1921 Wood Fisher Trophy

The Wood-Fisher Trophy Race

The first big event on the schedule was the race for the new Wood-Fisher Trophy, consisting of three heats of 50 miles each, on August 27, 29, and 30. The conditions were practically the same as those for the Fisher-Allison Trophy, being for open displacement runabouts, with any type of motor whose maximum piston displacement is not over 3,000 cubic inches. In the Fisher-Allison Trophy only stock marine motors are eligible.

For this race three boats came to the line, Baby Gar, a Wood boat, with a single Liberty motor; Nick Nack, owned by Commodore Humphrey Birge of Buffalo, a Hacker-designed boat, powered with a single Hall-Scott marine motor like the original one in Adieu when she won the Fisher Trophy at Miami this year, and Aye Aye Sir, owned by C. G. Fisher, of Miami. She is the same boat that raced at Buffalo, but has had some alterations in the way of spray boards attached to the chine forward to aid in lifting her out of the water.

Orlo III, a Hickman sea sled, owned by Geo. Leary, was on hand with a pair of new Liberty motors in place of the Murray S Tregurtha pair she had at Buffalo, but as her piston displacement was greater than the conditions allowed she was not eligible. As these conditions were changed after Orlo III was designed with this race in view, there was some feeling in the matter and Orlo III was allowed to start with the other boats, but not to compete for the prize.

Baby Gar won all three heats, with Nick Nack second on points. What the Wood boat could have done is not known, as her owner says she was not "let out" in any of the heats. Yet she went fast enough to make three world's records for displacement boats, averaging 42.5 miles for the three heats of 150 miles, and 44.2 miles for her best 50-mile heat.

Nick Nack, handled by Commodore F. G. Ericson, with less than half the horsepower of Baby Gar, being equipped with a 6-cylinder 200 H. P. Hall-Scott marine type engine, also smashed existing records for boats powered with marine engines, and gave a remarkable exhibition of speed and consistency. She went through the three grueling heats without having to lift the engine hatches once during the races. In the first race Nick Nack made the second lap of 2½ miles at the rate of 42.15 miles per hour, a world's record for marine-engined displacement boats, and the 50 miles at the rate of 41.3 miles per hour, also a record, the best 50 miles made previously being by Orlo III at Buffalo at an average of 39.8. The latter boat had at that time two 300 H. P. motors. Nick Nack averaged for the three heats, a total of 150 miles, 40.6 miles per hour, which is 2.3 miles per hour better than the previous record for that distance. Commodore Birge is to be commended for entering this speedy little flyer against Baby Gar, when, barring accidents, it was a foregone conclusion she could not win the trophy.

Orlo III ran a very fast race and pushed Baby Gar on the straightaways, but being a big boat with a wide turning radius, she lost on the turns. Her best lap was at the rate of 49.4 mile per hour.

The summary of the three heats follows :

Summary, Wood-Fisher Trophy Race
First Heat
Boat, Owner and Club 10 Miles 20 Miles 30 Miles 40 Miles Elapsed Time Speed. M.P.H. Best Lap Points
Baby Gar, G. A. Wood. Detroit Y. C 14:06.8 28:05.7 42:11.3 56:06.1 1:09:33 43.1 43.7 7
Orlo III, Gem Leary, M. B. C. of A 16:08.8 30:09.2 43:35.6 59:06.2 1:10:11 42.6 45  
Nick Nack, H. Barre, Buffalo L. C 15:05.2 29:23.7 43:41.0 58:05.2 1:12:33 41.3 42.1 6
Aye Aye Sir, C. G. Fisher, Miami Beach Y. C 15:24.5 30:31.1 45:37.7 1:00:44.4 1:16:03 39.4   5
Second Heat
Baby Gar 14:48.4 29:24.7 43:12.5 58:50.3 1:13:52 40.7 43.2 14
Nick Nack 15:03.4 29:47.2 44:33.4 59:35.7 1:14:36 40.15 40.8 12
Aye Aye Sir 16:44.3 32:14.6 47:46.3 1:04:46.2 1:20:26 37.4 35.5 10
Orlo III DNS              
Third Heat
Baby Gar 13:22 26:33.6 40:27.4 54:17.9 1:07:51 44.2 46.5 21
Nick Nack 15:09.6 30:00.4 44:11.7 59:20.8 1:14:05 40.5 41.65 18
*Orlo III 13:36.5 26:44.9 41:57.1 54:49.0 1:15:50 39.4 49.4  
Aye Aye, Sir 16:19.7 32:16.2 48:18.3 1:04:23.3 1:20:41 37.2   15
* Racing by courtesy.


(Reprinted from Yachting, October 1921, pp.167-170, 195)