1907 Palm Beach Mid-Winter Regatta
Palm Beach, FL, Jan. 29-Feb.2, 1907


The Lake Worth Carnival
by Walter M. Bieling

Fast Motor Boats in Palm Beach Regatta
Three Wins for Dixie in Palm Beach Races
Dixie Again Leads in Palm Beach Races
Dixie Heads the List in Palm Beach Races
Dixie's Alleged Record
The Lake Worth Carnival
The Palm Beach Races
The Lake Worth Carnival (The Rudder)
The Lake Worth Motor Boat Races

The Third Annual Regatta of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association this year wound up in a grand blaze of fireworks and the general consensus of opinion was that Winter racing in Florida had at last made good. Before this year the races, for many races, had been of little interest; but for this event no effort was spared to make the affair interesting, and barring a few deplorable incidents the regatta, as a whole, might be called a success.

Unfortunately several of the racing craft were delayed in transit; one boat arrived on the next to the last day and one failed to show up at all. On the second day two of the racers collided and were put out of the racing for the balance of the meet. But for these happenings the results would undoubtedly have been better.

The first day's racing was held under the 1907 rule of the American Power Boat Association and on the following days the boats were handicapped on the first day's performance; with the exception, of course, of the mile dash for the Dewar Trophy and the endurance race.

The first race, of four and one-half nautical miles, for boats of 80 rating and under, was started at eleven a.m. on Tuesday, January 29th. Nine boats started and finished the race, which was won by Simplex VIII, with 1 minute 32 seconds to spare over Hot Stuff IV. Possum was third, 38 seconds behind Hot Stuff IV, and Blanche II came along 1 minute 2 seconds later.

As this was the first race held under the new rules of the Association, a comparison of the time and ratings of the boats is of interest. The first five boats finished within a period of 2 minutes 12 seconds over a course of four and one-half nautical miles, and as the boats were of widely different types and dimensions the working of the rule, in this race at least, was better than the results obtained in the majority of races last year.

The second race, for boats of 80 rating and above, had four starters: Katherine, a fine lined and built boat, the work of George Gingras, a local builder; Dixie, well known all over the country; and Gray Wolf and Bruiser, also local products of a very original and peculiar type, with long sharp bows, concaved under body and a sort of built-up, box-like cockpit, which seems popular with many of the local owners and builders. This race was for nine nautical miles and Katherine won from Gray Wolf by only 34 seconds. Bruiser finished 2 minutes 40 seconds behind Gray Wolf and Dixie dropped out on account of difficulty with her clutch and withdrew for repairs.

The third event of the day was started at two-thirty p.m. and was for boats of 80 rating and below; a repetition of the first morning race. Simplex VIII again won over Hot Stuff IV by 2 minutes 22 seconds and Possum third.

Katherine again won the race in her class by only 6 seconds over Gray Wolf and Bruiser 50 seconds behind.

The fifth and lsat race of the day was for boats of all ratings over a course of nine nautical miles, and eight started what proved to be one of the best races of the day aside from the fact the Simplex VIII practically had a walkover. The next two boats, Gray Wolf and Katherine , were timed as finishing together, as were the fifth and sixth boats. The close finishes caused the spectators to cheer wildly and the first day's racing closed with public interest at a high pitch, and speculation was rife as to how the boats would be handicapped on performance for the following days' races.

The second day dawned clear and fair and the crews were busy at an early hour tinkering with engines, filling tanks, etc., and were ready for the contest in good season. The fine, landlocked basin and wharves at Palm Beach, together with the able assistance of Mr. Andrews, superintendent of the marine end of the hotel system, did much to smooth the path of the owners and crews; everything possible for the convenience of the racers was provided and their wants attended to promptly.

The first event of the day was the four and one-half nautical mile race for boats of 30 feet l. w. l. and under, all handicaps being based on the previous day's performance. The scheme of the committee was to penalize any boat which exceeded her previous day's speed by 3 per cent and during the day four boats were set back for this offense. Six boats started in the first race and Mera won over Planet by 5 seconds; Blanche II and Baby Bullitt finished 9 seconds apart, the former 32 seconds behind Planet.

In the next event, of nine nautical miles for boats of more than 30 ft. water-line, Dixie won over Katherine by nearly a minutes; Gray Wolf was next and a short distance behind her came Bruiser. At this time an accident occurred that very nearly ended in a fatality. As Katherine and Bruiser crossed the finish line, both boats turned sharply and ran through the assembled fleet of yachts at considerable speed. A short distance from the committee boat they came together was a crash, Katherine striking Bruiser about amidships; and both boats immediately began to sink.

The wife of the owner of Bruiser was on board and when the crash came was thrown into the bottom of the boat and became entangled in the machinery. The boats were rapidly sinking and only by the promptest kind of work on the part of the crew of the Katherine and the crew of the Possum, which craft was near by, was the lady rescued.

The third race of the day was for the boats which competed in the 30-ft. and under water-line class, but for a distance of nine nautical miles. Both Mera and Errand Boy exceeded their 3 per cent allowance and their finish times were changed with the result that Baby Bullitt was declared the winner of the event.

The next race was for the boats exceeding 30 ft. water-line length, and as both Bruiser and Katherine were at the bottom of the lake, Simplex VII, a sister boat to Simplex VIII, was entered on the same rating and sent around the course. Dixie won this event easily, and although the Simplexes were jockeyed like the Roman chariots in a country circus, they put up an interesting race and finished close together.

The last event of the day was for all the boats in one class handicapped together. Errand Boy was again declared out for exceeding her allowance, as was Mera, and Dixie was awarded the cup in this event.

Swallow, one of the missing boats, arrived on Thursday morning, having been sidetracked somewhere. At the request of the committee the owner put her overboard, and although the engine was badly rusted, he shortly got her running and prepared to enter the afternoon races.

The first race was for boats of under eighteen miles an hour speed and Planet won easily. Dixie had but one competitor in her class and as she did not finish, Dixie added another mug to her already large collection. The next race for all classes was again easily won by Planet.

In the class for boats of eighteen miles speed or under, Possum made the first win of the meet, and in the class for boats Dixie went over the course for a walkover.

Swallow turned up for the race for all the boats and as so handicapped by the committee that she started before Errand Boy, a craft capable of only about 16 miles per hour. Being capable of better than 21 miles per hour, Swallow naturally exceeded her allowance of 3 per cent and was disqualified, and Meteor, which craft finished just behind Swallow, was declared the winner. In posting the results after the race the committee state that "Swallow further disqualified herself by not carrying and displaying her racing number;" under the circumstances such an action was in very poor taste and aroused considerable unfavorable criticism.

The speed trials for the Sir Thomas Dewar Trophy were run off on the morning of the last day. Dixie naturally had a walkover, but as the conditions of the deed of gift of the trophy require that the trials must be made in competition, several of the boats kindly ran over the course. It is claimed that the mile was very carefully surveyed, and Dixie was given six trials, with the following results, as given forth officially by the committee: Best time with tide, 2 minutes 19 seconds; best time against tide, 2 minutes 21 1-5 seconds. In the afternoon the last races of the regatta took place. Two boats entered the Consolation race, Errand Boy and Gray Wolf. Errand Boy did not finish, so Gray Wolf took the cup. A special race, not on the program, was gotten up, in which Katherine was entered and she made a very good showing, considering her unfortunate experience. George Gingras, who drove her during the races, somehow got her patched up in time to compete and put up a very good contest. The whole bow of the boat was covered with canvas, which caused her to raise a regular waterfall when speeding. Dixie also won this event, despite the fact that she failed to carry a racing flag and number, which was sufficient to disqualify Swallow on the previous day.

The closing event of the carnival was a twenty-mile endurance race, in which seven boats competed and which was won by Dixie.

It is regretted that Dixie had no competitor worthy of her steel. Had she been pitted against a real high-speed boat she probably would not have won so many prizes, but the races would have been more interesting.

Statistics of Contestants

Boat

Rating

L.W.L

M.S.

Cycles

Cylinders

Diameter

Stroke

H.P.

Make of Engine

Errand Boy

69.20

23.98

1.38

2

2

4

5

16.03

Fay & Bowen

Bruiser

102.20

39.56

1.64

4

6

4

5

47.7

Continental

Dixie

117.60

39.88

3.06

4

8

6

5

132.7

Smith & Mabley

Gray Wolf

90.20

31.60

1.42

4

4

4

6

31.8

Continental

Mera

77.60

28.44

2.60

4

4

5

5

39.26

Buffalo

Simplex VIII

72.57

31.27

2.72

4

4

4

6

31.8

Smith & Mabley

Planet

52.13

24.80

1.63

4

1

4

5

7.95

Auto Equipment Co.

Spray

61.51

18.75

2.40

4

2

3

4

22.12

Auto Car & Auto Marine Company

       

2

2

4

4

(combined)

Blanche ll

78.14

28.91

2.09

4

4

4

5

31.8

Auto Equipment Co.

Possum

78.22

24.19

1.07

4

4

4

4

28.37

Continental

Katherine

96.04

31.77

2.41

4

6

5

6

64.94

Jager

Not Stuff IV

73.03

27.79

2.24

4

4

4

4

28.37

 

Kiolo

63.10

30.08

3.72

4

4

4 5/16

5

29.21

De Dion

Baby Bullitt

61.70

25.98

1.98

2

2

4

5

15.7

Rochester

(Transcribed from The Rudder, March 1907, pp. 325-330. )

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


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