1909 APBA Gold Cup
St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay, NY, August 19-21, 1909

Dixie to Defend Cup

Power Boat Races at Alexandria Bay Begin To-morrow

Alexandria Bay, N.Y., Aug. 17—Important changes were announced to-night in connection with the gold challenge cup races of the American Power Boat Association here Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The races will occur at 3:30 each day, an hour later than firs announced. R. H. Eggleston, of New York, Chairman of the Racing Committee, left to-night for British Columbia. His place at the head of the Racing Committee will be filled by his son.

Crowds of New Yorkers began pouring in to-night in anticipation of the races. By Thursday accommodations will be at a premium. The famous racer, Dixie II, defender of the cup, representing the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, has arrived. The boat has a new hull, which is said to be slower in a rough sea, requiring slow turns, but speedier than the old one in smooth water. The revenue cutter Morrell has arrived from the great lakes to patrol the course, following advices from Washington.

Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 18. 1909, p. 7


Dixie II Easy Winner

Famous Power Boat Scores First Victory for Gold Cup

Alexandria Bay, N.Y., Aug. 19.—Attaining a speed of 30 miles an hour, the famous Dixie II, representing the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, in the Gold Challenge Cup races of the American Power Boat Association, experienced no trouble whatever here this afternoon in defeating the three other boats which competed in the classic event of the St. Lawrence River. Not once during the entire 32 miles was the Dixie II opened full ahead, yet her speed carried her over the line a winner by something like a mile. The opening event of the three day’s races was a disappointment, not only to the racing committee, but to the thousands that thronged shores and yachts.

Previous to the race, two disappointments were experienced in the failure of the Courier II, representing the Buffalo Motor Boat Club, in the Pawnee, representing the Clayton Yacht Club, to show up. Not a word did the Committee hear from "Fingey" Connors, owner of the Courier, while the Pawnee was withdrawn on account of objections from its owner to having the boat compete.

All four boats got away well, the Duquesne leading. Before the first few miles had passed, the outcome of the race was settled. The Dixie II, running well, forged ahead, gaining foot by foot, leaqving a struggling field behind.

Under the point system the Dixie has four points, the Duquesne three, Stranger 2, and Jan 1

Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 20, 1909, p. 5


Dixie II Wins Again

Defender Outclasses Power Boats in Race for Gold Cup

Alexandria Bay, N.Y., Aug. 20.—With favorable conditions prevailing throughout the 32-mile course, the Dixie II, winner in yesterday’s Gold Challenge Cup race again captured the event here this afternoon. The race could hardly be termed an exciting affair, even though the Duquesne led over the first ten miles after the Dixie had gotten under way, the last of the bunch at the start-off. The performance of the Dixie II in yesterday’s race made to-day’s result an almost foregone conclusion, barring accidents.

A slightly choppy sea prevailed at the start. After the first ten miles during which Dixie II hung back, the racer spurted to the head of the procession and held her position to the finish. The victory was a tame one. An effort is being made to-night to arrange a race for to-morrow between the Standard and the Dixie II, following the Gold Challenge Cup event. The Standard has 700 horse-power engines. The Dixie II may go against her own time to-morrow over a measured mile.

Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 21, 1909, p. 5


New Record for Dixie II

Retains Gold Challenge Cup and Makes New Speed Record

Alexandria Bay, N.y., Aug. 21.—More than thirty miles an hour was attained by the fast New York motor boat Dixie II in the closing event of the Gold challenge cup races to-day. The Dixie II thus established a new fres water motor boat record and retains the cup.

Dixie II’s speed superiority was so apparent in defeating the Duquesne of the Frontenac Yacht Club, the Jan of the Gananoque Yacht Club and the Stranger of the Chippewa Yacht Club that the contest was robbed of its usual excitement. For the thirty-two-mile course Dixie II’s time was 59 minutes 15 seconds. By her victory Dixie II retains the challenge cup for another tyear.

Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 22, 1909, Sect. IV p. 1


Gold Challenge Cup Races

As expected, Dixie III practically had a walkover in this year’s series of races for the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power-Boat Association, finishing first each day with the rest of the fleet nowhere.

Six boats had been entered, Dixie III (called the Dixie II, although the hull is not the same as the one which won last year), Duquesne (which craft competed last year but broke down), Pawnee (another competitor of last year, which craft for some reason or other did not compete) and Buffalo Courier II ( a new boat, which was unable to compete on account of an accident while tuning up). Thus, with the exception of Dixie’s new hull, the contestants were known quantities and incapable of providing a real race for Dixie. However, a world of praise is due the owners of Duquesne, Stranger and Jan for the sportsmanlike attitude which prompted them to stick it out to the end, event though they had no possible chance of winning the prize. This is particularly true of Jan, which craft was hopelessly licked on the first day, but was driven around for all she was worth by her crew and on the last day of the series made an absolutely perfect start, which amply repaid her owner for the game fight he had made.

The start on the first day was ragged, but Dixie soon assumed the lead, with Duquesne second, Stranger third and Jan last. This order, or rather order of procession, remained the same, and Dixie romped across the line a winner, about six minutes ahead of Duquesne, which craft led Stranger about three minutes, with Jan close behind.

On the second day the crew of Dixie provided a little excitement by allowing Duquesne to lead the first round, but it was evident to the initiated that Dixie was just playing, for she soon let out another link and assumed her position at the head of the line. About this time the general public was on to the fact that the results were practically determined and the interest to a certain extent lagged. During the second round of this race the steam yacht Lydonia came down the middle of the course, and by a combination of dumb-stupid work on the part of her captain and the Revenue Cutter officials, who were supposed to patrol the course, she went by the Committee boat just as Stranger and Jan came around, Stranger running under her stern while Jan was forced to go a long way out of the course to avoid running her down. On the whole the course was well patrolled, as most of the craft present were local boats and anchored. The boats finished this race in the same order as on the proceeding day, Dixie taking about three minutes longer to cover the course.

On the last day she was driven around in great style, and provided a fine spectacle as she clipped the turne with mathematical precision, covering the course of 32 statute miles in 58 minutes and 25 seconds, which figures out as 32,87 statute miles per hour, probably an American record for the distance.

In this race the boats made a truly wonderful start, being all bunched and traveling at full speed, and as the gun went Jan crossed the line, leading the other three boats by only a few feet, all four getting over within a second of the signal, amply rewarding those enthusiasts who remained to the end. Duquesne having clear water and more way on for a few seconds showed in front, then Dixie, as usual, walked to the lead of the line and stayed there.

Though it was a foregone conclusion that Dixie would win, it was interesting to note as a mark of progress that none of the craft were handicapped by engine difficulties. Altogether the boats raced 96 miles on three successive days, were driven hard all the while, and finished in perfect order.

The course is as good as any in the country, and in a locality where perhaps there are more gasoline-driven craft than any other place in the United States or perhaps in the world, and it seems a pity that not a single boat was built to compete in this contest, the trophy of which is emblematic of the speed championship of America. The reason or excuse expressed by a number of local yachtsmen that Dixie is unbeatable is ridiculous when the results of the last Monaco races are considered, where craft made better speed in conditions nowhere near as favorable. Next year should see several boats covering this course at 33 to 35 miles an hour, and the winning craft being pushed to the limit.


American Power-Boat Association’s Gold Challenge Cup Races

Alexandria Bay, N.Y.

August 19, 20 and 21, 1909

First Day, Start: 3:30 P.M.



1st Rd


2nd Rd





Buffalo Courier II

M.B.C. of Buffalo




Dixie III

Thousand Is. Y.C.






Frontenac Y.C.






Gananoque Y.C.






Clayton Y.C.





Chippewa Y.C.





Second Day, Start: 3:30 P.M.


1st Round


2d Round





Dixie III




















Third Day, Start: 3:45 P.M.

Dixie III




















Transcribed from The Rudder, September 1909, pp. 173-175


Dixie II Wins the Gold Challenge Cup Races at Alexandria Bay

Incidentally, Dixie II Created a New Competition Record Over the 32-Mile Course,

Averaging 32.87 Miles an Hour on the Third Day

Just one feature relieved the dullness of the three days’ racing for the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association at Alexandria Bay, N.Y., on the St. Lawrence River. That feature was the excellent performance of Dixie II on the last day of the races, when she covered the accurately surveyed course of 32 statute miles in 58 minutes and 25 seconds. Her average speed over the course was 32.87 miles an hour, and she was not exerting her full power at that. Her crew—the famous Dixie crew, Captain S. Bartley Pearce and Engineer Albert Rappuhn—apparently started out to jog around at a reasonable pace, as they had on the previous two days. Then, suddenly, after the first round of the course, they appeared to change their minds and let her go at something near the speed of which she is capable. Dixie II created a new competition record for the distance. Last year’s Dixie averaged 31.93 miles an hour in the International race, and 31.02 miles in her fastest day in the Gold Cup races.

The big day of the races, so far as attendance and general interest was concerned was the first, Thursday, August 19th. There had been a good deal of talk concerning a new boat, Courier II, owned by the Hon. "Fingey" Connors of Buffalo. This craft had a great deal of speed, according to the reports, and was expected to do some wonderful running. Some claimed to have seen her, and a great many others had seen someone who had seen someone else who had seen the Courier dashing about the waters up toward Clayton. However, although thousands watched anxiously for the arrival of the Buffalo boat, she failed to appear. Barring the Courier, the only boat which was considered to have a possible chance against Dixie was Duquesne, one of the numerous boats owned by the Peacock family, equipped with a 175-hp Jencick motor and entered from the Frontenac Yacht Club. Other entries were Jan, representing the Gananoque Yacht Club, owned by George Hasbrouck; Pawnee, representing the Clayton Yacht Club, owned by J. P. Gillespie; and Stranger, representing the Chippewa Bay yacht Club, owned by F. G. Bourne. The Chippewa Bay Club seemed to have lost hope of regaining the trophy, this year at least.

More than one hundred good-sized craft were on hand to watch the races—excursion steamers from various points, several of them from Canada; motor yachts, steam yachts, small motorboats by the score. All of the onlooking boats were herded together by officers from a revenue cutter who patrolled the course in fast motorboats. Thousands of spectators watched the race from favorable points on the shore, many of them on Heart Island, where George C. Boldt, the hotel operator, has carried half way to completion a huge. Barbaric, castle-like structure. Hundreds of others looked on from the grounds and verandas of the Thousand Island House and from the public dock at Alexandria Bay. The course over which the races were run is known as the Ironside course of the Thousand Island Yacht Club. The starting line was between the a flag on Heart Island and another flag on the judges’ boat. Then the course extended to a turn marked by three buoys off Ironside Island and return. The distance was 10 2/3 miles, and the boats went around three times.

The weather conditions on the first day were exactly like those of last year. It was clear until a few minutes before the start, then a shower approached. The rain held off until after the racers had made their start. Then it poured for a few minutes and by the time the first lap had been completed, the sun was shining again.

Four boats were ready for the starting signal, Dixie, Duquesne, Stranger and Jan. Of Courier nothing had been heard, and Pawnee’s owner decided not to start her. The starting signal was at 3:30 p.m., and Duquesne was first over the line, eleven seconds behind the gun. Then came Dixie, three seconds behind the leader, followed by Stranger, two seconds later, and Jan twenty seconds after the signal. It was anything but a pretty start.

Duquesne led the procession for about half a mile, after that there was nothing to it but Dixie; she ran steadily around the course, taking things in leisurely manner. Dixie finished the first round in 21 minutes 16 seconds, Duquesne 22 minutes 39 seconds, Stranger 24 minutes 9 seconds, Jan 24 minutes 18 seconds. The boats held practically the same relative positions at the end of the second round, but at the finish Dixie had increased her lead over Duquesne. Dixie completed the course in 1 hour 3 minutes 56 seconds, Duquesne 1 hour 9 minutes 20 seconds, Stranger, 1 hour 12 minutes 21 seconds, Jan, 1 hour 13 minutes 11 seconds.

Dixie’s crew evidently wanted to give the spectators at least a few brief thrills of excitement in the second day’s race. The start was made in choppy water, and Duquesne led the fleet over the line. Dixie was a considerable distance away when the signal was given, and she crossed the line 39 seconds late, after the other boats had gotten a good lead. She remained in about the same position over the first round, although she closed the gap slightly. During the second lap she passed the bunch and hit up an easy pace, just enough to hold a comfortable lead until the finish. Dixie’s time was 1 hour 6minutes 50 seconds; Duquesne, 1 hour 7 minutes 55 seconds, Stranger, 1 hour 12 minutes 28 seconds; Jan, 1 hour 13 minutes 26 seconds.

There was not much popular interest in the final day’s racing. It was a foregone conclusion that Dixie would walk away with the race, barring, of course, some accident. However, there was a good-sized crowd, and there were more prominent motorboat men on hand than had been the case on previous days. The start was postponed for fifteen minutes on the final day, for the reason that a large lake freighter was going up the river and would have interfered with the start if it had taken place on schedule time. This was the best start of the series. The boats got over the line in a bunch, with Duquesne leading and Dixie close after her. The first round was a repetition of the previous days, although Dixie was going a trifle faster, but it took her 20 minutes 12 seconds, official time to cover the 10 2/3 miles, while Duquesne made it in 22 minutes 30 seconds; Stranger, 23 minutes 12 seconds; Jan, 23 minutes 53 seconds.

On the second lap Dixie cut loose and covered the course in 19 minutes 18 seconds, leaving the rest of the racers far behind. Her final lap was made in 18 minutes 55 seconds, which is at the rate of 33.8 miles an hour. Duquesne’s time was 1 hour 9 minutes 44 seconds; Stranger, 1 hour 10 minutes 5 seconds; Jan, 1 hour 12 minutes 1 second.

Since the Dixie represented the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, the cup remains in the hands of that club for another year, and next year’s race will probably be held over the same course. It is very likely that the Chippewa Bay yacht Club will have a fast boat next Summer, as several of them are being talked of.

Transcribed from MotorBoat, Sep. 10, 1909, pp. 44-47.


The Gold Challenge Cup Races at Alexandria Bay

by Lawrence La Rue

That most coveted of all motor boat trophies, the gold challenge cup offered by the American Power Boat Association, is still in the possession of the Thousand Islands Yachr Club, having been successfully defended by E. J. Schroeder’s Dixie III in a series of races covering the three days from August 19 to 21. While accomplishing this Dixie broke all fresh and salt-water motor boat records for craft under 40 feet in length, and completed the 32 miles of the full course on the last day in 58 minutes and 25 seconds, or at the rate of 33.02 miles per hour. In addition to establishing the new record the races were remarkable for their freedom from accidents to either contestants or spectators, the perfect management, and the wonderfully smooth and consistent performance of every boat entered. All of the four boats which started completed the 32 miles of the course on each of the three days of racing and, so far as the judges or spectators could determine, there was not an irregularity of explosion in a single cylinder of any of the boats throughout the entire contest.

The Thousand Islands Yacht Club course was changed somewhat to meet the requirements of the race and extended five miles downstream from a point opposite the Crossman House, at Alexandria Bay, to the middle of the American Channel, opposite Ironsides Island and return. The start of the circuit, or the down trip, was made along the eastern shore of the American Channel, while the return was made along the opposite side, all buoys being held to port. Although the channel is rather narrow at this point as compared with the width at Chippewa Bay where the races have been held for the past four years, the buoys marking the turns were so arranged that no sudden swerves were made necessary in order to keep in the course, and all of the curves could be rounded at full speed. A circuit of this course as laid 10 2/3 miles, and three laps, or a total of 32 miles, constituted a day’s race.

The four boats which contested for the cup throughout the three days of racing, with the clubs that they represented, were as follows: Dixie III, Thousand Islands Yacht Club; Duquesne, Frontenac Yacht Club; Stranger, Chippewa Yacht Club; and Jan, Gananoque Yacht Club. Two other boats—Pawnee, of the Clayton Yacht Club, and Buffalo-Courier II, of the Motor Boat Club of Buffalo—appeared among the list of entries, but were withdrawn before the start of the first day’s races. Great disappointment was expressed because of the non-appearance of the latter, as the reputation she had gained for speed at the Palm Beach races last winter indicated that, should she enter, the contest between her and Dixie would be one replete with thrilling and exciting incidents. A telegram, however, received from her owner, W. J. Connors, on the second day of the race announced the fact that her engine builders had not completed some changes they were making, and all hopes of her entering the contest were thus blasted.

The tree competitors of the Dixie were boats well known to the residents and visitors at the Thousand Islands, and while their previous performances had not demonstrated the possession of any speed such as Dixie was capable of attaining, their appearance as challengers made it certain that game fights would be made for second and third positions. Dixie early demonstrated her ability to win the cup and, barring accidents, the race was conceded to her from the first by a majority of the spectators. The number of large and small craft of all kinds anchored along the course or near the starting line indicated, however, that there were thousands who considered that a well-run motor boat race is a sight in itself—event though the result may be a foregone conclusion—and those who watched had a few thrills added to the pleasure of seeing a perfectly run contest.

A flying start was used by all the contestants on each of the three days, and in negotiating this the Duquesne proved to be the superior of all her rivals. She was the first to cross the line in the first two starts, while the beginning of the last race was so even that there was no first or last. In the first race, however, Duquesne was able to maintain her advantage over Dixie, which started third, for only a part of the first round, and the end of this lap saw the defender leading by 1 minute and 23 seconds. This was increased to 3 minutes and 17 seconds at the end of the second round, and Dixie won the day’s event by a lead of 5 minutes and 24 seconds over her nearest competitor, which finished 3 minutes and 1 second ahead of Stranger. Stranger beat Jan by 50 seconds.

A little more excitement was caused on the second day, when, after a start in which all the other contestants had crossed the line ahead of her, Dixie rounded the finish of the first lap 25 seconds behind Duquesne. The Schroeder boat, however, seemed to be running easily, and it was the opinion of those who had seen her in the races of last year that her engines were not "opened up." This opinion was verified when, at the end of the third and last lap, she crossed the line 1 minute and 5 seconds ahead of her rival, who had been in the lead the first third of the race. The contest was sufficiently close to be exciting, and when Stranger came in third but 58 seconds ahead of Jan, it was observed that the latter, although the lowest-powered boat in the race, was rteeling off the laps with the regularity of clockwork, and ran a more consistent race during the three days than any of her competitors. Her fastest lap for any of the nine which constituted the three days’ racing was made in 23 minutes and 53 seconds, while the slowest time for the same distance was 24 minutes and 40 seconds—a variation of but 47 seconds for each circuit of 10 2/3 miles of the total 96 miles run. The time of these laps was so evenly distributed that the greatest elapsed time of any day’s race for Jan was but 46 seconds slower than her fastest performance.

The start of the third and last day’s race was an auspicious beginning for a record-breaking contest, and when all four boats crossed the line together on the boom of the gun a sight was offered the spectators which is seldom witnessed in a motor boat race. It was so even that, had any one of the racers been 10 feet in advance of the position she occupied, she would have been disqualified for crossing the line before the signal was fired. When Dixie completed the first round 2 minutes and 18 seconds ahead of Duquesne, 3 minutes ahead of Stranger and 3 minutes and 41 seconds in advance of Jan, and it was found by those who held stop watches that she had finished the first circuit of the course in 12 seconds over 20 minutes, or at the rate of 31.6 miles per hour, it was evident that she was not to be content with merely winning, but intended to go faster a record as well. And she not only went after it, but she captured it, and in fresh water covered the 32 miles at a faster rate than has ever been done before by a boat under 40 feet in length. Her fastest lap was the second round, which she covered in 19 minutes and 18 seconds, or at the rate of 33.15 miles per hour. This race was run under perfect conditions of wind and weather, and all the boats, with the exception of Duquesne, bettered their previous days’ records. Duquesne, however, still managed to maintain the position of second, which she had held during the previous contests, and finished 21 seconds ahead of Stranger, which, in turn, defeated Jan by 2 minutes and 35 seconds. It will be observed that the order of finishing was the same for each of the three days of racing.

By the winning of this season’s races the Thousand Islands Yacht Club retains the cup, which it wrested from the Chippewa Bay Yacht Club last summer, for another year, and in consequence the next contest for this trophy will be held over the same course under the auspices of this club. The Gold Challenge Cup was first offered by the American Power Boat Association June 25, 1904, and was won by Standard, representing the Columbia Yacht Club. On September 25 of that same year, another series of races was held, which was won by Vingt-et-Un, representing the Chippewa Bay Yacht Club, on the St. Lawrence River. Under the handicap rules then in vogue the cup was successfully defended by Chip I and Chip II. The famous Chip III was built last year to defend the cup under the new free-for-all rules which allowed all boats to compete, provided they were under 40 feet in length. The defender was equipped with two six-cylinder motors driving twin screws, and the peculiar arrangement of her dozen exhaust pipes, which projected high in the air above her bow deck, led her to be dubbed "The organ pipe" defender. She put up a gallant fight; but the challenger, Dixie II proved too fleet, and the cup was transferred from the Chippewa Bay Yacht Club to the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, ten miles farther up the river. Chip III has since been converted into a pleasure boat, one of her powerful motors having been removed and her cockpit changed to suit her new requirements. The motors in Dixie the defender, are the same as those in Dixie, the challenger, of a year ago; but her hull is new, having been changed before her trip across the Atlantic to participate in the Monte Carlo races of last winter.

Under an act of Congress recently passed, the services of the officers and crew of the United States revenue cutter Morrill were obtained to aid the committee in policing the course. Several of the speedy private motor boats of the vicinity were requisitioned, and each of these, manned by an officer and sailor from the cutter, was used as a patrol boat to keep the course free from all craft except the contestants. Some of these boats were anchored at points marking the ends of the boundary lines of the course, and the officer, with the aid of a large megaphone, warned intruders off the reserved waterway. As all of these officers were empowered to arrest any willful offenders and fine them $500, there was but little trouble encountered from any of the spectators’ craft. During the second day a large steam yacht came slowly up the channel and crossed the upper end of the course just as Jan was finishing her second circuit, causing the racer to circle around a considerable distance out of her course.

As the course crossed the middle of the main American Channel at each end, it was to be expected that some of the large Lake freighters which navigate this section of the river as a part of their route would pass up and down during the races, and it was naturally out of the question to enforce the rules on these large commercial steamers. The only manner in which any of them interfered, however, was to delay the start of the last day’s race for fifteen minutes while one of the largest freighters plowed majestically up the river.

Although the Gold Challenge Cup races this year may have seemed somewhat like a procession to the casual observer not interested in motor boating, they furnished to the lover of the sport an exemplification of everything that a well-conducted contest should be; and it is no exaggeration to say that their management, the performance of the boats and the formulation and enforcement of the various rules were well-nigh perfect. The shores lining the course were thronged with spectators not fortunate enough to be able to witness the race from motor boats, and the manner in which they stuck to their posts until after the last racer had crossed the line in each day’s event was an indication of the intense interest taken in the contest, and proves the assertion that a race does not need to be close or the result in doubt in order to be interesting.

The course of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club off Alexandria Bay is an ideal one for races of this character, and the Gold Challenge Cup races always attract the fastest boats in this country. Nowhere is the motor boat more a part of the community than here, and nowhere are speed boats seen in greater numbers. Their usefulness in these waters is not confined to racing alone; but, in a locality where boats are the only means of communication, a high-speed craft with good carrying capacity is essential for daily use.

(Transcribed from Yachting, October 1909, pp. 282-284)

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

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