1907 APBA Gold Cup
St. Lawrence River, August 14-15, 1907


Gold Challenge Cup

Gold Challenge Cup
Gold Cup Races at Chippewa Bay
Gold Cup Motorboat Races at Chippewa Bay
The Gold Cup Race: Chip II Again Successfully Defends the Trophy

For the third consecutive time the Chippewa bay Y.C. has, with the aid of Jonathan Wainwright and his very efficient corps of advisers, retained the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association against all comers over the club's course on the St. Lawrence River.

The event this year was robbed of all interest by the fact that the "all comers" consisted of a few local boats which showed up to do battle in a half-hearted way with the wonderful little Chip II, with the result that the races consisted of three very tame processions which, from a sporting standpoint, were about as exciting as an old maid's game of casino.

Last year and the year before, the Godshalk-Clark flyers created considerable interest and kept up the enthusiasm in the regatta to the last race; but with this combination out of the running, nothing worthy of a contest with Chip II under the present rule was entered and raced.

The manner in which the rule, after several years of doctoring, works out, in the classiest event of the year, is a sad thing to contemplate. Last year when Chip II won with apparent ease, loud were the cries that she was a rule beater and freaky contraption fit only for racing, etc., and many were the knocks poured out by the chroniclers (the writer included); but when the same boat performs practically the same under the new rule, after the rule-makers have had the benefit of the previous year's experience and with no end of data at their disposal, there certainly is something rotten in Denmark. Had all the competing boats been of very ordinary type, there would perhaps be some excuse for their performance from Chip II; but at least one of the boats, Stranger, is a really wonderful craft considered from the standpoint of speed attained for horse-power. She ran close on to 28 miles per hour with an engine rating only 76.96 h.p. The other high-speed boats in the country do very little better with more than double and treble the horse-power. But even though Stranger, despite her miserable handling, went faster than any similar outfit of which we have any record, she did not have any more chance of winning against Chip II than the chances of the proverbial snowball.

As an illustration of the working of the rule, a chart of the probable results plotted before the races took place showed that not a single boat entered had the slightest possible chance against the known performance of Chip II, as the speed necessary to win were higher than the respective boats could possibly attain, and, in the case of Stranger and Pirate, miles faster than any known world's record for gasolele-driven boats. In the last race of the series, Chip II complete one entire lap of 15 miles of the 30-mile course before the scratch boat Pirate, started.

The race for the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association consists of a series of three races each year on the point system and the races take place over the course of the club holding the cup. For the past three years the races have been held on the St. lawrence River at Chippewa Bay, which place is about nine miles down the river from Alexandria Bay and about twenty-five miles from Ogdensburg. The Chippewa Bay Yacht Club has no clubhouse and the headquarters of the organization during the races is on private property. The course is an ideal one for racing, and may be reached by the wealthy class of yachtsmen who inhabit the Thousand Islands during the Summer season either in their fast automobile boats, or in the many large and commodious steam yachts on the river. Ordinary persons have a choice of three ways of reaching the course. One way is to take the antiquated old hooker that wobbles down the river at spasmodic intervals and lands the unfortunate on the island off which the racing takes place, at about 9:30 a.m., where he may wait without lunch, until the races take place in the afternoon; or he may wait around Alexandria Bay and hint darkly to every launch owner in the vicinity that he has no way of getting to the races. Failing in this, he must disgorge anywhere from $4 to $10 to one of the local pirates to be taken down in one of the many charter boats on the river. Strange to say, none of these maneuvers seems to appeal to the average power-boat enthusiast and consequently the races are rather poorly attended.

The start of the first race of the series was scheduled for 2:30 p.m./ on August 13th, at which time quite a fresh breeze was blowing down the river. The committee postponed the start several times and finally postponed the race, with the consent of the owners, until 10:30 a.m. on the following day. At the appointed time all the contestants were on hand and the start was again postponed another hour. t 11:30 a.m. Chip II, the lowest rating boat, was sent away for a very poor start, being 1m. 14s. late at the line; Vingt-Trois allowing Chip II 9m. 38s. got off next, just 14s. late; Delawana 11s. late, got off next, and then came a long wait of over 25m. for the start of Stranger, which craft got off for a good start, followed some 6m. later by Pirate. Pirate came roaring at the line under full headway and although 76s. late got an excellent start. Just as Pirate got off, Chip II came into view and passed by on her first round only 3m. 36s. after the start of Pirate, making it necessary for Pirate to do the course of 30 miles in about 47 1/2m., or at the rate of about 37 miles per hour in order to win.

To those who took the trouble to make the above simple calculation, the races ceased to charm and after all the boats had made one circuit without accident and the times compared, the final result, barring an accident to Chip II or an extraordinary burst on the part of Delawana, was not in doubt to event he most optimistic. All the boats completed the course without accident and, with the exception of Vingt-Trois, finished in the order of starting. Delawana overtook Vingt-Trois and passed by on the first round 2m. 18s. ahead of her. Vingt-Trois appeared to be steering badly and lost a lot more on the final round, finishing last. Chip II led Delawana over the line by 3m. 17s., Stranger being 9m. 32s. behind Delawana, and Pirate 9m. 1s. behind Stranger. Vingt-Trois finally came by nearly 21m. after Pirate and 42m. 49s. after the winner, and was seen no more in the racing. The exact reason for her withdrawal could not be learned but apparently the fault was not with the engine.

The second race scheduled for 2:30 p.m. of the same day was postponed an hour, owing to the fact that one of the committee had not shown up. The race was without incident and Chip II won easily by 3m. 16s. over Delawana, Stranger again being third and Pirate fourth.

On the following day, Chip II again cruised around the course winning by 3m. 45s. over Delawana, with the other victims finishing in the same order as in the previous races. The final results under the point system in vogue gave Chip II 15 points, Delawana 12, Stranger 9, Pirate 6 and Vingt-Trois 1 point.

After the races were over and the winners properly congratulated, Mr. Jonathan Wainwright, three times winner of the mug, commenting on the results, made the statement that in his opinion the present rules were very poor and that never again would he race any of his boats in a handicap race.

From the opinions expressed by those in authority and others deeply interested in the sport present at the meet, it is very doubtful if there will be any racing for the cup next year unless a few local boat-owners can be induced to enter to make a contest. With nothing but local boats competing the affair drops to a level of ordinary club races, which take place all over the country and create no more general interest perhaps than a mention in the local paper. The solution of the problem would seem to be a "free-for-all" or some sort of restricted racing similar to the racing for the Harmsworth Cup.

Dixie, now being the holder of the Harmsworth Trophy, after a very regrettable series of incidents, would make a very good race with several proposed fast 40-footers which are at present under consideration. Should the Declaration of Trust governing the Challenge Cup of the Association be changed to permit the cup being raced for under conditions mentioned above, next year's contest for the cup would be worth witnessing, and the list of entries would contain boats from widely different parts of the country instead of five boats from clubs within a radius of only about 25 miles.

Particulars Of Contestants

 

Owner

Club

Rating

Weight

L.W.L.

Engine

H.P.

Cycle

Cyl.

Stroke

Chip II

J. Wainwright

Chippewa

61.38

2,213

30.22'

Leighton

15.37

2

2

10"

Vingt-Trois

J.P. Gillespie

Frontenac

67.54

2,277

30.25'

Fairbanks

21.04

2

3

4 1/2"

Delawana

W.C.Irwin

Clayton

69.41

2,203

31.25'

Fairbanks

21.04

2

3

4 1/2"

Stranger

F.G. Bourne

Thousand Is.

95.10

4,244

38.25'

Simplex

76.96

4

4

Pirate

C.N. Peacock

St. Lawrence

104.38

5,814

39.54'

Brownell-Trebert

132.72

4

8

Summary

First Day, August 14, 1907. First Race

First Day, August 14, 1907. Second Race

 

Start

First Round

Finish

Points

Total

Start

First Round

Finish

Points

Total

Chip II

11:30:00

12:17:18

1:01:06

5

5

3:30:00

4:15:57

5:00:44

5

10

Vingt-Trois

11:39:38

12:25:59

1:43:55

1

1

Did not start

1

 

Delawana

11:42:17

12:23:41

1:04:23

4

4

3:42:17

4:23:23

5:04:00

4

8

Stranger

12:07:37

12:41:01

1:13:55

3

3

4:07:37

4:41:57

5:15:02

3

6

Pirate

12:13:43

12:47:56

1:22:56

2

2

4:13:42

4:48:00

5:22:16

2

4

Second Day, August 15, 1907

 

Start

First Round

Finish

Points

Total

Chip II

2:30:00

3:13:23

3:56:43

5

15

Vingt-Trois

Did not start

1

Delawana

2:42:17

3:21:15

4:00:25

4

12

Stranger

3:07:37

3:40:22

4:12:33

3

9

Pirate

3:13:42

3:53;23

4:30:09

2

6

(Transcribed from The Rudder, Sep. 1907, pp. 746-748.)

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


Hydroplane History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010 .
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at wildturnip@gmail.com
Leslie Field, 2000