1909 Cathlamet Regatta
Willamette River, Cathlamet WA, September 4, 1909

Big Crowd Sees Motorboat Races
Fast Little Craft Scoot Over Course Marked Out in Lower Harbor
In 8-Mile Race for Jaeger Trophy, Five Boats Race Neck and Neck Across Finish Line

Motorboats Race Monday
Launch Pacer Swamped
Big Crowd Sees Motorboat Races
Cathlamet Regatta

Before a crown that lined the wharves and banks along both sides of the river and cheered the winners among the speedy little craft without determination, local motor boat enthusiasts held the most successful racing regatta they have ever conducted here yesterday afternoon.

There were five events in all and every one of them was hotly contested from the start to the final dash across the finish line. There wasn’t a hitch in the programme. Two of the races were handicap events of four miles and two were scratch events over the same distance. The big event of the afternoon, however, which also proved most exciting, was the eight-mile handicap event around a buoy and return, in which six fast little boats raced neck and neck to the finish. The regatta was held under the auspices of the Willamette Motor Boat Club.

It was estimated that more than 300 boats were on the river near the race-course, north of the Steel Bridge. Harbor Master Speier said there were more boats on the river than he had ever seen before.

The most exciting race of the meet was the eight-mile handicap for possession of the Jaeger trophy. Seven boats were entered in this event. With the Happy Heine, owned by Milton Smith, of Rainier, on scratch, and Dr. Jack Yates’ Billiken having the greatest handicap. The three boats which finished first, the Vixen, the Billiken and the Sappho, were disqualified because their actual running times exceeded the amount of their handicap allowance. The Vixen and the Billiken finished less than a length apart. The Augusta was finally declared winner, with Happy Heine and the Astoria boat, Greenhorn, which actually finished fourth and fifth, but ran within their recorded limits, second and third. The Augusta’s time was 34:41. She was third across the line.

Four-Mile Scratch Race

The free-for-all four-mile scratch race for Commodore Kelly’s cup, The Happy Heine won in the fast time of 12:28 2/5. The other entries, the Greenhorn and the Vixen, finished close behind. This race was thought by many to be the best one of the meet.

Much applause was given the drivers of the Greenhorn and the Happy Heine for their skill in rounding the buoy in the eight-mile event. These boats were easily the favorites of the meet.

Considerable comment was caused by the action of G. E. Wolff, W. E. Lacey, and Capt. E. W. Spencer in

speeding the Wolff I and Wolff II up and down the race course while the races were in progress. These boats were not entered in the races. In two or three instances the racing boats were hindered on the turns by the Wolff II driving into the course, and a protest was entered by the owner of the Greenhorn. The outside boats, however, gave some pretty exhibitions of speed.

Harbormaster Speier, with W. H. Souls as assistant, cleared the course in an efficient manner, keeping small boats out of the path of the racers. The task was a difficult one, but it was well done.

Many boats came up from Astoria to attend the races and the Astoria representative, the Greenhorn, was one of the classiest craft in the meet. Members of the Astoria club, other outside participants, and the officials of the races were entertained at a reception and banquet last night at the Willamette Motorboat Clubhouse.

The officials of the races were: Judges, R. J. Leiws, R. M. Hopkins and Captain M. Frayer, Astoria; timers, Forrest Smithson, Frank Lonergan, P. W. Lee, A. M. Grilley and L. M. Meyers; starter, Dr. Ferdinand Damasch; clerk, F. W. Nelson; race committee, A. Flemming, George Kinnear, Dr. W. V. Spencer, D. N/ Mecklin.

Summary of Events:

Four-Mile Scratch—Minada, 20:05 2/5; Red Flyer, 23:11; Spangler, 23:17 3/5
Four-Mile Handicap—Alta, 19:26 1/5; Van, 23:30.
Four-Mile Handicap—Sappho, 16:43 1/5; Augusta, 16:53 1/5; Comet, 17:05 1/5.
Jaeger Trophy—Augusta, 34:41; Happy Heine, 34:49; Greenhorn, 35:10; Vixen, Billiken and Sappho.
Free-for-All Scratch—Happy Heine, 12:28 2/5; Greenhorn, 12:51 2/5; Vixen, 13:08 2/5

The owners of the competing boats were: Happy Heine, Milton Smith; Billiken, Dr. Brown; Sappho, Dr. W. V. Spencer; Augusta, Jaeger Bros.; Greenhorn, Driscoll, Carruthers and Trullinger of Astoria; Minada, Roy Jameson; Red Flyer, Curtiss Company; Spangles, Allen Burdick; Alta, Siegfried Bros.; Van, Pete Van Dotta; Comet, Bronaugh.

(Transcribed from the Morning Oregonian, Sep. 7, 1909, p. 16.)

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

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