1909 Hudson River Carnival
Hudson River, New York City NY, September 15-18, 1909


Annual Races of the National Association

The National Carnival
Annual Races of the National Association
Driftwood
Racers Near Drowning
Fast Time for Dixie II
Great Speed for Dixie II
Motorboat Den Wins Poughkeepsie Race

The Annual Carnival of the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers was held as usual on the Hudson River, and this year under the auspices of the New York Motor Boat Club, which organization had charge of the races and ran them in commendable manner. Unfortunately the dates, September 15th to 18th, were so near the powerboat races of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration that the entry list suffered somewhat, although on the last day of the regatta the long-distance race for both cruisers and racers brought out a large fleet of starters; the small cruiser being particularly prominent, showing the growing popularity of long distance races for cruisers.

As usual the Hudson River was full of floating debris, and both Dixie III and Elco Craig, the stars of the meet, met with accidents on the first day; Dixie having her entire stem ripped off close to the rabbet, while Elco Craig struck a submerged log and turned completely over, her crew fortunately being rescued.

The first three days were given up to the series races and, with the exception of the races on the opening day, were not particularly interesting. The unpleasant weather having to do with keeping the spectators away, the attendance was not large and was made up for the most part of the real enthusiasts.

In the high-speed class, Willowbrook, a 35-footer, with a 100-h.p. Sterling engine, and the well-known Elco Craig and Dixie III came to the line. Dixie with her stem sheared off threw water badly, but was driven around the course in style and won easily. Willowbrook met with an accident and was seen no more during the meet, and Elco Craig on her second round collided with a log, as mentioned before, and was taken home on a lighter.

In Class A for speed boats, eight fairly evenly matched boats turned out for the first day and provided quite an interesting race. On corrected time Rochester winning from Whim by some three minutes, but as she was protested later for having been measured without her crew on board, the results were altered somewhat, and although she was looked upon as one of the favorites she lost out in the series.

In the class for cruisers of 60 feet and over, three well-known boats, Avis, Alabama and Wanderlust, came to the line, and although the result of the series was practically determined on the fist day, they showed up on all three days and provided some interesting racing, and incidently, an object lesson to those owners who disappear as soon as they learn that they cannot get the first prize.

In Class E, cruisers over 40 feet and under 60 feet there was but one contestant, Ilys, of Bermuda race fame, and she competed with herself all three days, winning first prize easily.

Class e for launches brought out six boats on the first day, which number dwindled to three before the meet was over, and which resulted for an easy win for Talequah, which craft quite outclassed the other entries in point of performance, her corrected time each day being nearly one-half-hour better than the next boat.

On the last day of the regatta the annual long-distance races were held to Poughkeepsie and Peekskill. The high-speed class brought out five starters, one of which, The Senator, started on the wrong side of the committee boat and was not timed. This class got underway at 9:40 a.m. for a run of 115 nautical miles to Poughkeepsie and return. Gunfire, although she had been put in the water only the day before, was picked to win the contest, and at Poughkeepsie had a lead of 6m. 20s. over Den; but she was forced to stop on account of trouble of some kind and was beaten by Den, Rochester being third and Whim fourth.

In the cruising class the boats races to Peekskill and return, a distance of 60 nautical miles. In the class for cruisers under 40 feet, fifteen boats got off at 9:45 a.m., and all but one finished in good order. The race being won by Irene II, with Consort second and Elmo II third. In the class for cruisers over 40 feet, six boats got off and all but one finished the race, resulting in a win for Ilys, with Avis second and Alabama third.

All these races were run under the 1909 rules of the American Power Boat Association and it is interesting to note how well the rule worked out in these long-distance races. In the races for the high-speed boats, for instance, at 115 nautical miles, the corrected time between the first and second boats was but 7m. 21s. In the class for small cruisers the difference in corrected time was but 11m. 35s., with but 3m. 47s. between the second and third boat. In the large cruiser class the difference between the first and second boats was 12m. 36s., with but 10m. 11s. between the next two boats, the actual finished in some cases being very close.

It is interesting to note that there was not a single freak of any kind visible throughout the regatta, the boats for the most part being of good wholesome types.

(Transcribed from The Rudder, October 1909, pp. 120-123)

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


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Leslie Field, 2002