1906 Seattle Motor Boat Club Regatta

Racing — Fast Boats At Seattle Club Regatta

Seattle, Wash.---Eastern yachtsmen in general are inclined to think that all the fast boats in the country are on their side of the continent, and that the East must necessarily hold most of the speed records, but with a season that practically lasts the entire twelve months of the year, with plenty of enthusiasm and determination to excel, the time is not far distant when a good share, if not a majority, of the records will be held on the Pacific Coast. Already three of the fastest boats in the country are numbered in the fleet of the Seattle Motor Boat Club, and in the recent regatta of the club held on Lake Washington on July 4 all three of these boats made notable performances. There three boats are the Areis, Comet and Mercury, all of which are illustrated on the opposite page.

Aries is a 27-footer, equipped with a 20-h. four-cylinder Sterling motor, and in the races held on the Fourth of July at Seattle, made a record of 15.8 miles per hour.

Comet is also a remarkably fast boat. She is 33 feet long, 5 1/2 feet broad, and is equipped with a six-cylinder, 40-h. Leighton motor, and has made over 20 miles per hour. In the free-for-all race, carrying four persons, she defeated Aries by only 4-5ths of a second.

Mercury is a 22-footer, having a breadth of 3 feet 10 inches, and is equipped with a 10-h., four-cylinder Leighton motor. She is very similar to Chip, the winner of the A.P.B.A. Challenge Cup last Fall. These boats are all owned by the Washington Motor Boat Co., and were built by T. M. Milton, of Brewerton, N.Y., and shipped to the Coast.

The owners of these boats have been trying for some time to arrange a match race with the other Pacific Coast flyers, Tillicum and Union, but so far have been unable to get together. Tilicum and Union have already been illustrated in THE MOTOR BOAT, in connection with the races which were held at Seattle on January 1st, when all our Eastern coast was ice-bound and when boat owners were sitting around the stoves and having pipe dreams of future victories. With three such fast boats as these in one locality, the racing is sure to be brisk, and from present indications the other local boating enthusiasts do not propose to allow the honors to rest with them indefinitely, and several boats are being built to contest their supremacy.

The races were held under the rules of the American Motor Boat Association, which have been formally adopted by the Seattle club, and comprised five open events in five-foot classes, a handicap and a free-for-all event. The latter was a duel between the Comet and the Aries, and proved the most interesting event of the day. When Commodore Faben fired the starting gun both boats got a good start, and when the first flag was turned, a mile form the judge's boat, the Aries has a lead of three lengths, having made the first mile in less than three minutes. Down along the shore of east Seattle with their white hulls showing up against the blue background that the trees on the hills afforded, the two boats furnished the lovers of speed boats a sight that could not be surpassed.

The Aries turned, rushed around the stern of the judge's boat at the end of the first five-mile leg a good three lengths in the lead, the Comet having some trouble with her engines. The Aries had made five miles in 14 minutes and 50 seconds. The Comet gained on Aries as the first flag was neared, but after the boats ahd turned and started along the east shore of the lake the Aries, which was handled with the greatest skill, drew away from the Comet and led by several lengths until the boats turned on the last leg of the triangle for home. Then the spectators saw a race that was worth going miles to witness. The Comet, with a rush, came up on the Aries, but the latter boat increased its speed. It was not until the two boats were within 300 yards of the judge's boat that the Comet pushed her bow ahead of that of the Aries. With every bit of speed up the Comet rushed by the judge's boat three lengths in the lead.

In the handicap, the starters were the Deiopia, the first racing motor boat built in Seattle; the Mercury and the Comet. The Mercury was the first boat off, the Deiopia got off second with a handicap of 1 minute and 10 seconds; the Aries rushed through the water at the third gun with a handicap of 4 minutes and 40 seconds. The Mercury, at the end of 38 minutes and 9 seconds, passed the judge's stand in the lead but was disqualified for exceeding by more than 5 per cent, the time made on her trial trip. Her trial time was 42 minutes and 20 seconds. As she went faster than her allowed time of 40 minutes 8 2-3 seconds, she was disqualified and the race given to the Aries. The Aries crossed the line second, making the ten miles in 38 minutes and 39 seconds. The Delopia finished exactly a minute later. Summary:

Class 1: 15-20 feet, one mile and return Class 2: 20-25 feet, one mile and return
Mosquito W. S. Danner 21:44 El Rio W. M. Colby 23:47 3-5
Myna C. E. Pimpton 22:38 Beth 23 E. V. Bussell 24:02 3-5
Ion W. M. Price no time Ysie S. F. Woody 24:58 3-5
Class 3: 25-30 feet, three-mile triangle Class 4: 30-35 feet, three-mile triangle
Zebra S. M. Milne 26:36 4-5 Budlong George Budlong 18:08
No Name P. C. Stoess 27:39 4-5      
Class 2 (special): three-mile triangle Handicap: five-mile triangle, twice around
Madeline N. B. Abrams 21:57 1-2 Mercury L. Roesch 38:09
Racine C. W. Chandler 22:04 Aries L. Roesch 38:39
  Deiopia Schertzer Bros. 39:39
Free-for-all: five-mile triangle, twice around  
Comet L. Roesch 29:50
Aries L. Roesch 29:51
Mercury L. Roesch disqualified

(Transcribed from The Motor Boat, July 25, 1906, p. 23. )

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

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Leslie Field, 1999