1908 Harmsworth Trophy
Huntington Bay, New York, July 27-28, 1908
Motorboat Race Off
With a twenty-five-mile breeze from the northeast blowing across the Sound and churning up the waters in Huntington Bay into a white-capped sea, the conditions for the international motorboat cup race were considered entirely too strenuous yesterday both by the contestants and the committee, and late in the afternoon the race was postponed until to-morrow at 2:30 o'clock. It was another day of aggravation for the regatta Committee of the Motorboat Club of America, for, after five days of calm weather and with scarcely any of the American boats in condition to take part in the trial races. It was adding the climax of disappointment when all of the boats were ready for the real event only to find the conditions in this case contrary.
The veranda of the Cafe des Beaux Arts, overlooking the ten-mile course in the bay, was crowded with sportsmen, members of yachting parties and automobilists from New York and adjacent localities, all anxious to see whether the cup won last year in England by Edward J. Schroeder's Dixie would remain in America another year or go back to the old country. Over a thousand persons were present, and among the large fleet of yachts that put into the harbor were Commodore Wilson Marshall's Atlantic, the flagship of the Larchmont Yacht Club; C.K.G. Billings's new steam yacht Vanadis, Capt. Mulford Martin's power yacht Asor II of the American Yacht Club, James Craig's Ailsa-Graig, the Bermuda motorboat race victor; Commodore Hoadley's steam yacht Nushka of the Motorboat Club of America, Winchester, Annette, Sunbeam, Nada II, Aida, Delilah, Levanter, Cactus II, and many others.
Clinton H. Crane, the designer of Dixie II, and who was to have steered her in the race gave the American enthusiasts cheerful hopes of possibly retaining the cup by stating that in a trial run during the week over the New York Yacht Club's measured mile in Hempstead Harbor Dixie II had demonstrated her ability to go at the rate of thirty-six statute miles an hour. If these figures are accurate and Dixie II can maintain that speed over a thirty-nauitical-mile course, it means that she has a splendid chance to win the cup again for America, as Wolseley-Siddeley's best official record is a trifle over thirty-four statute miles.
Both capt. Noel M. Robbins and Dr. Albert F. Fentiman of the Wolseley-Siddeley and Daimler II, respectively, while stating that they preferred not to race in the rough water, said they were perfectly willing to start if the committee so ruled. They admitted that no fast records could be made, for the waves were so boisterous out in the bay that it would have been necessary to hold the boats down to very low speed for at least one-half of the course. Recognizing this fact and that the record is the chief consideration in a contest of high-powered motorboats, the committee, after ascertaining how all the individual contestants felt, announced the postponement.
(Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 2, 1908)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. LF]
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