1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Regatta
Wolff IIAgain Defeats Pacer
The Wolff II, with Capt. E. W. Spencer at the wheel, and Capt. J. W. Wolff controlling the powerful six-cylinder engine, yesterday proved itself to be the fastest motor boat in the West by defeating the Pacer, her only other serious competitor, in the second days racing under the supervision of the Seattle Motor Boat Association, over a thirty-mile course on Lake Washington.
The Wolff II won the undisputed championship of the Pacific Coast over a thirty-mile course by gaining the most points in the two tests, and incidentally gained possession of a handsome silver cup. In the first race Saturday, in which the Wolff II established a new worlds record over a thirty-mile circular course, the speed marvel jointly owned by Capt. Spencer and Capt. Wolff, of Portland, won four points, that number being awarded to the boat crossing the line first. The Pacer, of Seattle, entered by the owner, Robert F. Cox, or Portland, took second place in the first race, and gained three points. Two other speed boats, the Seattle Spirit and the Lawana, were entered and according to the system of scoring, the winner was given as many points as were the number of boats entered. With only the Pacer and White Phantom, from Portland, entered yesterday, two points were awarded the winner of the race, and one point was given to the Pacer, which finished second. This gave the marvel from the Rose City six points to the local boats four, and did not necessitate a third race Thursday, as had been planned, as the Wolff would win the cup, even if the Pacer should succeed in nosing out first place.
The weather was bad yesterday for fast motor boat racing, and the Wolff II did not make the course in the record time set in Saturdays heat. The Wolff finished the thirty miles in the first race in 56 minutes 25 1-5 seconds, but the best that the long, powerful craft could make yesterday was 1 hour 1 minute 7 4-5 seconds, which is excellent time, considering the choppy water and heavy wind which the visiting contestant had to combat against.
The Pacer finished 4 minutes 37 2-5 seconds behind the new champion.
The races started shortly after the scheduled time yesterday from the exposition dock. The Pacer, with Eddie Roesch at the wheel, crossed the line before the gun was fired, and while turning to make a new start lost a great deal of ground, Clarence Jones, firing the starting gun after the boats had had the necessary five minutes to get ready for the signal. The Wolff II shot away from the dock like an escaped comet, and from then on had the race well in hand.
Boats Strike Rough Water
Hardly had the boat got out side of Union bay than they struck rough weather, and threw the water high into the air on both sides and over the boats, drenching the crews to the skin. Breasting the waves retarded their progress materially
The Wolff rounded the triangular course from the exposition wharf to Leschi park, across to Medina and back in 21 minutes 7 2-5 seconds, and it was 4 minutes 21 4-5 seconds later before the Pacer rounded the first buoy on the return trip. The Portland Phantom completed the second ten miles in 20 minutes 6 2-5 seconds, while the Pacer showed her class by making the three legs of the course in 19 minutes 28 seconds, having gained a half mile on the Wolff. The latter boat made the last lap of the course in 20 minutes 4 seconds, while the Cox boat completed the triangle in 20 minutes 48 seconds.
Wolff and Spencer had no trouble with their boat, and came in jubilant over their victory. Mrs. Capt. Spencer and Mrs. Capt. Wolff were no less pleased over the triumph of their husbands speed marvel, and were on hand to receive the victors, drenched to the skin, after they tied up at the dock.
Eddie Roesch had difficulty with the Pacers engine over the entire first ten miles. The water breaking over the bow into the boat filled the exhaust pipes, and he was forced to run for a time with two cylinders. The water also short circuited the spark plug.
Pacer Defeats Spirit
The second heat of the thirty-two-foot class race was won rather easily by the Pacer. The Wolff, which is a forty-foot boat, could not compete in this class. The Seattle Spirit was the only other boat which made an appearance for this race, and after completing twenty-five miles of the race quit and failed to finish at the stake buoy anchored off the exposition wharf. The Pacer made the second thirty miles of the day in better time than in the first race, completing the course in 58 minutes 13 1-5 seconds. The weather had moderated considerably, however, before the start of the second event, and Roesch and his crew had no trouble with their engine. This is a great performance after a desperate thirty-mile fight with the Wolff, and Robert Cox still hopes to defeat the White Phantom in the 100-mile free-for-all race, which will be run off on Lake Washington next Saturday at 2 oclock, in which the boats will be handicapped according to their best time made in competition.
The Lawana, which expected to enter the thirty-two-foot class race, arrived late, but qualified for the last race, to be held Thursday, by completing the triangular course once. This performance does not give the boat a point in the score. The Seattle Spirit was in the hands of Charles Biekley, E. Reid and M. F. Buckner, while J. B. Broen and E. Hember manned the Lawana. The time of the Spirit and Pacer was as follows: First ten milesSpirit 20 minutes 47 3-5 seconds; Pacer, 19 minutes 48 4-5 seconds. Second ten milesPacer, 19 minutes 14 4-5 seconds; Spirit 20 minutes 33 3-5 seconds. Third ten milesPacer, 19 minutes 9 3-5 seconds.
First Places Awarded
The officials yesterday awarded firsts to the boats Lady Jane Grey in the twenty-six-foot class, Pockey in the twenty-two-foot class and Ayacanora in the eighteen-foot class as there were no other entries in these class races.
The officials yesterday were: Clarence Jones, starter; C. E. Plimpton, referee, and M. Robert Guggenheim, Frank Foulser and E. Forest Mitchell, judges.
(Transcribed from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 7, 1909, p. 10.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page --LF]
History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010 .
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Leslie Field, 2002