1909 Pratt & Letchworth Trophy
Niagara River, Buffalo NY, September 11, 1909

Letchworth Trophy Won by La Truda and Her Sterling Engine

The speed boat La Truda, owned by Vice-Commodore Henry T. Vars, of the Buffalo Motor Boat Club, furnished the sensation of the day in the speed boat races held on the Niagara River September 11, when she romped over the finish mark just eleven seconds ahead of Whitlock’s marvelous Hoosier Boy. The race was the prettiest seen on the Niagara River this summer, and the throng that lined the river shore showed its pleasure by loudly cheering both boats as they crossed the line.

But four boats lined up at the start out of seven that were entered. They were Buffalo II, Hoosier Boy, La Truda and Red Head. At the gun Hoosier Boy leaped away first, with La Truda close after.

Before the boats came back down the river on the first lap La Truda was about five seconds ahead of Hoosier Boy, with Red Head and Buffalo strung along some distance in the rear. At the 5-mile mark La Truda was twelve seconds ahead of Hoosier Boy, and this lead was kept up throughout the race. Red Head was forced to quit on account of engine trouble.

The second 5-mile lap was made by La Truda in the fastest time of the entire race, as she went at the rate of just 30 miles an hour. The same order of La Truds, Hoosier Boy and Buffalo II was kept up to the finish.

In addition to the boats that competed for the Pratt & Letchworth trophy, Arab III, H.S. and Courier II were entered. The first two were on hand but did not start.

This race closes the speed-boat racing season on the Niagara River, and it was a most entertaining close to a very successful season. The summary follows:

La Truda, owner, Henry Vars; elapsed time, 40.13; average speed, 29.24

Hoosier Boy, owner, Whitlock; elapsed time, 40.24; average speed, 29.75

Buffalo II, owner, A. F. Dohn; elapsed time, 47.00; average speed 24.00

(Transcribed from Yachting, October 1909, p. 322.)

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

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