Harmsworth Challenge Due in '52
Vancouver Men Want To Build
Northwest waters will witness another great test of speed next year-this time for an international award — if present plans of a group of Vancouver, B. C., businessmen and power boat enthusiasts materialize.
Pacific Motor Boat is exclusively able to announce that plans for a Canadian challenger for the Harmsworth Trophy, now held by Stanley Sayres' famous Slo-Mo-Shun IV, are now on the designing board.
It is also reported that there will be two challengers for the British international speedboat award from California.
As the defender is entitled to name his own course, it is expected that Sayres will choose his home waters on Lake Washington as the scene for the proposed 1952 racing classic. It was there that his new Slo-mo-shun V won the Gold Cup from her sister ship Slo-mo-shun IV.
It was during the Lake Washington meeting that the Vancouver group first were inspired with the idea of challenging Sayres for the Harmsworth Trophy, which he had previously won — a distinction of special interest to Canadians since it was first offered for international competition by a Briton.
"We talked to Stan Sayres in Seattle and he thought it was a wonderful idea," one of the Vancouver men reported to Pacific Motor Boat. "We feel that the Pacific coast, as a result of the Slo-mo-shun triumphs, has become the center of speedboat racing. We want to do our part toward keeping it that way. The way we look at it is that the surest way of promoting interest in power boat racing is to develop international competition. In the past, Canada hasn't contributed much in the way of racing craft. But this looks like a good time to start, when the defender is just across the border 150 miles away."
At this stage in the negotiations it would be premature to name the Vancouver group interested in building a challenger for the Harmsworth Trophy, and the details are far from settled. However, it seems probable that the men who will finance the construction of the challenger and promote the Canadian preparations for the event will be figures already well known in power boat and yachting circles in the Pacific Northwest businessmen of ample resources who have spent a good deal of their time on boats.
For the next year's challenge race the demonstration at Vancouver by Sayres two speedsters Slo-mo-shun IV and S1o-mo-shun V on Sunday, September 3, was an effective buildup because it gave thousands of Vancouver people their first glimpse of big-time speedboat racing and whetted their appetite for more. The natural reaction of many of the Vancouver people was: "Why can't we have more of this right here with Canadian boats built. in Canada?"
The group who made up their minds in Seattle to do something about filling this want had anticipated just such a reaction.
The Vancouver group intends to consult naval architects shortly with a view to deciding on a basic plan of construction. Whether or not a Vancouver architect will be chosen has yet to be determined, and it will also be necessary to make a canvass of the boatbuilding facilities of the British Columbia city before an actual start can be made. It is realized that building craft of a type likely to set a new speed record is a highly specialized undertaking, and it may be necessary to go far afield for the right plan and the right man. Nevertheless, an effort will be made to have the challenger as truly representative of Canada as possible.
The British International Cup, or Harmsworth Trophy, has been in competition, although not on an annual basis, since 1903 when Alfred Harmsworth, later Lord Northcliffe, then publisher of the London Daily Mail, appropriated 10,000 pounds sterling for the purpose.
Among Winners of the trophy prior to Stanley Sayres were Kaye Don of England, who held the award two successive years.
(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat)
History Home Page
This page was last revised Thursday, April 01, 2010 .
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Leslie Field, 2002