1909 Colusa Water Carnival

Watersports at Colusa, Cal.

COLUSA, CAL.—The Colusa Water Carnival was a pronounced success, and the motorboat races on June 19 were an important feature. This event drew thirty-five boats from the Sacramento Boat Club, a distance of 125 miles. The races, although held at Colusa, were under the direction of the Sacramento Boat Club. The first event was a special race between the Pirate and the Fawn, over a five-mile course, which Fawn won in 34:10. Next came a race between the J.E.S., Eclypse and Pearl, distance five miles. Pearl won in 38:12, Eclypse second and J.E.S. third. Race for semi-speed boats, entries Winsome, Laf-a-Lot and Seagull; distance 7 miles. Seagull did not start. Winsome won in 37:21. Special race for boats of 6 hp. And under, distance 2 miles: 1. Fawn, 14:30, Pirate, second. Konnou, Emma and E.F.G. were the other contestants. Ten-mile race for speed boats—0one of the most exciting contests of the day—four entries: Reynolds Flyer, Nunes Bros., Blanche W. and Three Links. Reynolds Flyer won in 35:41, with Nunes Bros. Second, Blance W third, and Three Links fourth. Free-for-all race, 2 miles, seven entries: Marathon, Vallejo, Buffalo, Liberty, Wanderer, Leona, Merry Widow, Corsair. Won by Marathon, time 17:05; second, Buffalo; third, Corsair; fourth, Liberty; fifth, Merry Widow. An illuminated parade was held in the evening, when Marathon, Capt. Paul Butler, of the Vallejo Boat Club, won the prize for best decorated boat. Second prize went to Eclypse, Captain Schoenbackler, of Sacramento Motor Boat Club.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, July 10, 1909, p. 49)


Water Carnival and Races at Colusa, Cal.
By John H. Miller, Jr.

For the first time in its history, the pretty little city of Colusa on the Sacramento River, about a hundred miles up the stream from Sacramento, awoke to the possibilities of the pleasure that the river affords, on Saturday, June 19th, when a water carnival was held there under the auspices of the Sacramento and Washington Boat Clubs, of Sacramento. Prior to that date, scarcely a motor boat had been seen in Colusa waters. It is true there have been for some time in the past at Colusa a number of large motor boats used almost exclusively for commercial purposes, but it took the Sacramento flotilla to demonstrate the exhilarating sport that is derived from motorboating.

The occasion of the water carnival at Colusa was a meeting of the Sacramento Valley development Association. Special effort was made to have the meeting one of the biggest and most successful in the history of the organization and several speakers from abroad were engaged to speak upon navigation and irrigation, the two most important topics before the Association. The Sacramento owners of motor boats saw in the gathering an excellent opportunity to exploit the advantages of the river, and united with the people of Colusa in holding a carnival. The Sacramento and Washington Boat Clubs had complete charge of the water sports, which in the opinion of many were the most successful part of the program.

Nearly two score of motor boats from Sacramento made the trip to Colusa and participated in the big event. Many of the motor boats made the entire trip of over 200 miles under their own power. Some of the smaller boats were towed.

The advance guard of the Sacramento boats left the Capital City of California on Wednesday morning, June 16th. This was composed of five boats—the Merry Widow, in charge of Commodore Lefevre, of the Sacramento Boat Club; Emma, George A. Meyer, Secretary of the Washington Boat Club; Pirate, Captain Herman Koch, fleet captain of the Washington Boat Club; and Mariuch, Ed. Elliott, of the Washington Boat Club.

The advance guard made the journey as far as Knights landing the first day. This is about one-third of the distance. They anchored all night at Knights landing and proceeded the next day as far as Grimes. On the third day the boats all reached Colusa in good condition.

When the neat little flotilla chugged into Colusa, it was an occasion of great enthusiasm. The Colusa people had been warned that the boats were coming, and hundreds were on the banks to welcome them. Later in the day a score or more other Sacramento boats arrived.

The afternoon of June 19th was given over entirely to motor boat races. The afternoon passed off without a serious mishap, although one or two minor accidents interfered somewhat with the pleasures of the day. On the whole, the speed races were considered successful by the motor boat enthusiasts.

In the special five-mile race between the Pirate, owned by Herman Koch, of the Washington Club, and the Fawn, owned by Arthur Fisher of the Sacramento Club, the Pirate broke its rudder and was practically out of the race.

The Pearl, owned by John Ferry, of the Washington Club, outclassed all others in the second five-mile special race between the Pearl, the J.E.S. owned by Commodore I. G. Shaw, of the Sacramento Boat Club, and the Eclipse, owned by Frank Schoenbackler, of the Sacramento Club.

Reynolds’ Flyer mad a runaway race out of the ten-mile event for speed entries, leading the entire distance, soon after the start.

The prettiest race of the day was the free for all over a two-mile and a half course. The Buffalo, owned by W. J. Russic, of the Sacramento Club, led for the first lap, but was overtaken on the second lap by the Marathon, owned by Captain Butler, of the Vallejo Yacht Club, which came clear from Vallejo to compete in the races.

Silver cups were the trophies given to the prize winners. The races were run over a mine and a quarter course, which made a number of turns necessary in the distance races.

The summary of the races was as follows:

First race—special for the Pirate, owned by H. Koch, and Fawn, owned by Arthur Fisher. Won by Fawn, of the Sacramento Boat Club. Time, 34:10

Second race—special for the J.E.S., Eclipse and Pearl. Won by the Pearl, owned by John Ferry, of the Washington Boat Club; Eclipse, owned by John Schoenbackler second, and the J.E.S., owned by Commodore Shaw, of the Sacramento Club, third. Time, 38:12 .

Third race—for semi-speed boats, seven and a half miles. Won by Winsum, owned by Captain Y. J. Winchester, of the Sacramento Boat Club; Sea Gull, owned by William Russell, of the Washington Club, second, and Laf-a-Lot, owned by Ferris Sumner, of the Washington Boat Club, third. Time, 37:21.

Fourth race—two and a half miles for six horse power boats. Won by the Fawn, owned by Arthur Fisher; Pirate, owned by H. Koch, second; Kunon, third. Time, 14:30.

Fifth race—ten miles for speed boats. Won by Reynolds’ Flyer, of the Washington Boat Club; Nunes brothers, of the Washington Boat Club, second; Blanche W, of the Washington Boat Club, third. Time, 35:41.

Sixth race—two and a half miles free for all. Won by Marathon, of Vallejo Rowing and Yachting Club; Buffalo, of the Sacramento Boat Club, second; Cornair, Washington Boat Club, third. Time, 17:05.

(Transcribed from Pacific Motor Boat, August 1909, pp. 30-32.)

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

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