1906 Seattle Mid-Winter Regatta
Lake Washington, Seattle, Washington, January 1, 1906


TILACUM WINS BIG MOTOR RACE

Union, Owned in Seattle, a Good Second, in Fast Time

Regatta Was a Success

Motor Boating Enthusiasts Are Pleased With Events, Though Weather Was Rough

Power Boats to Race Tomorrow
Tilacum Wins Big Motor Race

Tilacum Queen of Lake

Powerboat Race at Seattle

Tilacum All Ready for Today's Contest

Tilacum Again Beats the Union

Yesterday's results:

Special auto race, fifteen miles and return--J. L. Roberts' Tilacum (68 horse power) won. Time, 1:12:15

First race, one mile and return for sixteen-footers--William Price's Ion (1 Horse power) won. Time, 23 minutes, 13 seconds.

Second race, one mile and return for twenty-two-footers--G. E. Budlong's Damit won by default.

Third race, two miles and return for twenty-six to thirty-footers--W. H. Seaborn's Mabel S. (6 horse power) won. Time, 30 minutes, 50 seconds.

Fourth race (special), one mile and return--Latona won. Time, 31 minutes, 22 seconds.

Fifth race, two miles and return--L. L. Teachout's Raus Mit `Em won. Time, 31 minutes, 7 seconds.

Sixth race, three nautical miles straightaway--J. F. Thorne's Idlewild (3 horse power) won. Time, 21 minutes, 13 seconds.

Seventh race, three nautical miles straightaway--C. R. Adams' May (12 horse power) won. Time, 30 minutes, 38 seconds.

The new sport of motor boat racing was given a great impetus in Seattle in the regatta held yesterday on Lake Washington. While the weather conditions were not what had been hoped from the perfect weather of the previous day, the lake was not sufficiently rough to disturb seriously the big motor boats that participated in the thirty-mile race in which the interest chiefly centered.

The choppy conditions prevailed at the time when the races were scheduled to begin--1 p.m.--and the comparative promptness with which the regatta was started, kept out a number of the smaller boats, and the races were those between the thirty-footers and the big motor boats, Tilacum, Union and Siwash.

Tilacum Demonstrates Superiority

The Tilacum yesterday demonstrated her superiority over her old rival, the Union, in one of the prettiest races of the kind that the followers of motor racing say they have ever seen. The excitement of the event, in the minds of the 2,000 enthusiasts who watched the races from the Leschi pavilion, the adjoining boat houses, and the steamers and launches on the lake, is comparable to the exhilaration produced by a good horse race or an auto spin on land.

The main event which had been scheduled for 2 o'clock, was started at 3:08:50. The start was made opposite Bailey's point, south of East Seattle. The first attempt to get under way was a failure, owing to the inability of C. W. Willey's Siwash to get started with the others. A second attempt resulted in a perfect start, with the boats even, to a nose. The Siwash, though getting a good start and keeping well up for the first 200 yards, soon dropped out, owing to the poor condition of the engine. Left in the hands of an inexperienced man on the previous day, it is said, something went wrong which was not discovered till it was too late to remedy it, and before a quarter of a mile had been traversed it was evident to all, including the engineer and the pilot of the Siwash, that their vessel was out of the race. She steered for the center of the lake and was never thereafter a serious competitor, dropping out early.

Windsplitter Fails to Start

The Windsplitter, which, in the minds of some of those wise in the science of motor racing, had been figured in the swim for first honors, did not enter. A consciences effort was made on the part of her management to get her in shape for the event, but it could not be done, and when time was called for the big race the Windsplitter was not ready.

The Tilacum and the Union, acting under the instructions of Commodore Vince H. Faben, hugged closely the eastern shore of the lake until well on their course, and thus it was difficult for the spectators on the Seattle side of the lake to follow the movements of the boats, except in a general way. Hundreds, however, had crowded on the decks of the Xanthus, the Cyrene, and the various launches and managed to follow along sufficiently well to see a good portion of the race.

Before the first mile had been traversed, the Tilacum had managed to gain a perceptible lead, and as the vessels were passing East Seattle those on the opposite shore could see that the Tilacum was gradually drawing away. The little vessels, however, fought every inch of the way, seeming possessed of a human spirit of emulation and seeming to strain every timber in an effort to gain the mastery.

Tilacum Leads at Return Stake

As the miles were negotiated, the Tilacum gradually increased her lead, until at the turning stake, at Commodore Faben's launch, stationed opposite Pontiac, the Tacoma vessel had a lead of one minute and ten seconds over the Union. On the return she failed to increase the lead, and as the vessels came in sight of the home stake, opposite Leschi park, it could be sent that the race was still close. The Tilacum, however was still a minute to the good, and over the finish rushed the two speed marvels, the Tacoma craft leading by one minute and two seconds., official time. Designer Draper, who was in charge of the Tilacum's engine, declares he took it easy after passing the turning stake, seeing he had the race well in hand, and did not attempt to increase his lead. The Tilacum went over the finish line at exactly 4:21:05, while the Union's time, by the timekeepers, was 4:22:07.

The sympathy of the large crowd assembled was with the Seattle boat, but nevertheless the splendid race of the Tilacum came in for a good share of praise, as, gaily tossing the spray over her bow, she sped home a winner.

For the big race, the L. L. Moore Company, of this city, had donated a handsome silver loving cup, eighteen inches high, having three handles and inscribed with the name of the donors.

The Other Races

The performance of the boats, in covering the thirty miles of the course, in slightly over 1:12, gives them an average for the race of twenty-five miles an hour, which is considered a most remarkable feat. Had the bay been more favorable, it is thought that some great records would have been made.

Though at 1 o'clock, when the hour for the starting of the sixteen-footers arrived, the lake was very choppy, driven by a fresh southeast wind, two of the little fellows were ready at 1:26:55--the Ion and the Gander--and the start was made for the one mile and return, from the stake boat opposite Leschi park. After putting up a creditable race for a mile, the Gander broke down, and the Ion finished alone, covering the course in 23 minutes 13 seconds.

The one mile and return race for the twenty-two and twenty-five-footers was taken by default by the Damit, a twenty-three-footer, owned by G. M. Budlong, which was the only boat at the scratch and was awarded the race without having to run over the course.

W. H. Seaborn's Mabel S., a thirty-one-footer, won the two mile and return race for the twenty-six to thirty-footers, from the Juanita, by 32 seconds. The start was made at 1:47:20. The Mabel S. led all the way, gradually increasing her advantage, finishing at 2:14:10, having covered the four miles in 30 minutes 50 seconds.

The Mabel S. was then started in a special race with C. W. Barrett's Latona. The former vessel got a hot box and was unable to finish, the Latona winning in 31 minutes, 22 seconds. Starting time, 2:29:10; finish, 3:00:32.

L. L. Teachout, in the Raus Mit `Em, had it all to himself in the next race, two miles and return, none of the vessels regularly entered competing.

Idlewild Wins Pretty Race

The came the closest and, therefore, perhaps the most exciting race of the day, J. F. Thorne's Idlewild, covering the three-mile course in 21:13, won from the Dorothy by 0ne-fifth of a second, but a few inches, apparently separating the bows of the two vessels as they crossed the line. Two minutes 16 seconds later came the Lotto, owned by Shertzer Bros.

C. R. Adams, with his thirty-footer May, won easily from the thirty-one-foot Maid Marion, owned by F. A. and F. H. Churchill. The start was made at 3:11:35, and the finish of the May, at 3:32:13, brought her home a winner, 4 minutes 50 seconds.

Then followed the big auto race, as related above.

Endurance race to be Run

A trophy in the shape of a fine three-handled cup had been put up by the Standard gas Engine Company for an endurance race, the boat covering the greatest number of miles in a given number of hours to be the winner. This race, however, was not put on, and it is said by the club officers that the cup will be contested for on the same terms at the time of the spring regatta.

For the races yesterday, outside of the big race, the following trophies were offered:

For the thirty-footers, a large silver cup donated by L. W. Suter; won by the Mabel S.

For the twenty-five-footers, a silver cup donated by Gates, jeweler; won by the Idlewild.

For the twenty-one to twenty-five-foot class, a silver trophy, donated by Frederick & Nelson; won by the Latona.

For the sixteen-footers, a fine solid brass three-way launch light, donated by the Sunde & Erland Co.; won by the Ion.

For the twenty-two to twenty-five-footers, in the one mile and return, a silver cup, three- handled, donated by the Century Furniture Company; won by the Damit.

Officials in Charge

Following are the officers who had the regatta in charge:

Commodore--Vince H. Faben.
Judges--Mitchell Gilliam, John Schram, H. C. Henry, A. J. Balliet, A. M. Brookes; T. E. Eastland.
Starters--at Leschi park, M. J. Johnson, at Bailey's peninsula, C. B. Beeson

Officials at the Seattle Power Boat Club, under whose auspices the events were pulled off are as follows:

H. A. Chadwick, president; Vince Faben, commodore; G. E. Plympton, secretary-treasurer.
Committee in charge of the arrangements--Commodore Faben, C. W. Chandler, L. E. Capps.

Motor Enthusiasts Well Pleased

The followers of motor boat racing were delighted with the races yesterday, and the only regret expressed was that such perfect weather as was experienced Sunday did not favor the regatta.

The big features of the day were in the opinion of those present, the settling of the controversy between the Union and the Tilacum, and the fact that such a race could be pulled off at this time of year. "It will be a big surprise to our Eastern friends, who can't get away from the idea that we, too, are in the ice belt, to learn that we are racing boats on new Year's day, when they are indulging in winter sports. It will be a big advertisement for Seattle and Puget Sound."

After the race Mr. Campbell, of the Union, went to engineer Draper and Pilot Pabst, of the Tilacum, and shook hand acknowledging that the Tilacum had demonstrated herself the better boat. The contestants regret, however, that the Siwash and the Windsplitter did not have an opportunity to show what they could do.

(Transcribed from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 2, 1906, pp. 1 and 15. )

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

 


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