1908 Huntington Bay Regatta

Motorboats in Storm

Speed Craft Forced to Put Back for Safety in Huntington Bay

Motorboats to Race
Motorboats in Storm
Den Leads Motorboats
Race Week of the Motorboat Club of America

A furious thunderstorm with torrents of rain threatened disaster for a few minutes to some of the motorboats that took part in the races yesterday in Huntington Bay under the auspices of the Motor Boat Club of America. Several steam and power yachts, among them Commodore Hoadley's Nushka, of the Motor Boat Club, put into the bay to witness the start, and a bevy of visitors lined the piazza of the Cafe des Beaux Arts to enjoy the sport. Eleven boats started, and the spectators saw some of the fast ones complete one circuit of the 11 3/4 mile course. Then the dense black clouds that had been rolling up in the southwest broke with the full fury of a thunderstorm, and so violent was the rain that for a time it was absolutely impossible to see twenty feet over the water from the committee boat, which was ex-Commodore H. H. Gordon's yawl Uardo.

Jacob Siegel's XPDNC, well known as the first winner of the race from New York to Poughkeepsie and return about four years ago, was caught in the storm when half way out to the first mark off Eaton's Point and immediately put back. Commodore Hoadley's Den, which led XPDNC by 1 minute 47 seconds on the first round, ran in a friendly cove off the shore of the point. Den and Gobang, a rakish looking craft which was entered by an unknown owner within a minute of the start, were the only ones of the eleven starters that did not return to the inner bay after the storm had subsided, and a launch was sent out to look for them, ascertaining late in the evening that they were safe.

Eight boats started in the racing classes, being Jacob Siegel's XPDNC, Red Bank Yacht Club; Scioto, George C. Sutton, Bergen beach Yacht Club; Den, Commodore Joseph H. Hoadley, Motor Boat Club of America; Marie, Aymer Johnson, South bay Yacht Club; Durno II, J. H. Durno, Rochester Yacht Club; Red devil, E. P. Thomas, West Haven, Conn.; Artful, H. Coons, Keyport Yacht Club, and Gobang. In the cruising class three boats appeared, Muskeget, C. Andrade, Larchmont Yacht Club; Royal Flush, P. von Boerckmann, Jamaica bay, and Janet, J. S. Campbell, Huntington Yacht Club.

The racing boats were to go over the 11 3/4-mile course twice and the cruising boats once. The start was made at 3:15 o'clock. The only ones to complete one round were Den, which rounded the mark at :36:19; XPDNC, 3:48:06; Scioto, 4:00:35; Red Devil, 4:04:31, and Marie, 4:05:16. All of the men steering the boats reported that the water out in the bay toward the Sound was so rough that no small motorboat could possibly have finished the race in safety. They were all well filled with water on their return, but hoped to do better to-day, when some additional entries are expected and the racing boats will be divided into two or three classes, with regular time allowances.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 7, 1908, p. 6. )

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

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Leslie Field, 2001