1909 Hudson River Carnival
The Motor Boat Carnival On the Hudson
The doings of the annual motor boat carnival for 1909 were condensed into four days—Sept. 15, 16, 17 and 18. The starting line was off the float of the New York Motor Boat Club at the foot of West 147th Street, and the events were in the charge of a joint committee, composed of members of this club and of the Motor Boat Club of America.
In Class C, high-speed boats, there were but three to cross the line the first day. E. J. Schroeder’s Dixie III, Sutphen & Craig’s Elco-Craig and Willow Brook, owned by W. H. Moffitt, started and all three had their troubles.
Dixie III, delayed by an accident, was 6 minutes late in getting away. Willow Brook went out of commission on the second round, while the hardest luck was handed out to Elco-Craig. Just what this trouble was it was impossible to ascertain on the day of the race, but a close examination of her hull, subsequently, showed that the boat hit a submerged obstruction or a floating log, the effect of which was clearly shown on her stem and bent propeller blades, and by the entire carrying away of the rudder gear, not a piece of the fittings remaining in place. The sudden loss of the rudder affected the balance of the boat and caused her to turn over. She remained floating and was tied up to a dock, where, later in the day, a wrecking tug lifted her clear of the water and took her to Bayonne.
Captain Pierce of Dixie III, who kindly volunteered his services in superintending the hoisting of Elco-Craig, agreed that the hitting of a submerged obstruction was the cause of the trouble, and, owing to the nearness of the two boats for some distance during the race, he had unusual opportunities of judging. The Elco-Craig, he believes, was in every way a seaworthy boat, and her stability equal to that of Dixie III. The accident was surely hard luck for the owners of Elco-Craig, and serves to demonstrate the uncertainty which attends events of this kind in waters where there is as much driftwood as on the lower Hudson.
Dixie III went over the course and completed her 30 miles in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 34 seconds.
The 30-mile event for high-speed boats, 33 feet and under, called out seven starters, an unusually large number, showing that racers of this size are growing in popularity.
On Friday, Dixie III made her 30 miles at the rate of 37.064 statute miles per hour, winning the international championship trophy. On the fourth day the long-distance races were pulled off, the high-speed craft going as far as Poughkeepsie, and the two cruising classes to Peekskill. The new boat, Gunfire II, made an extremely good record, but did not overcome the time allowance made by her to Den.
(Transcribed from Yachting, November 1909, p. 404.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page --LF]
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