1906 Hudson River Water Carnival
Carnival Of The M.B.C. Of America
The week's racing on the Hudson River was brought to a close on Saturday afternoon last, when the final race of the three days' series for the trophies of the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers, was run off under the most favorable conditions of the week. For one reason or another the entries dwindled away, until on the last day but twelve boats competed. At no time during the racing was there any large number of spectators, but this was accounted for partly by inclement weather and to the location of the clubhouse.
The racing of Sparrow was perhaps the best performance of the week. She was entered in three events, the Reliability Trials, the Long-Distance race, and the series races for the Inter-State Trophy, all of which she won. Skedaddle captured the National Trophy, and Dixie for the second time takes the International Cup. Dixie is a most consistent performer and is always in the running. She was sold this Spring by her former owner, E. R. Thomas, to E. J. Schroeder, Vice-commodore of the M.B.C., who has entered her in all the principal events to which she is eligible.
Sparrow won the Reliability Trials over nine competitors, and, strange to say, with an automobile engine running at 1,000 r.p.m., the first of its make to be installed in a boat. In the long-distance race, Sparrow stopped for 20 minutes to refill tanks at Poughkeepsie and also ran ashore at one place, owing to the fact that the crew had never been over the course. Despite these handicaps, the big Artful with her two 6-cylinder engines could beat her over the course by only 40 min. 22 sec. actual time and lost to her by 1 hr. 0 min. 51 sec corrected time. Simplex VI was third, 1 hr. 9 min. 12 sec. behind Artful. Great disappointment was felt at the failure of XPDNC to compete in this race, which she won two years ago in remarkable time.
The winning of the National Trophy by Skedaddle was a popular one. On the race to Poughkeepsie, the friction clutch was broken but she was on hand again next day, with the engine coupled up direct to the shaft.
In the free-for-all at 30 3/4 knots it was hoped that the meeting of such cracks, as Standard, Skedaddle and Dixie, would provide the race of the year, but nothing extraordinary happened; and, as Standard had the misfortune to carry away her rudder while leading on the first round, the actual capabilities of this craft are still in doubt.
Based on actual performance officially timed, Standard, Dixie and Skedaddle are the best speed craft ever seen in New York waters. Irene has been credited with a speed of about 30 miles but a series of mishaps prevented her showing at her best.
Had the St. Lawrence River fliers, Triton and Pirate, come down for the Carnival, a race between the above six boats would have been worth witnessing; but it seems almost an impossibility to get two of our speed boats over a course at anything approaching 30 miles an hour.
The first day's racing of the three days' series, for the cups of the Manufacturers' Association, was marked by a very spectacular incident. Mercedes U.S.A., owned by H. L. Bowden, of Boston, mass., caught fire just as she was nearing the finish on the last round, and Mr. Bowden and his mechanics were forced to jump overboard. Fortunately Den II, owned by J. H. Hoadley, happened to be at the club float and put out to the rescue, being in time to take all hands on board although the men were in the water some time. The cause of the accident was the presence of gasolene in the bilge, which was in some way ignited.
There were, all told, twenty-four starters in the six different , the largest class being the class for high-speed boats of 33-ft. and under. Sheboygan and Torino were the only starters in Division I, Class B, for cruising boats of over 40-ft. and under 60-ft., and Sheboygan won easily by over 22 minutes. The boats were sent away at 3.25 instead of at 2 P.M., on account of a rain squall.
In Class C of Division I, for cruising boats over 30-ft. and under 40-ft., Tuna, Anona and Baby Daly started, Tuna winning handily.
Magneto alone finished in the class for open launches, her competitor Ino coming to grief somewhere up the river.
Dixie, Vesuvius and Irene started in the class for high speed boats of 12 meters and under, without time allowance, and Dixie came home a winner, neither Irene or Vesuvius finishing. Irene struck a log and put hr propellers out of commission, and Vesuvius ran out of fuel.
In the race for for high-speed boats of 40-ft. and over, three boats started, Elco, XPDNC, and Skedaddle. All finished in this class, with Skedaddle the winner by 24 min. 54 sec. over Elco. Owing to the rain XPDNC, together with a number of other boats, continued past the mark at Tubby's Hook and did not awaken to the situation until they were well up the river.
Of the ten starters in the class for high-speed boats of 33-ft. and under, five failed to finish. Mercedes U.S.A., as stated above, caught fire, and Josephine ran into a log, the others dropping out for various reasons, principally due to weather conditions. Sparrow won, with Yevonne second, and Durno, last year's champion, third. This class provided the best racing of the week, and six of the eleven starters on the last day were in this class.
The conditions for successful racing were very poor on the second day of the series, the weather was threatening and the river was very rough in places.
The first class got off at 3.10 for a poor start. Sheboygan and Torino were the only starters, and Torino fell behind at once as on the previous day.
Tuna got a fine start in the next class, getting over on the gun at good speed.
Ino was the only starter in the next class and she did not finish.
The 12 meter class boats, Dixie, Den and Vesuvius, got off for a fair start, Vesuvius being some distance behind. The sea was too much for Vesuvius and she lost considerably on the turns. On the third turn around, her crew were thrown out near the Tubby's Hook mark and, being encumbered with heavy oilskins, stood no chance in the strong tide that was running and were lost. Everyone thought Vesuvius had been withdrawn, and the facts were not learned at the clubhouse until after the races were over.
Elco, XPDNC and Skedaddle were sent off in their class, XPDNC getting a beautiful start, being at top speed and directly on the line when the gun was fired. Skedaddle, however, rapidly cut down the lead and won by 7 min. 29 sec. actual time and 6 min. 14 sec. corrected time. Elco was third, 20 min. 20 sec corrected time, behind XPDNC.
The smaller speed boats got off to a beautiful start, with one or two exceptions, all closely bunched well up near the line. Sparrow, Yevonne and Colonia rapidly forged ahead, and on the first time around Sparrow led Yevonne over the line by 3 min. 13 sec., and finally winning by 28 min. 36 sec., corrected time, over Colonia. Durno, last year's champion, being the last boat on corrected time.
Owing to the fatal accident of the day before, the races on Saturday were poorly attended; a handful of spectators witnessed the racing from the clubhouse but the small boy was very much in evidence on the shore. Conditions were perfect, the river comparatively smooth and the wind light.
Sheboygan and Tuna had no competitors in their respective classes, and went over the course to secure the prizes.
Dixie and Den were the only competitors in the 12 meter class, and Skedaddle and Elco were alone in their class. Dixie won by 38 min. 12 sec. from Den, and Skedaddle again beat Elco.
The 33 ft. and under speed boats came out six strong, and again put up a good race. Sparrow as usual won easily, with Josephine second.
Summing up the series racing, Sheboygan and Tuna practically had walk-overs in their classes, at no time were their opponents in the running. Dixie won easily; and Skedaddle, with her engine of about three times the horse power of XPDNC and four times as much as Elco, could not help winning. Sparrow as before stated simply ran away from the fleet.
It is very unfortunate that more of the cabin cruiser class did not compete, the spectacle of Sheboygan and Tuna alone in their classes, on the last day, was significant of many things; either the cruisers do not wish to race or the sport needs a prod of some kind to arouse enthusiasm. It seems a shame to see boats secure valuable prizes, without competition.
After the accident to Standard in the free-for-all race on Wednesday, she was towed down to the Electric Launch Works and fitted with a new rudder gudgeon in place of the fastening which had been carried away. Upon arriving at the scene of the races, on Friday, her owner requested that the boat be timed over the nautical mile, in an effort to establish a record and to ascertain if the time taken earlier in the week was correct, as the engine builder was convinced that the boat had been timed incorrectly. The Regatta Committee went aboard the boat and she was given six trials, three with and three against the tide. Her times with the tide were 2.10 2-5, 2.10 1-5, 2.11 3-5; and against the tide she ran 2.33 1-5, 2.34 3-5, 2.34 3-5. The average for all the trials gave a speed of just under 25 1-5 knots per hour.
While the speed attained was nothing remarkable, the trials demonstrated the smooth running qualities of the engine. The greatest variation in speed being but 1 2-5 seconds for the nautical mile. This engine, which was fully described in a previous issue, attracted considerable attention. The exhaust is muffled and the whole outfit made less fuss and noise than almost any craft in the races.
Since leaving the waters in the vicinity of New York, Standard has been considerably strengthened, and this Spring Joseph Leyere, of Ogdensburg, N.Y., replanked the hull with 1/4 in. mahogany. With the new engine, she appears to be about half her former size, but the lines, except what has been changed by natural causes, are the same.
Until officially proven to the contrary, she is without doubt the fastest craft in the country; there are several boats whose owners claim phenomenal speed, but records other than official are valueless.
Standard was built by the Marine Construction & Dry Dock Co., at mariners Harbor, Staten Island, in 1903, from designs which were gotten up in the yard. She is 59 ft. over all, 58 ft. water line, 7 ft. 6 in. breadth, with 3 ft. 10 in. depth of hull.
Skedaddle ex-Onontio, winner of the National Trophy with three straight wins over Elco and two from XPDNC, was built for Harrison B. Moore by the Electric Launch Works, from designs of Henry J. Gielow in 1904. She was equipped with a Craig engine, and was credited with some wonderful bursts of speed; but for some reason was laid up, and this Spring was purchased by Hartwig N. Baruch, who had her equipped with a new 6-cylinder Craig engine of 9 in. bore and 10 in. stroke. She is 60 ft. over all, 58 ft. water line, 7 ft. breadth and 3 ft. depth of hull. Although she won handily in her class, she has not as yet come up to the expected speed. Dixie, the winner of the International Cup which she also won last year, is too well-known to need much description. She has been a good performer at all times; and, although she sometimes steers wildly and heels alarmingly, she is always in the running and usually a winner. She was built last year for E. R. Thomas, by Smith & Mabley, who also built her engines, from designs by Tams, Lemoine & Crane. Her dimensions are water line and over all length 39 ft. 11 in. and her width is 5 ft. Tuna was also designed by Tams, Lemoine & Crane, and built by the Electric Launch Co., this year, for Harry M. Crane, a brother of the noted designer. She is 30 ft. over all, and is equipped with a 4-cylinder, 4-stroke engine built by the owner and a friend, Allan Whitman. Tuna easily won the cup for her class.
Sheboygan, winner of the cup in the class for cruising craft over 40 ft. and under 60 ft, easily disposed of her opponent, winning in hollow fashion. She was designed and built this year by G. E. P. & C. L. Seabury Co. Cons., for J. L. Reiss. Her engine is a 6-cylinder Speedway, and her dimensions 45 ft. over all, 44 ft. 6 in. water line, 6 ft. 6 in. breadth, and draws 2 ft. 6 in.
Last but not least in the list of winners is the little Sparrow, a fine good-going little craft, which never seems to give any trouble, despite the fact that the only attention she received during the week's racing, was an occasional bailing out after a particularly heavy rain. She is 30 ft. over all, and is equipped with a 4-cylinder, 4-stroke Packard engine, rating at 31.8.
During the week she gathered in the first prize in the Reliability contest, the Long-distance race, and the Inter-State Cup. Sparrow has an exceedingly low rating, gained by judicious handling of her mid-ship section, and aside from her rating is a very fast little craft, considering her type. length and power. She was designed and built for her present owner, C. J. Swain, as the challenger for the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association.
(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Sep. 22, 1906, pp. 541-546. )
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. LF]
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