1905 Hudson River Water Carnival
Hudson River, New York, September 13-16, 1905

Motor Boats Race Today

New Speed Boats Looked for in Hudson River Carnival

The largest number of motor boats ever brought together in competition in this country will be seen to-day on the Hudson River in the opening events of the national motor-boat carnival. Thirty of the newest, fastest and best equipped boats, ranging all the way from high-speed craft to cruising boats and open launches, will meet in their respective classes, the slower boats going over a nineteen-and-a-half knot course and the higher powered ones racing over a thirty-knot course. Among the latter boats will be E. R. Thomas's Dixie, one of the best boats of her type turned out this year. Mr. Thomas will steer the boat himself and he thoroughly believes he will be able to beat the much vaunted Den, entered by Charles F. Herreshoff, besides the new Winton and H. L. Bowden's Flying Dutchman, both of which are the Boston representatives. Another fast boat will be H. A. Lozier Jr's Shooting Star II, which won the cup given by Commodore Bourne of the New York Yacht Club at the Thousand Islands. W. G. Titcomb's novel beaver-tail boat, hailing from the Rhode Island Yacht Club, will be seen for the first time.

There will be two racing sessions to-day. The races will be started from the foot of West Ninety-seventh Street. Cruising boats and open launches will meet in the morning.

In the afternoon the speed boats will meet on the thirty-mile course and new speed records are confidently looked for.

The United States Government has furnished two revenue cutters and a dispatch boat to patrol the course. During the races all river craft will be kept at least 200 feet away from the course. The official boat, Sirius, will be the only exception to this rule. The Sirius will leave West Twenty-second Street pier each morning at 8:30 o'clock and West Ninety-seventh Street pier an 9:45 A.M. and 2 P.M. each day except Friday, when she will make but one landing at 9:45 A.M., going up the river to meet the boats on their return from Poughkeepsie.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Sep. 14, 1905, p. 6)

*  *  *

Simplex Outclasses Motor Boat Rivals

Wins Long-Distance Race on Hudson River in Fast Time

Fast Veritas Breaks Down

Many Boats Suffer From Crippled Engines and Only Two Complete Run to Poughkeepsie and Back

The poet who wrote "Consistency, the art a jewel," probably did not have in mind the vagaries of motor boats, but if there is any species of racing craft that is consistent it is these latest aspirants for speed records on the water. Stalled engines, broken clutches, and general, all-around crankiness are the expected thing in motor boating, and they were all consistently realized yesterday in the second day's carnival of racing on the Hudson River.

Only one event was provided, and that was the 135-mile run to Poughkeepsie and back. It had been heralded as the star event of the week, and record time was predicted. The entry list called for twenty-eight possible starters. Five raced and two finished. The Panhard II, run by a French steersman, was disqualified. The big 200-horse power Veritas broke down after going barely a mile. The Six Shooter, run by F. L. Smith of Detroit, had not been heard from up to dark last night. The Simplex III and the Wizard, a Buffalo boat owned by A. H. Dohn, went through successfully, and the former, steered by W. Proctor Smith of this city, won.

At 9:36:32 the Simplex III, a thirty-two-foot boat of thirty horse power, started the race. About half an hour later the Six Shooter and thirty-horse power Wizard left almost together. The former boat stalled her engine as she got over the line, while the Wizard for beating the gun had to go back. For about five minutes they furnished the only bit of excitement during the day, making a pretty race as they shot up the river.

Next to get off was the 60-horse power Panhard II, owned by Andre Massenat of the Columbia Yacht Club and steered by a Frenchman, Devaney. In his excitement he ran past the line on the wrong side of the stakeboat and was disqualified. All the megaphone yellings were powerless to bring him back, and the boat rounded the stakeboat at Poughkeepsie at 3:45. The last of the quintet was the powerful 200-horse power Veritas, carrying the possibilities of a new record. With a loud roar from her powerful engines and throwing the spray in mighty volumes, the boat tore up the river with Alexander Stein, her owner, at the wheel, assisted by James Craig, maker of the engines and a mechanician. When near One Hundred and Thirtieth Street the puffing of the engines stopped, and in an instant the boat lay helpless on the water. The clutch had broken and a big piece of steel flew past Mr. Stein's head and fell near his feet in the cockpit.

The honors of the day, therefore, went to the neat looking craft Simplex III. The boat is well-designed, has a strong hull and for a boat that was launched last Monday, earned unusual success. W. Proctor Smith managed her well. He made a clean-cut run to Poughkeepsie and back without a stop, and averaged a trifle over eighteen statute miles an hour.

"Just above Haverstraw we got a strong southeast wind, which, combines with the tide against us, made nasty going. Once we took a big Hudson River comber that pout the propeller high out of the water, and the boat came down with a thud, as though the engines were going to drop out."

The Simplex caught the Hudson day boat above Yonkers, and ran along even with the big steamer until Newburg was reached, where the Albany had a long stop. The passengers were quick to realize that a race was in progress, and waved continually to the two occupants of the little boat. At Poughkeepsie the docks were lined with several hundred enthusiasts, who expected to see a motor boat flotilla run up under the bridge to the upper stakeboat. The Simplex went up the river in 3:30:28, and made the return journey in 3:57:25. She burned 25 gallons of gasoline in the 135-mile trip, and shipped considerable water on the homeward journey.

The Wizard turned the Poughkeepsie stakeboat at 1:51 and finished at 6:10:10, or 7:58:52 for the total run. The Six Shooter reached Poughkeepsie at 2:04, but failed to finish.

The summary:

Boat H.P. Start Finish Elapsed Time
Simplex III 30 9:36:32 5:04:25 7:27:53
Wizard 30 10:11:18 6:10:10 7:58:52
Six Shooter 50 10:09:26 Did not finish  
Panhard II 60 10:48:05 Disqualified  
Veritas 200 12:02:40 Broke down  

Six events are on the programme to-day, three for high-speed boats over the thirty-mile course, and three for cruising boats and launches over the nineteen-and-a-half-mile course.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Sep. 16, 1905, p. 11.)

*  *  *

Motor Boat Carnival Produces Fast Races

E. R. Thomas, Wearing A Life-Preserver, Wins With Dixie

Veritas Makes Best Time

Government Revenue Cutters Patrol Course On Hudson River--

Many Accidents To The Frail Craft

A fleet of motor boats, unusual for their number, value, and speed properties, was assembled in the Hudson River yesterday, off West Ninety-seventh Street. They competed in six different races, and besides furnishing entertainment to several thousand spectators, exhibited all of the eccentricities for which this type of craft is so well known. No new speed records were made, but considering the hard conditions of tide and wind against which the frail boats had to contend, the results were eminently satisfactory and the officials of the first National Motor Boat Carnival were more than satisfied with the success of the opening day's races.

Alexander Stein's huge 200-horse power, eight cylinder boat Veritas, made the fastest time of the day, running over the thirty-knot course at ana average of a trifle over twenty-five statute Miles an hour, while next in speed capabilities was the Dixie, the new 150-horse power eight cylinder craft owned by E. R. Thomas. The latter went over the course at the rate of a trifle over twenty-two statute miles per hour, and won the first heat for the international trophy. Mr. Thomas, clad in oilskins and wearing a big life preserver, steered the boat assisted by a mechanician. The Xpdnc, once owned by the late Frank Croker and purchased a short time ago by J. Siegel and G. Gillig, red Bank yachtsmen, made an average of barely twenty-two statute mile an hour, considerably less than her long distance record, which has never been exceeded on the Hudson, of 26,29 statute miles an hour, made last October when steered by Frank Croker in the run to Poughkeepsie and back.

For the first time in the history of boating on New York waters motor-boat racing virtually had the sanction of the United States government, and three revenue cutters patrolled the course with as much zeal as has ever been seen in the international yacht races. The Mohican, Commander Fryers; the Beldame, Lieut. Ward, and the Manhattan, Capt. Newcomb, were the police officials of the day, and they warned everything from private yachts to slow-moving tugs to keep at least 200 feet away from the racing boats.

The races were started off the dock at the foot of West Ninety-seventh Street. Two triangular courses were laid out, one of ten knots, extending from a point about opposite Sixty-second Street to the foot of Washington Park, while the smaller course of 6 1/2 knots lay within the larger course. The competing boats, according to their classes, went over the course three times. The officials had a space at the end of the dock roped off and covered with awning. A few flags gave to it a particularly festive appearance. For the benefit of the guests and friends of the National Association of Engine and Boat manufacturers, under whose auspices the carnival is held, the iron steamboat Sirius was chartered, and it made two trips out in the river, landing at the dock after the morning events.

The cruising boats and open launches had the morning while the high-powered speed boats were the feature in the afternoon. The two classes of cruising boats were won respectively by La Mascotte, owned by F. B. Havens of the New York Yacht Club, and the Arcadia, owned by John T. Roach of Lake Champlain. The Vitesse, owned by T. W. Dunham of the Metropolitan Yacht Club, was credited with the victory in the open launch class, but a protest was made by W. Ferguson Jr., of Stamford, owner of the White Fox, which, starting from scratch, crossed the line, it is claimed, first. The officials claimed they did not see it. Mr. Ferguson states that the officials had gone to eat and he offers to produce one hundred or more persons who saw his boat finish. The committee will investigate the matter.

The Panhard pulled away from the Shooting Star, but on the way back the Shooting Star was in the lead, and before turning the stakeboat the Panhard broke down and was not seen again. The Six Shooter started so late that she did not try to finish, and the Winton, the big Boston boat, broke down opposite the Columbia Yacht Club, so of the six starters in this class, only the Shooting Star, steered by her owner, H. A. Lozier Jr., and Mr. Thomas's Dixie, finished.

Besides he close race between the Veritas and the Xpdnc, the Skeeter, which was the third boat in that chase, added to the excitement by a lively little brush with the Mary Powell and it was noted that the little craft had no trouble in passing the once famous record holder of the Hudson. The Skeeter is one of the fastest motor boats in the New York Athletic Club fleet, and was steered by her owner, E. J. Schroeder.

The Durno, an added entry, with a big handicap, won the race for boats 33 feet and under, beating C. R. Mabley's Simplex III. The steel, beaver-tail boat Rosebud proved a disappointment. The only unusual feature she created was when she was sucked under the dock by the force of the tide, but got out safely.

The summary:

CRUISING BOATS OVER 50 FEET - 30 nautical miles

Boat H.P Start Finish Elapsed Time Handicap
La Mascotte 60 10:35:00 1:07:50 2:32:50 0:38:00
Cactus II 100 11:08:41 1:36:21 2:27:40 0:04:19
Argonaut   11:13:00 Did not finish    

CRUISING BOATS UNDER 50 FEET - 19 1/2 nautical miles

Arcadia 25 11:35:00 1:41:58 2:06:58  
Hazel 30 11:20:00 2:07:15 2:47:15 0:15:00
Glissando 15 11:30:07 2:15:30 2:45:23 0:04:53

OPEN LAUNCHES - 19 1/2 nautical miles

Vitesse   11:45:00 2:56:38 3:11:36 0:47:27
August Meitz 22 12:19:20 2:58:31 2:39:11 0:13:07
Traveler 15 2:06:23 Did not finish   0:26:04
White Fox 15 2:32:27 Not timed    

HIGH-SPEED BOATS 40 FEET AND OVER - 30 nautical miles

XPDNC 75 3:46:42 5:22:43 1:36:02 0:14:42
Veritas 200 4:01:23 3:24:47 1:23:24  
Skeeter 50 3:45:00 5:28:09 1:43:00 0:16:23

HIGH-SPEED BOATS 33 FEET AND UNDER - 30 nautical miles

Durno   3:05:49 5:14:51 2:09:02 1:02:00
Simplex III 30 4:07:07 5:29:44 1:22:37 0:00:42
Rosebud 30 4:02:45 Did not finish   0:05:04
Vici 20 4:07:40 Disqualified   0:39:37

HIGH-SPEED BOATS 12 METERS, 39.37 FEET AND UNDER - 30 nautical miles

Dixie 150 4:15:00 5:47:49 1:32:10  
Shooting Star II 51 4:15:00 5:53:27 1:38:27  
Winton 120 4:25:00 Did not finish    
Panhard II 65 4:15:00 Did not finish    
Den 57.8 4:15:00 Did not finish    
Six Shooter 60 4:45:00 Did not finish    

Winners - La Mascotte, Arcadia, Vitesse, XPDNC, Durno , and Dixie

The names of the owners of the competing boats with their clubs are: La Mascotte, F. B. Havens, New York; Cactus II, C. F. Proctor, Larchmont; Argonaut, G. Piel, Columbia; Arcadia, John D. Roach, Lake Champlain; Hazel, T. S. Parvin, Corinthian-Philadelphia; Glissando, F. L. Andrews, Fall River; Vitesse, T. W. Dunham, Metropolitan; August Meitz, E. W. Deming, Columbia; Traveler, C. F. Muller, Columbia; White Fox, W, Ferguson Jr., Stamford; XPDNC, J. Siegel and G. Gillig, Red Bank; Veritas, Alexander Stein, Indian Harbor; Skeeter, E. J. Schroeder, New York Athletic; Durno, J. H. Durno, Rochester; Simplex III, C. R. Mabley, Columbia; Rosebud, W. G. Titcomb, Rhode Island; Vici, A. Lippencott, Oceanport; Dixie, E. R. Thomas, Seawanhaka; Shooting Star II, H. A. Lozier Jr., Manhasset; Winton, A. Winton and C. R. Speare, Boston; Panhard II, Andre Nasserat, Columbia; Den, J. H. Hoadley, New York; Six Shooter, F. L. Smith, Detroit.

The event today will be the 115-mile race to Poughkeepsie and back, in which there are twenty-five entries.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Sep. 15, 1905, p. 7.)

*  *  *

Motor Boat Record Made by the Dixie

E. R. Thomas Runs Over 26 Miles and Hour on Hudson

Carnival Attracts Crowd

The XPDNC Wins National Trophy in Second Best Time of Day

Eleven Events Held

A new record for motor boat racing in America was established yesterday by E. R. Thomas's swift Dixie of 150 horse-power, when it covered the triangular thirty-mile Hudson River course at an average hourly speed rate of 26.45 miles. The boat wrested the Hudson River speed honors from the 57 horse-power Xpdnc, which, when steered by the late Frank Croker on Oct. 29 last in the 135-mile run to Poughkeepsie and back, averaged 26.29 miles an hour. Yesterday the Xpdnc, in the hands of her new owners, J. Siegel and G. Gillig, Red Bank yachtsmen, made the second best time in the carnival race meet, covering the thirty knots at an average of 24.28 statute miles an hour.

To the large crowd that viewed the closing races of the motor boat carnival from the dock at the front of West Ninety-seventh Street and in the immediate vicinity, these figures meant little, nor, in fact, did the majority realize that a new mark had been set in American motor boat contests. The iron steamboat Sirius carried the largest number of guests of the week, the adjoining docks near the stakeboat were thronged with the interested spectators and on the green heights of Riverside Park groups of enthusiasts gathered wherever a good view of the river was attainable.

In every respect the closing events were by far the most successful of the three days' meet. More races were run, eleven in all, six in the morning and five in the afternoon. They were started promptly, the delays were less vexatious, and while several of the customary breakdowns occurred, nothing serious was recorded. The wind was light, the boats had the flood tide in the morning and the ebb in the afternoon.

Only one boat, the Colonia, one of the smaller powered competitors, was in any immediate danger. When about two miles up the river her engines gave out, and the tide carried her rapidly toward a long tow. A nearby tug threw a long rope to the occupants and prevented a possible collision.

The racing courses were the same as those raced over on Thursday, the higher powered boats going three times around a triangular ten-mile course, while the less speedy craft took a 6 1/2-mile course inside of the big one, running over it also three times. The long course extended from a point nearly opposite West Sixty-second Street to Fort Washington Park, the stake being directly off the Ninety-seventh Street dock.

Chief interest naturally was centered in the loud-snorting, spray-throwing big boats, whose sole object is the making of faster time, if possible, than has ever been accomplished by racing craft in the water. The Dixie, steered by E. R. Thomas, was a hot favorite. Mr. Thomas was clad in oilskins and wore a big life preserver, while his mechanician was clad in the same manner. Both are big men, and when once pointed out, the crowd never forgot who Mr. Thomas was as he rounded the stakeboat. The Xpdnc, the Veritas, owned by Alexander Stein, and the noisiest boat of them all, the Panhard II, H. A. Lozier's Shooting Star II, A. D. Proctor Smith's Simplex III, looking pert and handsome after her long distance victory of the previous day and the steel, beaver-tail Rosebud, from Rhode Island, were all on hand, making with the others the largest number of starters that have ever been seen in the motor boat contests in this country. In all, twenty-two boats started in the six classes of the morning.

The Dixie's strongest competitors were the Panhard and the Shooting Star. The Panhard tore out her rudder after going two miles and the Dixie beat the Shooting Star handily by 26:34. Mr. Thomas finished his thirty knots in 1:18:15 actual time. His first round was made in 25:44, his second in 25:26, and the third in 27:05. He struck a log on his final lap which caused him a loss of nearly two minutes before he could get his engines righted. In the afternoon the Dixie finished the course in 1:24:48, and won again, thus giving her three straight victories for the International Challenge Cup.

The Xpdnc, which won the first heat for the National trophy on Thursday, captured that trophy by two straight victories yesterday. The Veritas, her hot rival in the morning had trouble with its gasoline tank and had to quit. This left the Skeeter, steered by E. J. Schroeder of the New York Athletic Club, as the only other competitor. The latter boat received a handicap of 1:41 from the Xpdnc. The boats had a fine race, the winner leading by only 4:16, finishing the thirty miles in 1:25:16. In the afternoon the Xpdnc did better, making the thirty knots in 1:24:01. The Veritas started again but had more trouble, yet finished the race taking over two hours.

The little seven horse-power Durno won both of the races for speed boats 33 feet and under over the 19 1/2-mile course. The Simplex III made the best actual time in the morning, but lost by handicap allowance. In the afternoon the Simplex bent her shaft and did not start.

The fifteen-horse power open launch White Fox, owned by W. Ferguson of Stamford, won the State trophy, capturing two heats in her class, although beaten in the afternoon by F. K. Lord's Chum from the Huntington Yacht Club. The Chum was unable to finish in the morning. The committee reversed its decision in Thursday's race when it failed to take the time of the White Fox, as the boat finished while the timers were at lunch, and they were surprised when told it had finished. The Mascotte, which won the big cruising class in the morning, did not start later in the day, and neither did the Cactus II, her only opponent. The Arcadia, owned by John T. Roach of Lake Champlain, won both her heats in the cruising class for boats under fifty feet.

The summaries, giving the times of starting which shows the handicap allowance of each boat and the elapsed time subject to the handicap revision in estimating winners is:



Cabin cruisers over 50 feet; course 30 miles








La Mascotte 10:35:00 1:01:23 2:26:23 Did not start    
Cactus II 10:42:00 1:02:02 2:27:02 Did not start    

Cruising boats under 50 feet; course 19 1/2 miles

Hazel 11:27:52 1:04:03 1:36:11 Did not start    
Glissando 10:50:07 Did not finish   2:50:07 Did not finish  
Arcadia 10:40:45 12:35:12 1:54:27 2:40:45 5:01:15 2:20:30

Open launches; course 19 1/2 miles

Vitesse 10:45:00 1:39:30 2:54:30 Did not start    
Traveler 11:06:23 1:10:04 2:03:41 3:06:23 5:34:08 2:27:15
August Meitz 11:19:20 1:47:04 2:27:44 3:19:20 Not timed  
White Fox 11:32:27 1:03:28 1:31:01 3:32:27 5:19:59 1:47:32
Chum 10:47:30 Did not finish   3:47:30 4:52:53 1:05:23

High speed boats 33 feet and under; course 19 1/2 miles

Durno 10:50:00 12:41:21 1:51:21 2:50:00 4:58:03 2:08:03
Rosebud 11:46:56 1:19:40 1:32:44 3:46:56 Did not finish  
Colonia 11:50:38 Did not finish   Did not start    
Simplex III 11:51:18 1:12:45 1:21:27 Did not start    
Vici 11:52:00 1:23:12 1:31:12 3:52:00 5:35:58 1:43:58

Speed boats 40 feet and over; course 30 miles

Skeeter 10:55:00 12:26:13 1:31:13 2:55:00 4:26:50 1:31:50
X.P.D.N.C. 10:56:41 12:21:57 1:25:16 2:56:41 4:30:40 1:24:01
Veritas 11:14:23 Did not finish   3:14:23 5:21:25 2:10:02

High speed boats 39.37 feet and under; course 30 miles

Panhard II 11:00:00 Did not finish   3:00:00 Did not finish  
Shooting Star II 11:00:00 12:44:49 1:44:49 3:00:00 4:40:20 1:40:20
Dixie 11:00:00 12:18:15 1:18:15 3:00:00 4:24:48 1:24:48
Winton 11:00:00 Did not finish   Did not start    

Winners: La Mascotte, Arcadia, White Fox, Durno, X.P.D.N.C., Dixie

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Sep. 17, 1905, P. 13.)

*  *  *

High-Speed Steam Yacht and Power-Boat Races

During last week there occurred in eastern waters a series of races between fast steam yachts and power boats which excited widespread attention. The steam yacht was represented in the private return match between W. K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s turbine vessel the Tarantula, and Howard Gould's Niagara IV, which is driven by high-speed reciprocating engines. The power-boat races were held under the auspices of the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers, and they were deemed of sufficient import by the federal government to pass a special Act of Congress authorizing the policing of the Hudson River course with revenue cutters.

It will be remembered that the Tarantula and Niagara IV raced last year over a course of 39 nautical miles in length, on Long Island Sound, and that the turbine-driven yacht was defeated. In this year's race, however, the Tarantula turned the tables by beating the Niagara IV over a 40-knot course by 2 minutes 59 seconds official time, and 2 minutes 48 seconds actual time, both yachts being handicapped at the start. The Tarantula, which is modeled on torpedo-boat lines, was built by Yarrow & Co., London. She is a steel vessel 152.7 feet in length, 15.3 feet in beam, with a draft of 4 feet. She is driven by Parsons turbines connected to three propeller shafts with a single propeller on each, and steam is supplied by two water tube Mosher boilers. Her gross tonnage is 123.50. The Niagara IV is a much smaller vessel of 50 gross tons. She is 111 feet in length over all, 12.2 feet in beam, and draws 4.2 feet. She is a wooden vessel, built by the Gas Engine and Power Company, of Morris Heights, and she is driven by twin triple-expansion engines, steam being supplied by a water tube boiler of the type made by the builders of the vessel.

The course of 20 nautical miles was laid out on Long Island Sound, and had to be covered twice. The yachts crossed the line at the start with Tarantula in the lead by 11 seconds and she gradually began to increase her lead until, when the race had been under way for about 25 minutes, the Tarantula was 1/3 of a mile to the good. She rounded the outer stake five minutes ahead of the Niagara IV, having made the outward run of 20 miles at a speed of 25.12 statute miles an hour. On the return trip the Niagara did better work, but failed to cut down the lead of the Tarantula, which finished with an advantage of 2 minutes and 59 seconds. If we disregard the handicap at the start, the speed of the Tarantula on the outward leg was 25.12 statute miles, and on the return trip 23.79 statute miles an hour.

The series of motor boat races was held upon the Hudson River over a triangular course, the apex of which was about opposite West 97th Street. There were two courses used. The longer one extended up the east side of the river to a point opposite Fort Washington Park, thence down the west shore to Weehawken, and back diagonally across the river to the starting point. It was 10 nautical miles in length. The shorter course, 6 1/2 nautical miles in length, was within the longer one.

After several races for launches and cruisers, the chief race of the first day -- that for 12-meter (39.37 feet) racers was started. This race was the first of three for an international trophy. Besides the Dixie and the Shooting Star II, which were the only boats to finish, two new boats to cross the starting line were Herreshoff's Den and the Winton, a twelve-cylinder boat of 150 horsepower, whose hull was designed by B. B. Crowninsheild and the motor of which was made up of three standard four-cylinder automobile engines having 5 1/4 x 6-inch cylinders. Both of these boats quit almost at the start. The Panhard II had a close race with the Shooting Star, which she distanced by two boat lengths. The Dixie, steered by her owner, Mr. E. R. Thomas, passed both these boats at the first turn, and then the Panhard II withdrew after going only three-quarters of the distance around the course. The Dixie averaged in this race 19.6 nautical (22.59 statute) and the Shooting Star 18.09 nautical (20.85 statute miles per hour.

The event of the second day was a long-distance race to Poughkeepsie and back, a distance of 134 miles. As the race was run as a handicap, and as the entries were numerous, it took three hours for all that were ready to be sent off. Those that started gradually dropped out from one cause or another, so that finally but two boats finished before sundown -- the 30-horse-power Simplex III, in 7 hours, 27 minutes, 53 seconds, and the 30-horse-power Wizard in 7 hours, 58 minutes, 52 seconds. This figures out to an average speed for the winner (which has a 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 four-cylinder S & M motor) of 17.95 miles per hour. The Veritas, the highest-powered boat in the fleet, broke her clutch after the first day's racing, in which, however, she practically tied the Dixie for speed by making a circuit of the 10-nautical-mile course in 24 minutes, 52 seconds, or at the rate of 24.12 knots (27.81 statute miles per hour), as against the Dixie's best circuit in 24 minutes and 8 seconds, or 24.19 knots (27.82 statute miles an hour. The engine of the Veritas is a 7 3/4 x 9 eight-cylinder Craig. The only difference between this engine and that of the Onontio (which we illustrated in our March 4, 1905 issue) is that the Veritas's engine has auxiliary exhaust ports at the base of each cylinder. This huge engine speeds up as high as 850 R.P.M. and develops over 200 horse-power. The boat is 57 feet long over all; she has a 7 foot beam, and draws 18 inches of water.

One of the best races in the first day was a handicap having four starters, and which was won by the Durno, a small boat fitted with a 7-horse-power, two-cylinder, two-cycle Rochester motor. Given a handicap of over an hour, this boat beat the 30-horse-power Simplex III by 14 minutes, 53 seconds. She also won in the final for boats 33 feet long and under, and hence was awarded the Interstate trophy. This fine showing is to be accounted for, doubtless, by the fact that her owner, Mr. J. H. Durno, is one of our best experts on the screw propeller.

The last day of the races saw Dixie twice again a winner. In the morning, in a 30-nautical-mile race, she finished in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 15 seconds, which is equivalent to an average speed of 23.003 knots or 26.453 statute miles an hour. In the afternoon, although the time for the total distance was not so good, the Dixie made the last circuit in 24 minutes, 8 seconds, which equals a speed of 24.19 knots, or 27.82 statute miles an hour.

In view of the fine showing made by the Dixie it will be interesting to note that she has an eight-cylinder S & M Simplex motor, having cylinders with a 6 1/2 inch bore and a 6 3/4 inch stroke. This engine is rated at 150-horse-power at 800 R.P.M. The engine of the Shooting Star II, which boat came in second to the Dixie in the race the first day, is a 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 eight-cylinder Lozier rated at 51 horse-power at 890 R.P.M.; while that of the Wizard, the only other boat besides the Simple III to finish the Poughkeepsie race, is a 6 x 7 four-cylinder Buffalo motor rated at 30 horse-power at 600 R.P.M. The Dixie is the boat which was to have represented America in the second international race for the Harmsworth trophy. This race took place on September 11 over a 30-nautical-mile course at Arachon Bay on the north coast of France. The two Brookes (English) and one French boat Mab, failed to finish. The two Napiers -- the II and I -- won the race in the order mentioned in 1 hour, 32 minutes, 26 seconds. The speed of the winner was but 19.44 knots, or less than 22 1/2 miles an hour, so has the Dixie compete and performed as well as she did in this instance, shoe would have stood a good chance at winning.

The XPDNC, the same boat with which the late Frank Croker made records a year ago, is now propelled by a 75-horse-power four-cylinder Mercedes engine of 6 1/2 inch bore and 5 1/2 inch stroke, and which develops its power at 1000 R.P.M.. She won all three heats for the National trophy, her best time for the 30-nautical mile course being 1:24:01, which is equivalent to 21.41 knots, or 24.68 statute miles an hour.

The race demonstrated once more the extreme fragility and liability to break down of the high-powered motor boat. Like the racing auto, these freaks now serve no useful purpose, but are constructed merely for the sport and the satisfying of the craze for speed at whatever cost.

(Transcribed from the Scientific American, Sep. 30, 1905, pp. 257-258.)

*  *  *

The Hudson River Power Boat Races

Thursday morning, September 14th, the first day of the races opened with a cold Northerly wind, which brought out top coats. Ten o'clock found a few of the faithful shivering on the pier, foot of W, 97th Street, a few spectators on steamer Sirius, of the Iron Steamboat Co., anxiously awaiting the start of the first of the six events scheduled for the day. About this time a delay of 15 minutes was announced, owing to some trouble with the starting gun, shortly after which it was found a mark boat had become displaced, when another and final delay of 15 minutes necessity had to be made.

Promptly at 10:30 the preparatory gun was given and 5 minutes later La Mascotte started for the line with the boom of her gun. Her handicap of 38 minutes made her an easy win- ner over Cactus II by 28 minutes and 31 seconds. According to the official timekeeper, Argonaut did not finish; although there were those who claim that she did. At any rate her time was not taken. Argonaut had not been measured, but was allowed to start "scratch" at 11:13, and it is barely possible that the committee decided not to take her time. The race was 30 knots.

C. E. Proctor, realizing that he had no show to beat La Mascotte's handicap, entered into an agreement with F. B. Havens whereby Cactus II would not compete in saturday's race, but following La Mascotte 7 minutes and 30 seconds later made a race with her for a trophy mutually agreed upon.

The next race was between Hazel, Arcadia and Glissando. of these three it is said that Arcadia had alone been weighed. She was an easy winner by 38 minutes and 25 seconds over Glissando, with Hazel less than 2 minutes later. Hazel fouled her propeller on the last lap and lost the race, it is said. The race was 19 1.2 knots.

In the first race for open launches there were four starters, Little Star and Linus J, two other entries failing to start in any of these races and Chum which did not start Thursday, but was in both races Saturday. White Fox finished at about 2:17:27, but she crossed the line while the committee were at lunch, and her time was not taken. It was not until the next day that the committee reconsidered and correcting their record awarded her first place after Harry Hart of the Stamford Motor Co., representing her owner, Walter Ferguson Jr., had registered forcibly his protest. White Fox won over Vitesse by some 39 minutes an 9 seconds, with August Meitz 1 minute and 55 seconds later. This course was 19 1/2 knots.

Considerable interest was manifested in the next race, 30 knots, between XPDNC, Skeeter and Veritas. Veritas, it is said, was another boat that had not been weighed and had she won it is possible that she would have been protested.

Out of nine open launches entered there were but four starters. Durno with a handicap in her favor of over an hour, was no match for Simplex III, winning over Simplex III by 14 minutes and 15 seconds. The only other boat to finish, Vici, was disqualified for crossing ahead of her gun.

The last event was looked forward to with much interest as it was a one-gun start with no handicaps and entries included such wonderfully reported craft as Den, Winton and Six Shooter, neither of which had ever appeared before in a race. It was freely talked that there was no probability of Winton finishing if Speare saw Six Shooter was likely to win, and others considered unlikely that Smith would continue if he saw Winton likely to take the lead over Six Shooter.

In Den they saw a proposition which they could hardly fathom. The wonderful reports of her doings off Bridgeport were generally disbelieved, while Simmons stoically held to his reports of 39 miles an hour made a few days previously on the Hudson. She was towed up and down in front of the pier several times, apparently on dress parade, then ran up and down in a smother of foam, her stern well under and head up, looking somewhat like a prancing rocking horse, making a big fuss.

On the gun they were off, Shooting Star II rapidly overtaking Den, which soon stopped and drifted back of the start. Some of the uncharitable hinted that she would stop rather than be beaten by no faster boat than Shooting Star II. Dixie swung to the starboard, apparently to escape the strong ebb tide, and her manoeuvre was mistaken by many for fouled steering gear. Winton, Six Shooter and Panhard II broke down, Dixie finishing 6 minutes and 8 seconds ahead of Shooting Star II, the only other boat to finish. This course was was also 30 miles, and was open to boats 12 meters and under, any one of them being eligible to compete for the Harmsworth Cup, recently raced for in the English Channel

The only event scheduled for Friday was the long distance race to Poughkeepsie and return, a distance of 117 knots instead of scheduled. This would make 134 miles instead of 143.

There were 27 entries in this race, and as it was a handicap affair it took nearly three hours to get the boats away. The first starter was Simplex III at 9:36:32, followed by Six Shooter at 10:09:26, Wizard at 10:11:18, Panhard II a false start outside the stake boat at 10:48:05, and Veritas, 12:02:40. The false start of Panhard II disqualified her and a gun was fired to call her back, but to no avail. It is possible that she could have been recalled had anyone thought to blow Sirius' syren, as she was lying alongside the pier.

Veritas, off 125th Street, smashed a clutch band and was out.

At 1 p.m. a few members of the press and others took a ride on Sirius nearly to Haverstraw and return, arriving back at the pier shortly before 5 p.m.. It was learned that Simplex III had increased her lead over Six Shooter and Wizard, turning the Poughkeepsie mark as follows: Simplex III, 1:07:00; Wizard, 1:51:00; and Six Shooter, 2:04:00. Panhard II was reported to have turned at 3:41:00. Simplex III finished at 5:04:25. At 7:11, or one hour after sundown, the time limit having expired Six Shooter was recorded as not having finished.

Saturday, the final day of the series, there were twelve events scheduled and run off.

The first was La Mascotte with no competitor, a "sail over." but pitted against Cactus II with a handicap in her favor of 7 minutes and 30 seconds. La Mascotte won by 1 minute and 29 seconds over Cactus II, winning a cup from C. E. Proctor, besides scoring one point in her race in the series.

In the second race between Hazel, Glissando and Arcadia, Arcadia alone finished.

In the second race for high-speed boats, 33 ft. and under, there was an additional starter, Colonia, but she failed to finish. Durno was again a winner and now had two races to her credit. Simplex finished 31 minutes and 24 seconds later, followed by Rosebud and Vici.

In the second race between Veritas, XPDNC and Skeeter, XPDNC was the winner by 4 minutes and 16 seconds, while Veritas did not finish.

The second race for open launches was won by White Fox, beating Traveller by 6 minutes and 36 seconds, Vitesse third and August Meitz fourth. Chum, a new starter in this class, did not finish.

In the second race for 12 meters and under but two boats finished. Dixie again winning, beating Shooting Star II by 33 minutes and 34 seconds. Panhard II and Den made good starts, but soon gave up.

In the afternoon interest had dwindled, for the winners in all the races were known, as the point system was used, giving the winning boat a point for finishing and another for each boat beaten.

Dixie beat Panhard II by 15 minutes and 22 seconds. Shooting Star II breaking down and Den not making an attempt even to start.

Cactus II and La Mascotte filled in the time allotted for the cruising boats, but La Mascotte stopped and Cactus II, after waiting two or three times for her, it is said, withdrew.

Arcadia again won in her class. Hazel did not start and Glissando did not finish.

In the final race for launches, White Fox defeated Traveller by 14 minutes and 9 seconds, but Chum was first, beating White Fox by 27 minutes and 6 seconds. August Meitz failed to finish.

Vici lost the final for boats 33 ft. and under to Durno by 37 minutes and 55 seconds. Simplex III and Rosebud did not finish. This made three straight for Durno.

XPDNC for the third time defeated Skeeter, this time by 6 minutes and 12 seconds, with Veritas finishing 54 minutes and 35 seconds later.

(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Sep. 23, 1905, pp. 482-489. )

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

Hydroplane History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010.
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at wildturnip@gmail.com
Leslie Field, 1999