system was used, the winning point scoring one point for each boat beaten, and each boat scoring a point for finishing the race. As a result Rocket is winner, with 12 points to her credit; Hornet second, with 8; Columbia third, with 6; and Le Claire fourth, with 2.

Summary of last race:




Elapsed Time






















Immediately following the race the "revolutionary scrap," begun before the race, was resumed by E. A. Ely protesting the race, claiming incorrect handicapping. In the Middletown Y.C. races held the week previous, he was allowed 7 minutes 5 seconds over Rocket in a 16-knot course, while in this race he was given but 3 minutes 50 seconds on a 36-knot course. it seems he used a wheel with more pitch. reducing his engine rating some 6 h.p., and apparently this was not taken into consideration

[It is hard to understand why a power boat owner will enter his boat in a race, after having changed his wheel, without having her remeasured by the club measurer, and hand in his new certificate with his entry, giving an opportunity to the club holding the race to verify the correctness. There have been too many protests in power boat races this season, made after the race, when they should have been fought out beforehand, and protestants given to understand that no protests of rating would be received or considered after a race had been finished.---Editor.]

(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Oct. 7, 1905, p. 523. )

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

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