1908 Harmsworth Trophy
Huntington Bay, New York, July 27-28, 1908
Predict Fast Time For Motorboats
Indications were bright last night at Huntington, L.I., for the successful running to-day of the international motor boat club race. The water of the bay all day long was calm, and with a light southwest wind in the evening everything pointed to ideal conditions this afternoon. Not only were the members of the Motorboat Club of America and the helmsmen of the competing boats pleased at this favorable outlook but the occurrences of the day aroused their enthusiasm to such an extent that the prediction was freely made that the fastest time ever made in the world would be witnessed in the 30-mile cup race, scheduled to start at 2:30 o'clock..
The reason for this enthusiasm was the remarkable trial run made by Daimler II, Lord Howard de Walden's English boat, over the racing circuit. It is a triangular course, ten nautical miles around, and will be traversed three times in the race. Daimler II, steered by Dr. Albert G. Fentiman, made the first run over the circuit she has don since arriving here last week with the English challenger Wolseley-Siddeley, and while it was impossible to secure her accurate time, it was conservatively estimated that she was doing close to thirty nautical miles an hour.
Daimler II's was all the more promising because this was the first time since her three eight-cylinder engines have been fitted in her hull that they have all been running perfectly. Even abroad she has had no opportunity of determining just what her speed might be under normal conditions. Her engines worked with perfect smoothness, and she was regarded last might as a very dangerous rival of Wolseley-Siddeley, which has thus far ruled as favorite on past performances for the cup.
Capt. Noel Robbins did not take out Wolseley-Siddeley, which is owned by the Duke of Westminster. She is in perfect condition and Capt. Robbins is confident that she will equal her foreign record of a trifle over thirty nautical miles, about thirty-five statute miles.
Dixie II, which is admitted to be America's best defender, was hauled out during the day, and two or three of her seams tightened. It was found that she had become slightly strained in the heavy water last Saturday, and was leaking a trifle. In the trial last week she did 25.7 nautical miles, but her designer, Clinton H. Crane, says that over a mile course she has shown ability to travel at the rate of 36 statute miles. If she comes anywhere near this, it will make her a most formidable rival for the cup.
Commodore Hoadley's Den was the only one of the three American defending boats out during the day, but while she is a good boat of her type, she is likely to be a negligible quantity in the race. It is expected that the other American boat, Capt. Sheppard's U.S.A., formerly the Irene, of the Riverton Yacht Club, N.J., may develop fast speed. She has two 100-horse power engines and is reputed to have done within the neighborhood of 30 to 31 statute miles an hour.
Some surprise has been expressed in some quarters over the small number of entries for the International Cup race. By the deed of gift the race is limited to three entrant from a country. France, although expected to send entries, failed to do so, and after Wolseley-Siddeley challenged Daimler II entered as the second English boat. The Motorboat Club of America has been disappointed in that many of the supposedly new fast boats built to defend the cup failed to appear. The builders of them either failed to appreciate the importance of the race or, having other interests at stake, believed that a high-powered motorboat could be successfully turned out in a few weeks. As a result three or four of the boats for which great things were promised were far from being ready.
Autowin II, the Boston boat which had to be rejected because her engines were not in running order, did succeed for the first time yesterday in making a few fast miles, and her owners are endeavoring to arrange a match race with the English craft during the week. The English boats will be shipped home on Saturday.
(Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 3, 1908)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. LF]
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