1908 Hudson River Yacht Racing Association Regatta

Annual Regatta of the Hudson River Yacht Racing Association
Charles B. Ulrichs

Fourth Annual Regatta of the Hudson River Yacht Racing Association

Annual Regatta of the Hudson River Yacht Racing Association

Two fine fleets arrived at Kingston point on Sunday, September 6th, and anchored off the clubhouse of the Rondout Y.C. The yachts of the clubs on the lower Hudson assembled off the Poughkeepsie Y.C. on Sunday morning and under command of Commodore R. B. Green of the Tarrytown Y.C., proceeded in a body up the river, while Commodore John E. Scopes of the Albany Y.C. commanded his fleet down the river; both fleets arriving within a short time of each other. Stragglers came in all day long and daybreak on Monday, the seventh, saw a fleet, estimated at one hundred and twenty-five yachts, anchored off the Rondout Y.C. in readiness for the fourth annual regatta of the Hudson River yacht Racing association. For the first time in the history of the Association, the regatta was held under a clear sky, and with most favorable weather conditions for racing.

The races were held under the auspices of the Rondout Y.C. off Kingston Point, over a triangular course of seven nautical miles to the lap. Forty-six power boats were entered in seven classes, in addition to the race for the Joseph R. Ellicott Cup for auto-boats.

The first race for power boats on the program was open to all boats rating in the Auto Class. The captains of these boats requested the Regatta Committee to postpone this event, owing to the choppy sea that was lashed by a brisk Norther against a flood-tide, and as they put it, that their boats would not show up to good advantage. Conditions were similar to those at Huntington on August 1st, when the Harmsworth Cup races were postponed. The committee granted the request of the captains and promptly proceeded with Class B, cabin boats, rating 41 and over.

After the hunting launches were all in there was an intermission of half an hour, during which time the committee had sent out launches to hunt up owners of the Auto-Boat Class. All but one were coralled, and the committee decided that it had done all in its power to find the "lost sheep," which was named U.B.D.--, quite a suggestive name for a racer. The starters were Lackawanna III, H. T. Coldwell, Newburgh Canoe and Boating Association, winner of the first race for the Ellicott Cup, which was held on Tappan Zee on July 4th; Black cat, owned by the veteran racer, Al Traver, of Poughkeepsie; Flip, T. V. Roe Jr., of Tarrytown, and Elmer L, Lansing DeLong, Albany Y.C. The boats were well bunched for the start, but Elmer L took the lead, followed by Black Cat and Flip, with Lackawanna III in last position. U.B.D. showed up 3m. 41s. after the start and crossed the line but in addition to having such a large handicap to make up, was not running as she should. Elmer L was an unknown factor before the race, as she had not appeared at any regatta on the Hudson River this Summer.

After rounding the second mark on the first lap, Elmer L was in the lead, followed by Flip and Black Cat, with Lackawanna III in the rear. When opposite the clubhouse Black Cat was seen to slow up and withdrew from the race. Al Traver reported that Black Cat's propeller had picked up a bunch of eel-grass while running in shoal water, so that she would be in good shape for the star event of the day, the Ellicott Cup Race. Elmer L was well in the lead on the first round, followed by Flip and Lackawanna III. This order was kept up on the second round and Elmer L finished 5m. 2s. ahead of Flip. Elmer L was declared the winner; but as her measurement as well as those of Black Cat and Lackawanna III were protested, the award of the prize had to be held up.

The last event of the day was the Championship event of the Hudson River, the race for the Joseph R. Ellicott Challenge Cup, over a 10-knot course with two turns.

The same boats that started in the Auto Class, with the exception of U.B.D., which was not eligible, started in this event, and what a perfect start it was. The four boats approached the line like race-horses, amid the cheers of the crowd assembled around the clubhouse, on board the yachts, and on the terraces of the park.

The boats were well bunched across the line, but by the time they reached the first mark Elmer L was in the lead, followed by Black Cat, Flip and Lackawanna III. This order was maintained through the entire race, Elmer L finishing in 35m. 15s. elapsed time.

It was very unfortunate that the Regatta Committee was forced to hold up the prizes in three classes, owing to the protests of measurements, and it is deplorable that owners cannot abide by the ratings given by official measurers.

As only one club measurer was one whose measurements had been protested, the regatta Committee decided to let the protested boats leave the club to be measured at a later date, which is a very unusual procedure and contrary to all racing rules.

The regatta was a grand success from every standpoint. The officials worked in perfect harmony, and the races were run off in good order, all details being well systemized. Taken on a whole the Association is progressing rapidly and promises to have a very successful future.


H.R.Y.R.A. Annual Regatta, September 7, 1908, Under the Auspices of the Rondout Y.C.

Auto Class A. Course 14 Nautical Miles








El. Time

Cor. Time

Lackawanna III

H. T. Coldwell

Newburgh C&BA







Black Cat

A. Traver

Poughkeepsie YC







T. V. Roe Jr.

Tarrytown YC







U. B. D.

Henry Nichols

Irvington YC







Elmer L

Lansing De Long

Albany YC







Won by Elmer L, Flip second

Joseph R. Ellicott Cup Course 10 nautical Miles

Lackawanna III





Black Cat





Elmer L










Won by Elmer L, Black Cat second

(Excerpts transcribed from The Rudder, October 1908, pp. 211-215.)

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

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