1907 Miami Regatta
Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida, February 5-8, 1907


The Miami Regatta
by Harry C. Smith

Dixie Arrives at Miami
The Miami Regatta (The Motor Boat)
The Miami Regatta (The Rudder)
Fast Time By Dixie
Dixie's Record Try Fails
Simplex VIII Beats Dixie
Motor Boat Races End

Following the Palm Beach Races, after an interval of only three days, came the first regatta of the Miami Motor Boat Association, at Miami, on Biscayne Bay, 65 miles south of Palm Beach and at the beginning of the Florida Keys. Three of the principal competitors at Palm Beach, Dixie, Simplex VIII and Swallow, journeyed to Miami and were joined there by another Northern boat, the Secret, which had before entered for the races on Lake Worth but had failed to arrive in time. these entries added greatly to the interest of the Miami meeting and it is planned to make it an annual affair.

In order to get a course deep enough for several of the larger boats, the starting buoy had to be located four miles out in the bay, which was something of a drawback to the spectators in general, However, the bay at that point offers a magnificent expanse, and the scene was full of life, with scores of decorated craft moving about at will over the broad sheet of water. The program covered three days, instead of four as at Palm Beach, and this would appear to be the better arrangement, especially as bad weather might render postponement advisable.

The regatta committee, which was entirely different from that at Palm Beach, had the same difficulty which was experienced at Palm Beach in getting trustworthy data on which to base the handicaps. Some of the contestants had only a vague idea of what their racers can do under pressure, but more were inclined to be shrewd with a notion of scooping a prize or two before the real possibilities of their boats could be realized. This trickery, however, was very properly punished by taking the difference between the estimated or the trial time of any boat and its actual time in the race and adding twice this distance to the actual time to obtain the corrected time for the event. The races for the local working boats were particularly unsatisfactory on account of the would-be cleverness in this respect to some of their skippers, who were, however, taught a needed lesson. The committee pulled together more closely than that at Palm Beach and gave most of their decisions with commendable promptness.

On the first day the races were not put through promptly at all, a shortcoming that seems inseparable from Florida sports, but after that marked improvement was to be noted in the time-table.

Dixie, Swallow and Simplex VIII, the three fastest boats at Palm Beach, were also the stars at the Miami meet, the Simplex making the new record of five hours for the run between the two points. The second day, Thursday, was ideal, as far as weather conditions were concerned, and at noon a special attempt was made by the Dixie to lower the time for a mile made at Palm Beach, but without success. However, Commodore Schroeder's boat must be credited with a remarkably even performance, as only once in the seven days' racing did she actually come to grief. This was on the first day at Palm Beach and was owing to heated bearings. The Secret, the Bay City, Michigan flyer, owned by Craig, of Detroit, really showed her paces but once, and then with only slight success. The last day she was put through time trials by the judges, but she realized a rate of hardly 21 miles an hour. A new engine had been put in her just before starting from home, which was clearly a misfit. On the day after the races were concluded, Commodore J. H. Allen, of the Halifax River Yacht Club, bought the Secret, but not her motor. Commodore Allen says he will put in a new motor and race the boat, as he considers her lines very fast.

Simplex VIII, by her local performances, deepened the favorable impression she created at Palm Beach. She deservedly won one of the leading events here by her evenness and admirable all around work. Swallow, as at Palm Beach, proved to be the second fastest entry, but failed to make a sustained showing owing to several mechanical accidents which may have been unavoidable, but were generally attributed to less efficient handling. The Mera was practically the only one of the home boats sent down by Palm Beach folk and found herself in too rapid company.

The local star entry was B. J. Southall's Hot Stuff III, a younger sister of his Hot Stuff IV, which made a commotion the week before on Lake Worth by her noisy style. Hot Stuff III appeared to be the better proposition, and won an event more picturesquely with Mrs. Southall's head projecting from a cut in the canvas apron in front of her husband, who ran the boat himself. H. L. Slade, of New York, put his houseboat, Whim Wham, at the service of the regatta committee the first day, and General Louis Fitzgerald, of New York, gave his houseboat, the Bonito on the following days. Both afforded capital facilities.

The marine illumination and fireworks planned for Friday, the closing night, had to be postponed as the pyrotechnics did not arrive in time. There was a grand display, however, Saturday evening, quite equal to that at Palm Beach the week before, many thousand spectators being attracted.

Wednesday, February 6, was the opening day and the first event was for launches of all classes at 4.2 statute miles. It proved unsatisfactory owing to the poor data given the handicappers. The Tarpon II, which got away first, finished first, by a decided lead, but the penalty for exceeding the speed on which the handicaps had been based gave the victory to the Hoosier. The best time was made by the Cocoon, a New York entry. The Uncle Sam, of Daytona, had a desperate struggle with the Cocoon at the finish and ended only half a second behind. The only other competition of the day which was completed was the mile time trials, in which the Dixie competed in the morning and attained a speed rating exceeding 25 miles an hour. In the afternoon, Dixie did not participate. The Edwinna, which competed in these trials, is a Pittsburg boat, while the Skeeter is owned in Miami. Swallow was second in the morning, and with Dixie out, led in the afternoon. The summary best tells the story of this event:

Wednesday, Feb. 6

For all classes launches -- 4.2 statute miles

Boat

Owner

Start

Finish

Time

hour

Tarpon II

H. Decker

1 1:15:00

1 1:51:49

36:49

6.85

Hoosier

W. L. Jenkins

11:23:34

11:55:50

32:26

7.8

Bone Fish

M. R. Kellum

1 1:23:24

1 1:59:50

36:26

6.95

Harold

P. Bylaskas

11:25:24

11:58:12

32:54

7.7

Izaak Walton

J. C. Conway

11:27:18

11:59:24

32:06

7.85

Lee S

A. Gerlach

11:30:24

12:02:13

31:49

7.95

Cocoon

G. H. Myers

11:31:42

1 1:58:31

26:49

9.4

Uncle Sam

McCoy Bros.

11:31:42

11:58:31 1/2

26:49 1/2

9.4

Truant

F. A. Root

I 1:34:12

12:01:16

27:04

9.3

Won by Hoosier, Harold second, Cocoon third

The speed given for Tarpon II was six miles an hour; at that rate she should have covered the course in 42 minutes. Her actual time was 36 minutes, 49 seconds. Twice the difference is added to her finish time, according to the rule. Under the same rule Hoosier, the winner, was also handicapped 2 minutes 8 seconds.

Mile Trials -- Morning

Dixie

E. J. Schroeder

2:23 3-5

2:22 2-5

25:2

29:0

Swallow

E. H. Godshalk

3:17

3:25 3-5

17:9

20:6

Simplex VIII

H. Broesel Jr.

4:01 2-5

4:02

14:95

17:25

Edwinna

E. C. McGraw

5:24 3-5

5:06 1-5

11:48

13:2

Skeeter

G. W. Stephenson

8:02 2-5

6:07 2-5

8:64

9:95

Mile Trials -- Afternoon

Swallow

3:24 4-5

3:20 1-5

17:8

20:5

Simplex VIII

3:57 4-5

4:05 4-5

15:0

17:3

Edwinna

5:00 3-5

5:02 4-5

11:95

13:8

Skeeter

6:33 2-5

9:03

7:09

9:1

The first event of the second day was for working launches, all classes, over a course of 4.2 statute miles. In this the Edith was disqualified for not finishing properly, and the Hoosier, which crossed second, was the winner, The Tarpon II and the Izaak Walton finished only three seconds apart. The Uncle Sam, which finished last, made the best time of all.

The second event was for racers at 4.2 statute miles. The scratch boat was Swallow, which got off 13 minutes 7 seconds after the limit boat. The Skeeter, Edwinna and Hot Stuff III, having exceeded their handicap speed basis, each was penalized under the rules double the excess, which made Swallow the winner. The Simplex VIII was only 17 seconds behind, however. The Dixie was entered but did not start.

The mile trials of the day were confined to the Dixie, which did best on the first of her three trials, each north and south. They were 2:22 2-5 and 2:21 1-5 seconds, respectively. This gives us the average 29,23 statute miles an hour.

The first event of the afternoon was for the racing boats over a course of 8.4 statute miles. The Mera, run by her owner, W. I. Huffstetler, of West Palm Beach, soon fell out and was disqualified, which left the struggle between Swallow and Hot Stuff III. Swallow allowed the latter boat 2 minutes 56 seconds handicap. On the first lap the Godshalk boat cut her rival's lead to 1 minute 3 seconds, but on the last a spark plug went wrong, causing her to lose the race by nine seconds.

The last affair of the day was between boats using both motors and sail. In Class A the Klondike, scratch, and the Red Feather, with an allowance of eight minutes. In Class B were the Yuma, three minutes allowance, and the Savolo and the Melody; both scratch. The distance was 9 nautical miles. This was the prettiest event of the whole regatta. Class A was won by the Klondike, and the others did not finish within the time limit.

Thursday, Feb. 7

Working Launches -- 4.2 Statute Miles

Boat

Owner

Start

Finish

Elapsed

Rate

Tarpon II

H. Decker

10:03:11

10:40:13

37:02 2-5

6:8

Hoosier

W. L. Jenkins

10:07:24

10:39:44

32:20

7:8

Izaak Walton J. C. Conway

10:07:44

10:46:16

32:32

7:75

Uncle Sam

McCoy Bros.

10:13:00

10:42:27

29:27

8:55

Won by Hoosier, Tarpon second, Izaak Walton third

 

Speed Launches -- 4.2 Statute Miles

Skeeter

G. W. Stephenson

11:00:00

11:22:29

22:29

11:2

Edwinna

E. C. McCraw

11:06:15

11:23:30

17:15

14:6

Hot Stuff III

B. J. Southall

11:10:30

11:24:25

13:55

18:

Simplex VIII

H. Broesel Jr.

11:10:53

11:26:01

15:08

16:7

Swallow

E. H. Godshalk

11:13:07

11:25:34

12:27

20:2

Won by Swallow, Simplex VIII second, Hot Stuff III third

 

Mile Trials of Dixie

South

Rate Statute Mile North

Statute Miles an Hour

Average Rate Nautical Mile

2:21 1-5

25:49 2:22 2-5

25:28

25:39

2:22 2-5

25:28 2:22 1-5

25:32

25:31

2:22 2-5

25:28 2:21 1-5

25:42

25:35

 

Speed Boats -- 8.4 Statute Miles

Mera

W.I. Huffstetler

2:52:12

Disqualified

   

Hot Stuff III

B. J. Southall

2:57:00

3:25:14

28:06

18:0

Swallow

E. H. Godshalk

3:00:04

3:25:23

25:19

20:0

Won by HotStuff III, Swallow second

Unquestionably the most stirring event of the regatta was the 21-mile endurance race on Friday morning. It was deservedly won by the Simplex VIII, owing to her smooth and even running. The event was five laps over a course of 4.2 miles. The spectacular part of the contest was furnished by the Dixie, heavily handicapped, especially on the turns. First to start in this event was the Mera, followed by Simplex VIII 6 minutes and 20 seconds later. The Swallow was off third, 13 minutes 24 seconds later; while the Dixie started 38 minutes 55 seconds later than the limit boat. By that time the Mera and Simplex VIII had just begun their third round. The finish found the Simplex still leading, while the Swallow had moved up to second place. The Dixie, which finished third, was only 11 seconds behind the Swallow, her best time being on the last lap of 4.2 miles, which was covered in 9 minutes 12 seconds, or at the rate of 27.5 miles an hour.

The special match race for working launches, 8.4 statute miles, was won by the Truant, with the Cocoon second and the Uncle Sam third. They held together over the first half of the contest. Because of the closeness of the Cocoon and the Uncle Sam in the race of the first day there was special interest in the event.

The third race was for boats using both motors and sails, over a course of 9 nautical miles. The Yuma won in 1 hour 24 minutes 10 seconds. The Klondike was second, the Whiz third, the Savolo fourth and the Dagget fifth. The special time trial of the Secret has been mentioned.

Friday, Feb. 8

Twenty-One-Mile Endurance Race -- Five Times Over 4.2-Mile Course

Boat

Owner

Start

Finish Time

Miles

Mera

W. 1. Huffstetler

04:15

12:37:15 1:33:00

13:5

Simplex VIII

H. Broesel Jr.

10:35

12:28:30 1:17:55

16:2

Swallow

E. H. Godshalk

23:59

12:29:48 1:15:49

19:1

Dixie

E. J. Schroeder

42:09

12:29:59 47:50

26:4

Simplex VIII won, Swallow second, Dixie third

 

Special Match For Launches -- 8.4 Statute Miles

Truant

F. A. Root

3:30

4:22:55

52:55

Uncle Sam

McCoy Bros.

3:30

4:23:54

53:54

Cocoon

G. Myers

3:30

4:23:58

53:28

Won by Truant, Cocoon second, Uncle Sam third

Transcribed from The Motor Boat, Feb. 25, 1907, pp. 1-5.

[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