1905 New York Motor Boat Show
Speedy Motor Boats for This Year's Races
E.R. Thomas Orders Powerful Engines at Sportsment's Show
Will Enter All Events
Wild Animals and Water Sports Divied Up the Interest in the Madison Square Garden Exhibit
With the definite announcement yesterday at the Motorboat and Sportsmen's Show in the Madison Square Garden that E. R. Thomas would be as active a competitor this season in motor boat racing as he has been in the past with automobiles, and the assurances from several other quarters that a number of fast boats will be seen in the opening races, the prospect for new records by the so-called auto boats this year is regarded as certain by all who are actively interested in the sport.
The interest that is being taken, not only in the boats of moderate horse power for pleasure purposes, but also in the more expensive ones, designed for speed only, has surprised even those who were the most sanguine in predicting a lively racing season. Many of the contests last year were a disappointment, owing to the limited entries, but toward the end of the season a change was apparent, and where there was one boat last year entered for a race there will be three or four this season. The auto boat racing season will open on Decoration Day at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, and a number of the new boats will be there for their first speed tests.
The earnestness with which Mr. Thomas has adopted the sport of motor boat racing was evinced yesterday when he left an order at the Sportsmen's Show for two eighty-horse power French motors to be installed in a racing boat that is now being designed by H. W. Fletcher, who made the new mile road record in Cuba of 0:45 besides winning the 100 miles race at Ormond and other events. The boat will probably be ready for use early in the Summer, and Mr. Thomas intends to race it himself.
Rumors of several other fast boats being built for this season's competitions were circulating about the Garden yesterday, and some of them are likely to materialize into realities. An indication of this uncertainty was shown two days ago when the salesman of a prominent French motor said that he had sold one of the largest motors he has on exhibition.
"That is," he added. "I am now waiting for the purchaser who said he would buy it to come back and close the bargain."
Mr. Thomas will naturally enter his new boats for the biggest prizes of the season, hence he may be seen as a competitor for the challenge cup offered by the American Power Boat Association, which is now held by W. S. Kilmer, owner of the Vingt-et-Un II. The latter boat won the trophy last Fall on the Hudson River, and the Standard, the first holder of the cup, has since challenged for the trophy. The race will be sailed in August at the Chippewa Bay Yacht Club, in the Thousand Islands. Mr. Kilmer has his Summer home there, and the Vingt-et-Un II will be used on the St. Lawrence this Summer.
Motorboat enthusiasts are also anxious to see the Onontio in a long race, as she gave promise last Fall, when she made a mile at the average speed of nearly twenty-eight miles an hour, of being an unusually fast and serviceable boat for long distances. The Onontio has never had a complete test, and when she is pitted against all the new boats that will be seen early this season some rare sport will be in store.
(Transcribed from the New York Times, Feb. 26, 1905, p. 10. )
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page]