1906 Eastern Y.C. Regatta
Eastern Y.C. Power Boat Races
Wind and sea were united in their opposition to the first day's race of the three days' series conducted by the Eastern Y.C. off Marblehead. When the starting signal sounded a stiff breeze was blowing from the N.E. accompanied by a choppy sea, which grew worse as the day advanced.
Only eleven boats crossed the line, the lower rated boats crossing first, and the scratch boat last; for example, in the first class, Mercedes was started at 11.05.30, while Den I, allowing her nine minutes and thirty seconds was not started until 11.15.00.
The smaller power boats experienced considerable difficulty on account of the quartering sea, which was not favorable to them, while the larger boats were unable to show off their fastest paces.
Prizes were offered to the winner in each class. In each class where four or more boats were entered as second prize was offered, and where seven or more started, a third. The club offered the Eastern Y.C. cup as a special prize to the boat that should make the best actual time for the entire three days. Each competitor for this cup was required to complete four laps on each day. No handicaps were imposed in the race for this cup.
Many were very much surprised at the amount of time Den I had to allow Mercedes because it would be almost impossible for any boat to go 35 miles when Mercedes was going 22. Many were also disappointed because more boats were not entered in this class, for it was thought that X.Y.Z., Komon, Tai Kun, and Quicksilver would enter.
The course was the same as that used last year for the three days' series of power boat races, being triangular in shape. The start was from off Cat Island, thence N.E. by E. two miles, thence W.N.W. 1/4 N. two miles, thence S.W. two miles, making the three laps 6 miles. All boats save the dories were required to go around the course twice.
The summary of the first day's race is as follows:
For the second day of the series no better weather could have been desired. There was scarcely a ripple troubling the calm surface of the water. As far as one could see all was calm and smooth.
Thirteen boats were entered Friday, an unlucky number, started on an unlucky day, but in this case the omens failed to be reliable, for no accident occurred to mar the pleasure of the day's sport. As to the starting of the boats nothing could have been better managed. Each contestant was handed a card stating when and after whom he was to start. When the time approached for a boat to start, a warning whistle was blown and the boat's starting number displayed from the committee boat. When the time for her to start came, another whistle was blown for her to start.
H. L. Bowden had sent word before the race that he would be a little late, so the start of the first class was delayed until he could arrive. As Mr. Bowden is fond of a little sport he suggested when he arrived that all the first class start flat, to which all other contestants agreed. It was a pretty sight indeed to see Mercedes and Den I as they spun along the course with Flying Fish close after them. Those who saw the race say they had never seen Mercedes make a better showing than she did in the four laps of that day's race. Den I had all the ill-luck to break down and so was unable to compete and was towed in by her tender Den II.
Chester Williams, of Salem, entered his new speed launch, which he built last Winter, in this race. Young Williams is only 18 years of age, but he now has one of the fastest boats around Salem, and also can have the satisfaction of saying that he built her himself. Many spectators watching the race remarked on the appearance of this boat and when they were told that it had been built by so young an amateur were considerably surprised.
The summary of the second day is as follows:
|Den I||11.20.00||Broke Down|
On the last day, Saturday, more boats were entered than on any of the preceding days, fourteen in all crossing the starting line. The day was perfect, without a ripple on the water. It was feared that Flying Fish would not show up for the last race, but when it was almost time for her to start she came up to the line at full speed, having barely time to get her entrance card. The first class launches were started with handicap starts, Ro-No-Mor getting under way first with Mercedes and Flying Fish close after her. Den I did not show up, as her engine had not been repaired. In the first lap the Gloucester boat, Ro-No-Mor, was ahead of Mercedes, but in the second lap her engine gave out. It was remarked on board one of the boats in the harbor, that that was a rather inglorious finish for a boat that bore the name Ro-No-Mor. The hull of this boat showed fast lines, and had her engine not given out would have probably beaten both Mercedes and Flying Fish with the handicap that they were obliged to allow her.
Atlantic, a third class boat showed up fine in this race, showing the perfect control under which they had the engine. Her owner brought her almost up to the committee steamer at full speed and then reversed her just in time to stop her momentum.
Quicksilver, the Brown-Talbot boat came down, but as she had not been measured she was obliged to start with the fourth class boats when she should have been in the third class.
The summary of the third day as follows:
|EASTERN Y.C. CUP - 4 laps, 25 miles|
|1st day||2nd day||3rd day||Total|
(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Aug. 4, 1906, pp. 402-405 )
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. — LF]