1906 A.M.B.A. Championship

Racing - - A.M.B.A. Meeting At Frontenac. August 17-18

By invitation of the Frontenac Yacht Club, the first championship races of the American Motor Boat Association were held over the club course at Frontenac, N.Y., on August 17 and 18. The course is triangular, seven miles in length, and as it was measured on the ice during the Winter it is absolutely accurate. It lies on deep but sheltered water, and is the finest motorboat racing course on the St. Lawrence, and probably the best in the country. The start and finish are off the clubhouse of the Frontenac yacht Club, on Round Island, and every foot of the course is in plain sight with a glass.

Racing was begun on Friday, August 17, with the trials for the Glasgow handicap trophy, presented by Commodore J. G. Robertson Glasgow, twice over the triangle, a distance of 14 miles. Prizes were offered for boats over and under 30 feet, respectively, making in effect two open races of the event. In the larger class the starters were So Long II, a 40-foot boat with an eight-cylinder 150-h. Trebert motor, which had been winning almost everything in sight on the St. Lawrence, owned by George S, Hasbrouck, of New York; the Pirate, a boat similar to the So Long II, owned by Clarence N., Peacock, of Pittsburgh; the Vingt-Trois, 31.2 feet, equipped with a 34-h. Trebert motor, owned by J. P. Gillespie, of Pittsburgh; the What Next, formerly Simplex III, 31 feet, 35-h. Simplex motor, owned by H. B. Crouse, of Syracuse; and the Viper, 35 feet, 24-h. Buffalo motor, owned by Commodore Glasgow. In the smaller class the starters were the Navajoe, 28 feet, 16-h. barber motor, owned by Wm. G. Beers, of New York, and the Lancet, 22 feet, 8-h. Watertown motor, owned by Dr. Wm. Ross, of Clayton.

A close race between So Long II and Pirate was expected but did not occur, as the former was disabled on the first round by the breaking of her clutch and withdrew, while the Peacock boat, after making the first round of the course in 16 m. 48 s., lost about 40 minutes on account of battery trouble on the second round. The winner was Vingt-Trois, with What Next second and Viper third. In the smaller class Navajoe won easily.

The handicaps were figured on the time made in the trials, except where a boat hd previously made a better record, as was the case with the Navajoe. The Pirate being the scratch boat, the allowances for the other boats were figured as follows: Vingt-Trois, 8 m.; What Next, 13 m.; Navajoe, 15 m.; Viper, 20 m.

The start was made at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, when the Viper was sent away. At 3:05 the Navajoe started, at 3:07 What Next, at 3:12 Vingt-Trois, and at 3:20 the Pirate began a stern chase after the leaders. Traveling at a speed of over 25 miles an hour the Peacock boat gained steadily, and at the end of the first round had overtaken the Navajoe and the Viper and had moved up into third place. The excellence of the handicapping was shown by the fact that the Pirate was just four minutes behind the Vingt-Trois on the first round, having gained just one-half her allowance.

Halfway on the second round the Pirate overtook the What Next, and then began the most exciting finish ever seen in a motorboat race on the St. Lawrence. At the second mark the Vingt-

Trois was still in the lead and it looked as if she might yet win out; but the Pirate was close behind and racing neck and neck like a pair of racehorses they came down the home stretch. A short distance from the finish the Pirate forged ahead and crossed the line a winner by ten seconds. Vingt-Trois was, of course, second, What Next third, Viper fourth, and Navajoe, which had trouble on the second round, was fifth. Pirate's elapsed time was 32 m. 49 s., which is at the rate of 25.6 miles per hour.

At 4:30 on Saturday was held the race for the magnificent championship trophy of the American Motor Boat Association, valued at $1,000, and emblematic of the speed championship of America. This is a large punch bowl of solid silver, with three handles, moulded in graceful flowing lines which rise above the rim of the bowl and then descent to the base. The body of the bowl is entirely plain, except for the enameled burgee of the Association, a white three-armed device on a red ground, and the inscription "American Motor Boat Association Championship Trophy, 1906." On the other sides will be engraved the names of the winners. The trophy is offered for perpetual competition, to be raced for annually and to be held for a year by each winner.

For the championship trophy the contestants were the Pirate, the Vingt-Trois, the Arab II, 32.1 feet, with a 40-h. Sterling motor; the Got-to-Go, a 40-footer, with two four-cylinder Giant motors, owned by W. B. Hayden, of New York, and the Triton, a new Leighton boat, owned by A. T. Brown, of Syracuse, 40 feet in length, and equipped with a Leighton motor of 150-h. Much was expected from the latter boat, which was said to have made 33 miles an hour in private trials, but failed to make good its reputation, making only a fraction over 25 miles an hour in the race.

The starting signal was given at 4:30 P.M., and five seconds later Vingt-Trois and Got-to-Go crossed together, followed by Arab II at 4:30:32, Pirate at 4:30:34, and Triton at 4:30:42. Pirate quickly took the lead and made a runaway of the event, winning by almost two minutes over Triton, and covering the course in 48 m. 21 s., or at the rate of over 26 miles an hour. Got-to-Go was third, while Vingt-Trois and Arab II were disabled on the first round and withdrew.


Friday, August 17. Trial for Glasgow Handicap Trophy, 14 miles

class 1, over 30' water-line length

class 2, under 30' water-line length

Boat start round 1 finish time Boat start round 1 finish time
Vingt-Trois 2:45:04 3:06:52 3:26:30 41:26 Navajoe 2:50:30 3:17:50 3:45:12 54:42
What Next 2:45:30 3:11:30 3:37:20 51:50 Lancet 2:50:32 3:29:08 4:07:32 1:17:00
Viper 2:45:53 3:13:07 3:42:12 56:19          
Pirate 2:45:33 3:02:21 3:54:20 1:09:47          
So Long II 2:45:37 did not finish              

Saturday, August 18

Glasgow Handicap Trophy, 14 miles

A.M.B.A. Championship Trophy, 21 miles

Boat start round 1 finish time Boat start round 1 finish time
Pirate 3:20:36 3:36:49 3:53:25 32:49 Pirate 4:30:34 4:46:50 5:18:55 48:21
Vingt-Trois 3:12:05 3:32:46 3:53:35 41:30 Triton 4:30:42 4:47:32 5:20:45 50:03
What Next 3:07:48 3:34:12 4:00:29 52:41 Got-to-Go 4:30:05 4:49:00 5:26:25 56:20
Viper 3:00:25 3:29:14 4:01:35 1:01:10 Vingt-Trois 4:30:05 did not finish    
Navajoe 3:05:54 3:40:43 4:08:10 1:02:16 Arab II 4:30:32 did not finish    

(Transcribed from The Motor Boat, Aug. 25, 1906, p. 27. )

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

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Leslie Field, 1999