1909 Harmsworth Trophy
British Challenge For Motorboat Race
A challenge was received yesterday by Secretary W. M. Bieling of the Motor Boat Club of America from the Motor Yacht Club of Great Britain for the British International Motorboat Cup, which has been held for the last two years by the United States. This means that the big international cup contest will be held for the second time in this country, and it is practically certain of being held again on Huntington Bay, and the time will be about the same as last year, early in August.
No better course for the cup race could be obtained. The ten-mile triangular course, which must be traversed three times was laid out on Huntington Bay last year. it met with the heartiest favor from the English representatives of the two competing boats that tried to carry the cup across the Atlantic, and no suggestion has been made of any other course. The formal challenger, which was sent from London on Jan. 18 by William S. Webber, Acting Secretary of the Motor Yacht Club of Great Britain, is as follows:
"On behalf of the Motor Yacht Club of this country I beg to enter a formal challenge for the British International Cup, in accordance with the provisions of the deed of gift. May I ask you to be good enough to acknowledge the receipt of this and to confirm its being in complete order."
The reply to the challenging club was made yesterday afternoon, and within the next week the officers and Regatta Committee of the Motor Boat Club of America will hold a meeting to determine definitely upon the course and the time and arrange other necessary details.
Yesterday was the last day in accordance with the deed of gift that a challenge could be received to insure a race for this year. At least six months must elapse from the receipt of the challenge and the holding of the race, and from now until July 1 additional entries may be received for the contest. Each country may enter three boats. Last year England was the only foreign country that entered, but it was said yesterday that in all probability a fast French boat will enter the lists this season.
Whether Wolseley-Siddeley, the challenging boat, will come over again is unknown. Improvements have been made in her since the last race and as she is a remarkably high speed boat it is possible she may be seen here again. Information, however, has been received by Secretary Bieling of the Motor Boat Club that two new English boats are now under construction for the purpose of competing in the Monaco races and, as it is expected they will be faster than anything hitherto built in power craft in Great Britain, they may be named for the English team.
It is almost a certainty that Dixie II, the winner last year, will be among the defending American boats this season. Dixie II will be shipped to Monaco early in March for the races there in April.
An interesting feature in the receipt of the challenge directly by the Motor Boat Club of America is the fact that the Automobile Club of America is not recognized as having anything to do with the British international cup race. The automobile club has announced that it is supreme in this country in the receipt or sending of challenges for international events. In the first challenge, however, sent to this country since the agreement between the automobile club and the leading motorboat organizations of Europe, it has been ignored, and the contention of the Motor Boat Club of America, as the holding club, that it has entire charge of the cup race under the deed of gift is thus clearly recognized abroad.
(Transcribed from the New York Times, Feb. 2, 1909, p. 6. )
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page LF]
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