1907 Harmsworth Trophy
Southampton Water, August 3, 1907
Motorboat Club Fight
Results in Deposal of Old Officers and Election of New Ticket
The bitter fight which has been waged for control of the Motorboat Club of America resulted in a practical rout at the annual meeting of the club held at Reisenweber's. The element which was in revolt against the old regime within the club won a complete victory, and every office within the club was filled by the choice of a new incumbent. This will mean, too, the appointment of an entirely new list of committeemen, as the intention is to make the upheaval complete.
There were many different considerations that led to the widespread desire for a new management. Perhaps the one that the greater influence than any other was the position in which the club was placed during the international races at Southampton last August.
Commodore E. J. Schroeder's Dixie was the only foreign entry named to compete with the fast English boats for the valuable trophy formerly the Harmsworth Cup. Later the two crack French boats which had beaten their English rivals at Monaco desired to enter, declaring their failure to do so had been due to a misunderstanding as to the date of closing entries. The English agreed to admit them provided the consent of the Motorboat Club of America, the other entry, was secured. A cable was sent to America, the Motorboat Club declined!
The action, unwarranted and unsportsmanlike, coming from a guest of the English club was bitterly resented. The club was freely criticized in England, and generally condemned in America. It was the first time an American club in an international contest had been guilty of poor sportsmanship. The members of the club disapproved, held the officials responsible, and claimed they lacked authority to take the action they did.
The Dixie won the cup, but it was an empty victory, everyone declaring he had rather see the boat defeated, inasmuch as she won by keeping out of the race Panhard-Tellier, acknowledged to be faster.
Opposition to the re-election of Commodore Schroeder and Secretary Gamble instantly developed. The latter did not appear as a candidate, but Commodore Schroeder headed a ticket composed of well-known racing men. This fact did not save the ticket. The officers chosen were:
Commodore -- J. H. Hoadley; Vice-Commodore -- Dr. Seymour Oppenheimer; Rear Commodore -- Wilson P. Foss; Secretary -- Walter M. Billing; and Treasurer -- Charles Francis.
(Transcribed from the New York Times, Nov. 22, 1907, p. 10.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page --LF]
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