1907 APBA Gold Cup
The Gold Cup Race
"Chip II" Again Successfully Defends the Trophy
CHIPPEWA BAY, N.Y.--For the fourth consecutive time the entry of the Chippewa Yacht Club has won the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association, and the annual race is again scheduled to be held in that premier motor-racing region, the upper St. Lawrence River, next year.
The Chip II succeeded to the racing honors of her predecessor, Chip, winner of the golden trophy in 1905, last year defeating Sparrow and other equally well-known craft. Jonathan Wainwright, of Philadelphia, a veteran yachtsman, is the owner of the admirable winner, and both of the Chips are the product of the skilled hands of Messrs. Leyare and Leighton, the former being the well-known boat builder of Ogdensburg, N.Y., and the latter needing no introduction as the maker of the popular Leighton engine, of Brewerton, N.Y.
The Gold Cup event this year was somewhat in the nature of a family party, as the only participants were boats representing the local clubs. The Crescent Yacht Club of Chaumont, on Lake Ontario, had entered the Guess III, a 60-h. racer, owned ny H. N. Denny, of Watertown, but the craft was not completed in time to enter the races, and was withdrawn from the list. Another boat which did not race as expected was the So-Long II, owner George S. Hasbrouck, of New York, which craft failed to weigh in on time. This boat represented the new St. Lawrence Yacht Club, of Alexandria Bay.
The first heat of the Gold Cup race was scheduled for the afternoon on Tuesday, August 13, but rough weather necessitated its postponement till the following morning. The water on Tuesday was about the wildest ever experienced in the wide bay at Chippewa, and any craft but a steam yacht or motor cruiser would doubtless have been readily swamped by the rolling, intermittent, choppy seas, accompanying a high gale. All through the afternoon a half-dozen hardy racers fretted for action in the sheltered basin back of Commodore Englis' home on Owatonna Island, but the wind did not die down and the Race Committee finally announced the postponement of the first heat.
On Wednesday morning things appeared a little brighter, and after due deliberation the starting gun was sounded for Chip II to weather the choppy seas piling over her prow as she rounded up to the buoy in front of the judges' stand. Less than ten minutes later J. P. Gillespie's Vingt-Trois, of the Frontenac Yacht Club, sped over the course, followed by Delawana, Stranger and Pirate on their handicap time. The two latter are the "big fellows" of the St. Lawrence, and with the Chip II 43 minutes to the good, Pirate's calliope battery opened fire and the sturdy Peacock giant started in to try and overcome the awful handicap.
Chip II got away in fair style after a loss of over a minute at the start, when her machinery seemed to be in trouble. Delawana and Vingt-Trois managed to get over the line in mediocre shape, while Stranger's start, as one yachtsman expressed it, was "simply beautiful." Pirate likewise got off all right.
Having been on the course exactly 1 hour, 31 min., 6 sec., Chip II came in shortly after 1 o'clock, her victory acknowledged by the shrill tooting of whistles from the yacht flotilla present. Delawana, a new boat this year, owned by Walter Irwin, son of May Irwin, the actress, followed the Chip II by 6 min. 23 sec., and Stranger came third; Pirate fourth and Vingt-Trois last, experiencing difficulty with her steering gear in the trough of the heavy sea, and filling with water as she finished the final lap. Stranger made the fastest time on the course of 30 nautical miles, running the distance in 1 h. 06:18.
On the afternoon of August 14, the wind let up considerably, and, by the time the second boat started, weather conditions were gaining a normal look. Chip II got a fair start in the middle heat, while Delawana crossed in fine style. Stranger was caught napping at the start and lost about 7 seconds, Pirate also getting off a trifle slack. Vingt-Trois did not race in this heat, fearing heavy seas on the west turn of the course, over 7 miles off. Chip II won also the second heat, trailed by Delawana, Stranger and Pirate, the same order as in the morning race. Chip II's time being 1:30:44 and Delawana's 1:21:43, with Chip II only two points ahead of Delawana's eight, and all the pent-up excitement of the onlookers fearful of a breakdown or other calamity to the defender.
The final heat of the American motorboat classic was called on the afternoon of Thursday, August 15. The weather was all that could be desired, smooth water and a perfect day greeting spectators and contestants. Chip II duplicated her two victories of the preceding day, with the other boats following in the same order. Vingt-Trois did not enter the final heat, realizing, of course, that she had not a ghost of a chance at the Cup. All of the boats got away well, Stranger again making the fastest time on the course, with Pirate second for time. Commodore F. G. Bourne, of New York, owner of Stranger, received the handsome silver cup offered by Commodore C. M. Englis, of the Chippewa Yacht Club, for the boat making the fastest average time in the three races. The score by the point system is as follows: Chip II, 15 points; Vingt-Trois, 1; Delawana, 12; Stranger, 9; and Pirate 6.
The results plainly denote that boats cannot compete satisfactorily under existing rules of the American Power Boat Association, close finished being out of the question. Certainly no clubs outside the Thousand Islands region dared compete again this season, the trouble and expense of sending a boat to the St. Lawrence from some distant point not compensating for the benefits resulting; so the Gold Cup again remains in possession of the diminutive Chip II.
(Transcribed from The Motor Boat, Aug. 25, 1907, pp. 26-27.)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. — LF]