1907 Harmsworth Trophy
Southampton Water, August 3, 1907
Dixie in Race for
American Champion Will Compete Saturday for the Famous Harmsworth Trophy
Barred French Boats Out
Objection of Motor Boat Club Kept Most Formidable competitor Out of the Contest
The international race for the Harmsworth Cup, emblematic of the world's championship in motor boating, will be sailed off Cowes on Saturday, with the American champion Dixie, the only foreign competitor entered to race against the three English craft. Two are the Daimler and Napier, the boats that raced at Monte Carlo and were badly beaten by the two crack French boats. The other has not yet been selected.
It is not unlikely that Dixie will bring the cup back to America. She is in better fettle than she has ever been since she has been racing, and she was running faster when she left for the other side than she was when she made her American record at Lake Worth. It is believed that she will do better than that record time, when conditions are taken into account, though it is impossible for her to equal that record in the race. Water conditions at Cowes forbid any such time being made.
Neither the Daimler nor the Napier has equaled the record that Dixie made at any time in its career. Although they have both been improved since they were at Monte Carlo, it is not believed on this side of the water that they can beat E. J. Schroeder's crack American racer. What the new English boat can do is problematical. She was designed, however, after the Monte Carlo racers with the full benefit of the study that was possible there of the radical features of the French boats. It is said that she follows the principles embodied in these craft, and if she shows anything like their speed she will certainly show Dixie the way.
The fact that the French boats are not entered in the championship race is due solely to the opposition of the Motor Boat Club of America. Through an oversight the French entries arrived too late to meet the conditions of the race. The entry, when received by the British Motor Boat Club, was provisionally accepted. The Englishmen stated that they would admit the two French challengers provided the consent of the American challenger was received. a cable was sent to the Motor Boat Club of America asking its consent to their admission but the consent was denied.
The action of the Motor Boat Club was widely criticized by American yachtsmen and caused some comment abroad. Most Americans felt it was distinctly poor sportsmanship to bar a competitor that was acknowledged to be the most formidable in the lists on a technicality. Friends of E. J. Schroeder and the club would have both preferred to see the boat beaten rather than win a race about which there could never be any assurance that the boat could have beaten the competitors excluded on a technicality.
Dixie will be handled by the same helmsman who has handled her in all her races since E. J. Schroeder bought her, Capt. Pierce, while her regular engineer will have charge of her engines. There is no reason why she should not show to advantage in this race.
Immediately after the contest the boat will be hurried to London and shipped back to America to arrive here in time to compete in the motor boat races at Jamestown, and to defend her title in the Motor Boat Club's carnival on the Hudson. It is hoped that the Panhard-Levassor will come to America and try competition with the Dixie here, both at Jamestown and on the Hudson. An effort is also being made to get the Fiat XV, and one of the English boats here for Jamestown, as well.
(Transcribed from the New York Times, July 28, 1907, sect. III, p. 8.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page --LF]
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