1908 Palm Beach Mid-Winter Carnival
The Florida Races
Taking everything into consideration, the fourth annual motorboat regatta at Palm Beach turned out more successful than might have been expected. The date -- six weeks later than ever before -- gave general dissatisfaction, with the possible exception of the Florida contestants, and it is safe to say that earlier time will be named next year, should a fifth series be attempted, which now seems likely. The last week in February or the first in March is favored.
Lake Worth had never before been at such a low point, caused, say the weather sharps, by the protracted westerly winds, never so steadily in evidence as this Winter along the whole Florida east coast. The wholesale timbering in Georgia, added to the wanton destruction of Florida pines by turpentining has reached a point which endangers the climate of the state for all time to come. The low water gave some trouble to the Dixie, but the abnormal conditions this season are not likely to be repeated again for years to come.
The first event the opening day was a five-mile race for boats rating 80 and above, which went to the Dolphin. the Winner's time was 14 minutes 47 seconds. Then came a five-mile race for boats rated at 80 and above, won by the General in 12 minutes 55 seconds, with George Gingras' Trente-Sept second. A ten-mile race for boats of all rating was the third event. The Dolphin won in 32 minutes 32 seconds. The General was second.
The big event of the day was the fourth--fifteen miles for all classes. The winner was the Irene, the limit boat, in 1 hour 55 minutes 29 seconds. The Dolphin was second and the Dixie third. The latter's run, the feature of the race was in 33 minutes 46 seconds. James K. Clarke's Bruiser, for exceeding her allowance, was penalized and so lost place. The committee was satisfied that the boat had cut the course, the statements of the crew being contradictory. Trente-Sept, a Florida production, built by George Gingras, the best known of the Southern boatmen, made a favorable impression. handicaps the first day were based on the ratings of the American Power Boat Association, thereafter on the actual performance.
The second day, as on the first, weather conditions were favorable, despite brisk wind. As usual there was more or less protest against the handicaps, particularly by E. R. Walker, of Detroit, owner of the General.
The five-mile race for C class boats (load water line of less than 30 feet) was won by Irene, second Dolphin. Winner's time 37 minutes 31 seconds. The second event, a five-mile handicap, proved an exciting struggle between the Dixie and the General. This was for Class D boats having load water line exceeding 30 feet. Dixie won by half a length, her time being 11 minutes 3 seconds. The third event was ten miles, class C-D, for boats of various lengths. The winner was Dolphin, second Bruiser. The winner's time was 30 minutes 25 seconds.
The fourth event was at five miles for C boats. The winner was Trente-Sept, with Dolphin second. The winner's time was 13 minutes 18 seconds. The fifth event was at five miles for Class D boats. The winner was General, Bruiser second. The winner's time was 13 minutes 6 seconds. The sixth and last event was of fifteen miles for Class C-D boats. General won, with Trente-Sept second. The winner's time was 38 minutes 21 seconds.
Dixie was out of the running for the remainder of the third day, her owner deciding to hold her back for the important time trials to follow. The weather was again fine. The first race was at five miles for Class e boats, with speed of less than 18 miles an hour. The winner was Irene, Red Bird second. The winning time was 37 minutes 32 seconds. The Lamb was penalized for exceeding her allowance. The second event, a five-mile race for boats with speed of more than 18 miles an hour, brought the best sport of the day. Just beyond the southern turn the contestants became well bunched. First across the finish line was Dolphin, with Trente-Sept only two minutes behind. General was eight seconds later and Bruiser another eight seconds behind. The winner's time was 13 minutes 56 seconds.
The third event was at five miles, free for all. General, heavily handicapped, would have won but for getting short of gasolene. The Ferro accordingly won. Her time was 20 minutes 35 seconds. Dolphin was two seconds behind, with the others closely bunched a few seconds later. The fourth race was at the same distance and for the same class. There were only three starters. The winner was Irene, with Ferro second and Dixolite third. The latter did not arrive here until the first two days' races were over. The winner's time was 37 minutes 51 seconds. The fifth count was at the same distance and for the same boats as for the second race. It was a triumph of handling for George Gingras in the Trente-Sept, with the Dolphin four seconds behind. The winner's time was 13 minutes 26 seconds.
The sixth and last race was a fifteen-mile free for all. General was on scratch, 21 minutes behind the limit boat. At five miles Ferro led, with Dixolite second, while General had passed Trente-Sept by two seconds. At ten miles, Ferro led, Dolphin was second, with Bruiser and General just behind, and Trente-Sept giving them a pretty chase. Dixolite had dropped to last place. General won 30 seconds ahead of Dolphin, Bruiser third and Trente-Sept fourth; 23 seconds behind, Ferro was fifth. Winner's time, 37 minutes 46 seconds. The victory of Irene, an 8½-mile-an-hour boat owned at Cocoa, and the continued presence at the wheel of the Red Bird of Mrs. George Dewey, of sportswoman-like mien, wife of the boat's owner, were incidents of the day to be recalled.
On the fourth and last day Dixie made a new local mark at same time, getting permanent possession of the Dewar Shield and lowering her Hudson River record. Capt. Pearce reeled off a mile in 2 minutes 18 3/5 seconds, which is at the rate of 29.728 statute miles an hour, or 25.817 knots. The Hudson River record is 29.622 miles. It took six miles, however, to bring Dixie to concert pitch. The times of the trials were: First, south, 2.18 4/5; north. 2.20 2/5; second, south, 2.19 4/5; north, 2.19 3/5; third, south, 2.18 4/5; north, 2.18 3/5. In the afternoon the feature was twenty-mile endurance run, the minimum variation from the fastest lap being the governing factor. The starters were Red Bird, Ferro, Dolphin, Trente-Sept and Dixie, the latter being off 58 minutes 12 seconds behind the limit craft. Dixie's fastest lap was 10 minutes 50 seconds. Her first was in 10 minutes 57 seconds, the second in 10 minutes 52 seconds and the third in 10 minutes 51 seconds, which gave her the prize easily. Total time, 43 minutes 23 seconds. Trente-Sept won the five-mile event for the challenge cup open only to Florida-built boats. She was on scratch 12 minutes behind the limit boats. The other contestants were Red Bird, Baby Bullet, Ferro and Bruiser.
(Transcribed from MotorBoat, April 10, 1908)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. LF]
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