1905 Monte Carlo
April 9th was the first racing day for power-boats at Monaco.
Start was made at 9:30, course to Nice and return. Starters in cruiser class, 6.5 meters and under were: Avenir VII, Lanturlu, Muguette, Titan IV, Joliette III, Chartiers d'Antibes, Delahaye VI, Takumono, and Delahaye V. The 8-meter class, racers, started at 10:30 for 100 kilometers around Pentagon. In this class there were six starters, as follows: Gobron, Palaisoto II, Rapier, Madrioto, Antoinette II, and Bielancourt.
Then misadventures began. Gobron ran into a scow and was towed ashore; Madrioto was damaged and had the same treatment; guns were fired and the racers all eventually reached the starting point.
The cruisers did not fare so well. After turning the buoy at Nice they found the sea too rough. Some out into Nice, others made for Villafranche. Two kept bravely on. Marguerite shipping a heavy sea was wrecked on the jagged rocks, the crew barely escaping with their lives, while Joliette III, dodging the waves, proceeded leisurely, finished, and was declared the winner, much to the astonishment of the onlookers.
April 10th, profiting by the previous day's mishaps, no races were run, owing to heavy wind and sea.
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April 11th, under 12-meter class, racers.
Tuesday was a day of surprises for both French and English contestants, the French for not winning when they considered the race a "cinch." and the British for winning the race with slower speed boats.
Starters were: Napier, Napier II, Suzon, Legru, Palaisoto I, baby II, Mercedes-Charley, Turquoise, and C.G.V. The first round was finished by Mercedes-Charley at a rate exceeding 30 kilometers, or 31 miles per hour, but was compelled to give up before the end of the race on account of heated bearings, poor lubrication it is said, possibly as it was impossible to keep the crank shaft in line.
The crank shaft of Palaisoto I, when close pressed by Napier II, broke, and the race was easily won by Napier II, with Napier easily second. Natural inference from this race is that the French have gone into extreme lightness of construction at the expense of durability.
Under 8 meters class, cruisers.
Contestants were Excelsior VIII, Nogentais, Arion IV, Chantiers d'Antibes II, Titan III, Mets-y-En II, Bigort, Delahaye and Gardner-Serpollet. Course was from Monaco to Nice, to Mentone and return to Monaco. Excelsior VIII won, with Nogentais second, Bigort third and Delahaye fourth, with others withdrawn during the race.
Sunday's unfinished race for 8-meter racers was run in the afternoon, with but four starters, Rapier, Antoinette I, Palaisoto II, and Bielancourt. With a slight break-down at the start, losing a kilometer, Rapier easily won the race, with Bielancourt second and Antoinette I third.
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April 12th, 18-meter class, racers.
In the 18-meter class there were but two starters, Dubonnet and Pi Ouit IV. The big Panhard and Levassor which was to have entered, had to be run ashore with a big hole in her.
Break-down succeeded break-down.
First Pi Ouit IV was ahead then Dubonnet; neither ran for any length of time without stopping. Dubonnet finished ahead in the first round, but on the eighth or last, Pi Ouit IV won out. The feeling at Monaco was that Dubonnet's hull was overpowered.
In the 8 to 12-meter class, cruisers, there were six competing boats, as follows: F.I.A.T X, Tetu, Berliet, Elisa, Chantiers d'Antibes IV and Delahaye I. F.I.A.T. X took the lead shortly after crossing the line, maintaining it for the whole race, just two and a half hours, finishing first, with Tetu just four minutes behind.
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April 13th, 12 to 18-meters, cruisers.
Starters in the 125-kilometer race were: Mercedes-Charley, Dietrich II, Rotech and Chantiers d'Antibes V. Dietrich II won, with Mercedes-Charley second, one hour astern.
Trefle-a-Quatre, in attempting a trial run, took fire from a "back-fire" from a carburetor. The gasolene was shut off from the tank, and while the owner was attempting to quench the flames alongside S. Y. Velleda, the police boat took charge. Presently a small launch took her in tow and made several trips about the harbor, apparently for the benefit of photographers, and cinematograph operators, after which the police took her in to the shore and chopped few holes in her.
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April 14th race for the championship of the sea, open to both cruisers and racers.
There were 20 starters over the 200-kilometer course. Panhard-Levassor won in 4 h., 22 m. and 54 s., an average of 45.36 kilometers an hour, equivalent to 28.17 miles.
Rapier was second, also with Panhard-Levassor engine.
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April 15th, 50-kilometer handicap for all classes.
When Panhard-Levassor, the last to leave, had covered 5 kilometers, she suddenly disappeared. Race was stopped by the firing of guns. >From the accounts it appears that in the lumpy sea, going at the tremendous speed, a plank on the bow was crushed in, and she filled like a sugar scoop.
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April 16th, Prince of Monaco Cup, one marine mile, standing start, and one kilometer, flying start.
Dubonnet, Rapier and C.G.V. were the principal contestants. Rapier and Dubonnet finished the mile, neck and neck, but little Rapier lost 50 yards in the kilometer. Nautical mile with standing start was finished in 2 m. 30 s., and flying kilometer in 1 m. 9 s., equivalent to a speed of 52.17 kilometers, or 32.41 miles per hour.
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April 17th, 50-kilometer handicap was deferred from Saturday, owing to the accident of Panhard-Levassor.
Very few entries and but few spectators to watch the closing event. Rapiere was strained in the previous day's race and did not start. Madriotto was the winner.
It may not be generally understood the difference at Monaco between racers and cruisers. With us a cruiser is a boat with sleeping accommodations, but according to the Automobile Club of France, under whose auspices the races were held, a cruiser is an open launch, or a boat with limited piston displacement, freeboard and passenger capacity, as well as limited power, while in the racer classes there was no limit to the power.
(Transcribed from Power Boat News, April 22, 1905, pp. 35-36.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. — LF]