1906 Palm Beach Regatta
The Florida Motor Boat Carnival
The second annual motor boat regatta held under the auspices of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association, took place on Lake Worth, Palm Beach. Fla., on Jan. 30, 31, Feb. 1 and 2. The meeting was the most successful winter racing event yet held. Ideal weather prevailed during the entire meet, which was attended by many of the leading power boat men from every section of the country.
Lake Worth is an excellent racing territory, amid picturesque surroundings, with neither tide nor wind to lower the speed of the motor craft. The first three races on the program were run off Tuesday, and augured well indeed for the remainder of the card. A. D. Proctor Smith's Simplex III, well known for her Hudson performances, won in Class C on the 13 1/2-knot course, defeating J. C. King's Topsy, of New York, L. T. Pettie's 20th Century, of Stamford, Conn., and C. S. Coggin's Blanche, of Rockledge, Fla., but later was disqualified for turning the wrong stakeboat. The Possum, a neat craft from Newport, broke down and did not finish.
Class A was won by 23, owned by George Gingras, of Rockledge, Fla., making the distance of 18 knots in 1 hour and 9 minutes, eclipsing the Class e entries over their 9-knot course. T. B. Collins' Comet, of Jacksonville, finished second, followed by the Six-
Shooter, owned by George Chapin, of Lansing, Mich., and Mercedes, owned by H. L. Bowden, of Boston. The two latter boats, however, did not finish owing to an engine breakdown. In Class E, the Allon, owner Cuyler Morse, of Boston, won out, followed in by James K. Clarke's Carita, of Philadelphia, and the Dorothy, owned by W. C. Perkins, of Jacksonville.
Mercedes well retrieved her failure in the first day's race by winning handily in the Class A race of Wednesday, over a 15.52-mile course starting seventh and defeating Tuesday's winner 23, and Possum, 20th Century and Blanche.
The first event was a nine-knot race, won by Allon in 38:05, after an exciting finish. Six- Shooter started in this event but on account of an engine accident, was obliged to withdraw. In the general handicap race, seconds only elapsed between the finish of the first five boats. Class C event was captured by Carita in 57:56, after an exciting finish with Allon.
On Thursday the low-powered boats were again in evidence and led in every event due to the liberal handicapping. Three races were run off on the third day. The ten-mile race was won by the Comet, leading the Shadow by less than a minutes. Simplex III was again disqualified. The four-and-a-half-mile event was led by 20th Century trailed by W. F. Hofstetter's Mona and Allon. Out of nine starters in the 15-mile event, F. M. Rice's Coo beat Allon by 1 minute and 20 seconds, but was disqualified later.
The closing day of the regatta was by far the most successful, bringing out the best that was in the speedy flyers. The contest for the Dewar Shield was the main feature of the day, it being won by H. L. Bowden's Mercedes, victor in both heats, although her time was a disappointment to those gathered at the carnival and expectant for new world's records. Her best time for the mile stretch was 3 minutes 6 seconds. Mercedes was another winner in a special race of 10.35 miles in 32 minutes 18 seconds.
During the whole carnival there was general comment and disappointment over the failure of Dixie to participate as expected, but she was delayed or lost in transit by an express company.
(Transcribed from Boating, March 1906, pp. 72-76.)
[It is important to note that H. L. Bowden's boat, incorrectly identified as Mercedes, was named Mercedes U.S.A. - GWC]
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. LF]
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