1908 Labor Day Races
Willamette River, Portland OR, September 7, 1908

Dispute at Launch Races
One Event Canceled Because of Disagreement Over Handicaps

Motor Boat Races Today
Dispute at Launch Races

Rain interfered with the races which had been planned by the Willamette Motor Boat Club for Labor day. Only two races were run and the third one on the programme was called off. The latter was the handicap event, and a large amount of protesting on the part of boat-owners against the method of the management forced abandonment of that race.

The Class A event, for scratch boats over a course of 9 miles, was won by Otto Ranft’s launch Happy Heine. Barb was second and the Greenhorn came in a poor third. Bad steering on the part of the last-named craft put her well to the rear at the start. The prize for this race was the J. Wesley Ladd cup.

Boats in Class B had trouble and the owners each entered protest. There were five entries—the Comet, Kittie, Mercury, Rochester and Ethel. They ran over a course of 4 miles and came in in the following order: Comet, Kittie and Rochester.

Class C, a handicap event, was called off because of differences between club officials and boatowners. The handicaps were figured out on the showing made in tryouts by the contestants. The owners thought the officials wrong, and vice versa.

A fairly large crowd braved the elements to witness the races. They sought shelter spots along the docks and on the bridges. The first race held them, but they thinned out before the second event started.

(Transcribed from the Morning Oregonian, Sep. 8, 1908, p. 4.)

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

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Leslie Field, 2002