The Annual Lake Coeur d'Alene Regatta [1920]
By C. D. Hudson

Freckles (1920)
Freckles, the winner of the Regatta Derby
Miss Coeur d'Alene
Miss Coeur d'Alene
One of the new contenders in the regatta on Lake Coeur d'Alene this year. She is a fast runabout owned by Phil Schrader

The Coeur d'Alene regatta, probably the only annual water classic between the Minnesota lakes and Puget Sound, passed into history for 1920 without making the strides in motor boating warranted by such an opportunity for popularizing fast water craft.

A July 5th crowd of 10,000 people packed the stands, beaches, piers and pleasure boats on Coeur d'Alene Lake, perfect Idaho weather was granted and the atmosphere was charged with that spirit of the throng that lauds and makes spectacular any display of good sportsmanship. But the program lacked that thing needed as a basis for any successful inland water meet-eight and twelve-cylinder power.

There was every evidence that the regatta management was eager to offer motor speed and give the power boats a good play on the program but the lake patrons who are able to buy and support speed did not respond. The event appeared to have reached the stage where it is absolutely essential that two or three good sportsmen step in and provide the class in motor boats-launch some boats that can meet all comers from the coast and in turn can go to the coast and make good as representatives of the Coeur d'Alene regatta. As certain as the Coeur d'Alene meet continues to live, and it is a mighty healthy water baby, this kind of speed is going to appear and two or three times ten thousand people will rise from the stands and cheer the sportsmen who put it over.

Freckles, a well constructed hydroplane with a temperamental, made-over airplane engine, was easily the fastest boat in the sight of regatta visitors. Phil Mitchell, owner and builder, worked for a year to condition the craft and engine but the airplane power plant refused to take to the water. At times he may have made 35 miles an hour, but his average in three races would hardly be half that.

Thorobred, owned by I. Hastings, of Coeur d'Alene, and equipped with a 35-40 h. p. plant, was next in class to Freckles. And the only other entry in the races was Miss Coeur d'Alene, a comfortable craft owned by Phil Mitchell, equipped with a 35 h. p. Erd.

The Swastika; a little step hydroplane owned by Peyton brothers of Spokane, and Tipperary, equipped with a Van Blerck and owned by Ramsey Walker of Wallace, Idaho, did not stir during the water events. Both boats have been popular with the fans in previous regattas.

"In another year or two we are certain to secure the needed motor boats," said F. J. Zeorlin, manager of the regatta. "The completion of a paved highway between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene is the first thing needed to bring the necessary competition. Good auto roads will bring more people to Coeur d'Alene to enjoy the sport of motor boating and we can then soon secure the speed for a strong power program."

The regatta management and individual boat owners extended every possibly courtesy to representatives of the press.

The summary of results

Spokane Cup Handicap-Three Miles

"Thorobred"

15 Min. 38 Sec.

"Miss Coeur d'Alene "

16 Min. 3 Sec.

Idaho Cup Handicap-Two Miles

"Thorobred"

10 Min. 30 Sec.

"Freckles"

10 Min.55 Sec.

Regatta Derby-Four Miles

"Freckles"

18 Min.38 Sec.

"Thorobred"

18 Min.49 Sec.

"Miss Coeur d'Alene"

19 Min.

(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, August 1920)


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Leslie Field, 2000