1910 Labor Day Regatta (Portland)
Wolff Is Entered
Over the course lying from the Steel bridge north to points as far as St. Johns, the annual Labor Day races of the Portland Motor-boat Club will be held this afternoon beginning at 1:30 o’clock. The entire length of the course lies between rows of docks and high banks, giving an excellent view of the races to spectators.
There are five events carded for the afternoon, beginning with an eight-mile handicap race for the Jaeger Brothers Trophy. There will also be an eight-mile cabin-boat race, a four-mile pleasure boat race, a 10-mile race for craft of 24 feet in length and a 20-mile free-for-all race.
FAST VESSELS TO COMPETE
Some of the fastest motor craft in Portland will compete in the races this afternoon. So great is the rivalry locally in the free-for-all contest that Portland and Seattle sportsmen have combined in an effort to take the measure of the Pacific Coast champion Wolff II. The engine of the Pacer, the crack Portland speed boat and nearest competitor of the Wolff II, has been placed in the hull of the Seattle Spirit, which beat the Wolff II over part of the course at the Astoria regatta and then broke down. With this combination the Wolff II will have to be at its best to win.
The engine of the Pacer is one of the most powerful ever brought to Portland, but has had no suitable hull. The hull of the Seattle Spirit is designed along the trimmest and fleetest of lines. When the engine of the Seattle Spirit is working properly there is no faster craft on the Pacific Coast.
Provided Otto Ranftt, the builder, can get it in shape, the first complete home made speed boat ever built in Portland will race. This is the Happy Heine II. This craft, engine and all, was designed and built in Portland by Otto Ranftt and Al Klingbill, who built the Happy Heine, renowned for its speed.
RIVALS’ RACE TO BE GOOD
The race for 24-foot boats ought to be a good one. The Happy Heine and Spear, long-time rivals, are entered. These craft are about even in the speed line and have furnished an even brush whenever they have met. Particularly this was true at Vancouver. Over a 20-mile course there they ran neck and neck until the last few miles when the Happy Heine won out. The Happy Heine is owned in Rainier, but will be here in time for the races.
The cabin boat race is expected to prove to be an interesting one. There are several fast cabin cruisers in Portland, and as they are fighting for the handsome Commodore’s trophy, a lively brush is looked for. Among the entries in this race will be the Lollipop, Kittie II, Martha and possibly the Artisan. Considerable rivalry is present in the pleasure boat contest, too.
The course for the 20-mile race is from the Steel bridge to St. Johns and return, the boats going twice around the course. In all of the races except the four-mile event the boats will circle the course twice, thereby giving the spectators amusement. Last year on Labor Day the docks and banks were fairly lined with spectators.
[Transcribed from the Morning Oregonian, Sep. 5, 1910, p. 10.]
* * *
Wolff II Wins Again
Before thousands of people who lined the banks and docks of the Willamette River, the annual Labor day motorboat races, under the auspices of the Portland Motor Boat Club, were held yesterday afternoon. In spite of the sharp, biting wind that blew from up-stream, the interested spectators remained until the Wolff II finished the last race of the day.
With a clear course and a smooth river, the first race, an eight-mile handicap affair for the Jaeger Brothers’ trophy, began about 3 o’clock. The starters were the Teaser, the Billiken and the Potato Bug II. The engine of Groeger Brothers’ Spear was used in the hull of the Potato Bug II and the combination made a good showing, winning easily. Because the Teaser made better time by several minutes than she did in the morning in the tryout before the handicapping committee, she was disqualified. Carrying the big handicap allowed her then, she came in first. The Teaser held back some of its power in the morning test.
An extra lap of four miles was then called to decide the winner between the Potato Bug II and the Billiken. With a handicap of 8:19 the Potato Bug II won by more than one minute.
What is considered by motorboating devotees present to have been the greatest start of a race ever held in Portland was that of the free-for-all contest in which the Seattle Spirit-Pacer, Happy Heine II and Wolff II started. With their powerful engines barking briskly the craft came down from above the Steel bridge for their first score. So close were they when they crossed the starting line that it looked as if one craft was racing.
Immediately after getting over the line the Wolff II, Pacific Coast champion, spurted into the lead, closely followed by the Seattle Spirit-Pacer and Happy Heine II. Before the fleet had progressed far the Happy Heine II dropped out and left the battle to the other craft. When near the far end of the course the engine of the Wolff’s remaining opponent broke down and the Wolff II finished alone. This was a 20-mile race—two full trips over the mile straightaway course from the Steel bridge to the North Bank bridge at St. Johns and return. The Wolff II’s time for the 20 miles was 38:37, making her speed about 17 miles an hour.
The Happy Heine II is the craft, engine and all, that was built in Portland by Otto Ranfft and Al Klingbill. The boat is built along trim racy lines but the engine does not work well, not having power enough to keep pace with such boats as the Wolff II. The Spirit-Pacer was a combination of the Seattle Spirit’s hull and the Pacer’s engine. While out for a practice run in the morning the craft hit a submerged log and broke its racing wheel. The wheel used in yesterday’s race was too small for the engine said members of the crew.
The prize won by Wolff II in yesterday’s race was the handsome trophy awarded by Commodore Boost. This prize was first intended for the cabin boat race but was then put up in the free-for-all. Today’s racing meet ends motorboating in the Portland harbor until New Year’s Day. The Portland Motor Boat Club fleet will probably participate in a regatta at Rainier some time in the latter part of this month.
[Excerpts transcribed from the Morning Oregonian, Sep. 6, 1910, p. 8. ]
(Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page —LF)
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