1905 Harmsworth Trophy Race

See also 1905 Harmsworth Plans

British Motor-Boat International Cup


The motor-boat race for the British International Cup which was decided here to-day, was almost a "walk-over" for England, but the entry, at the last moment, of M. Pinaud-Duanip's Loodit III, and Mr. Thubron's Mab, to defend the trophy on France's behalf, provided a race, though, as events turned out, the British success was so pronounced as to overshadow the sporting action of the owners of the two French boats.

The American boats, Challenger and Dixie, were withdrawn before the day, as were the French craft Palaisoto, Dietrich VI, and Hotchkiss. This left England as the only entrant, but, as mentioned, the entry of two high-powered French boats was secured. Loodit has a Berliet motor developing 100-horse power, and Mab is fitted with the 80-horse power Richard-Brasier, which Mr. Thubron took from Trefle-au-Quatre, last year's winner.

To-day's race was over a distance of about 35 miles and the event ended in a double victory for England, Napier II finishing first in 2hrs. 2min. 26sec. The winning boat was entered by Mr. Lionel Rothschild and the Hon. John Scott-Montagu, M.P. Lord Howard de Walden's English boat, Napier, was second, and Mr. Thubron's Mab third. Brooke (Captain Corbet and Mr.. Mawdsley Brooke) broke down.

(Transcribed from the London Times, Sep. 12, 1905, p. 12. )

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Motor Boats

by Bernard Redwood

The 1905 eliminating race to decide the British team for the International Cup race was held at Seaview, Isle of Wight, and there were five entrants. One of these was Hutton II, a new racer very similar to Hutton I. The engine was in fact the same with a few details improved and strengthened, and the hull was very similar, but of slightly greater displacement. Hutton II, however, broke down before the start. The fastest competitor on paper was Brooke I, designed by Shepherd, and built and engined by Brooke and Co., of Lowescroft, with a 6-cylinder engine, each cylinder being 10 inches in diameter. This boat never ran satisfactorily, owing, it was said, to the difficulty of maintaining a supply of petrol for the huge engine. Another entrant was the Napier II. The hull of this boat was built by Yarrow and Co. of steel, being an improvement on the previous year's boat of the same name. two 4-cylinder 80 horse-power Napier engines, driving twin screws, were installed.

On this boat a raised seat for the helmsman is provided right aft and is protected by a dodger. it has been found by experience that it is preferable to steer these fast small boats from aft, and I have found from personal experience that some form of protection from the flying spray is very necessary. This spray constitutes the chief drawback to motor-boat racing as an amusement, and as its velocity is very high, the impact is most unpleasant. The general sensation of driving a motor boat is very reminiscent od a stroll beneath Niagara Falls, with this difference, that in the former case you are unable to gain relief by shutting your eyes, as it is necessary to keep a sharp look out. The fourth entrant was Napier, owned by Lord Howard de Walden. The hull was built by Saunders on his patented system, and the engine was the old 80 horse-power Napier motor taken out of Napier Minor.

The other entrant was the Competitor, owned by my friend, Commander Mansfield Cumming, R. N., and in it I had the pleasure of racing..

The hull may be easily recognized as that of the older Napier Minor, and the engine was a 100 horse-power Siddeley, constructed by the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co. In this race, every boat except Napier II broke down, and it was decided to hold another eliminating race in the Southampton water for Napier, Brooke I, and Competitor. In this race, Napier finished first, Competitor second, and Brooke I broke down. Ultimately Competitor relinquished her place in the team in favour of Brooke I, as it was thought that the latter could be got into racing condition in time for the Cup race, which was to be held at Arachon.

France showed extraordinary apathy over this contest, and it was only by the energy of a few private owners, that a semblance of defence was made with cruising boats. The cup was ultimately won by Napier II, which had run well and consistently throughout the season, only having lost the cross Channel race by an error of her helmsman in passing the finishing mark on the wrong side.

(Transcribed from the Journal of the Society of Arts, March 23, 1906, pp. 519-520.)

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British International Trophy

The races at Arachon, on September 11, for the Harmsworth trophy, turned out to be a walkover for England, as the United States entries, Dixie and Challenger, were withdrawn, and the Automobile Club of France, under whose auspices the event was held, boycotted it. Apparently the A.C.F. is under the thumb of the trade, and French builders do not care to compete in events not organized at home. Palaisoto, De Dietrich and several other of the French cracks were entered in the event, but as the time for the race drew near, these were withdrawn. M. Thuburan, whose Trefle-a-Quatre carried the cup to France last year in a technical win, offered his New Trefle, then racing in Italy, as defender, but the club declined to make her entry. The joke of the matter is that Compte Recoupe, acting as representative of the club at Arachon, entered Mr. Thuburan's Mab, a 40-foot, 80-h. boat with cabin, to make the race more exciting and lend an air of competition.

England was evidently determined to capture the cup, for she sent over a strong team of the well-known Napier II, Napier and Brooke I. The race took place in rather lumpy water, being won by Napier II in 1 h. 32 m. 26 s., or at the rate of 19.47 knots. Napier took second place in 1 h. 33 m. 33 s., or at the rate of 19.24 knots. Brooke I, on which considerable work and altera- tions had taken place since her initial bow at the elimination races, was unable to finish, and Mab also had to retire, through her stuffing box coming loose and drowning the carburetor. Thus, the trophy returns to England, and its future as an international affair is decidedly gloomy.

(Transcribed from The Motor Boat, Oct. 10, 1905. p. 16. )

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

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