End of 1904 Season Meetings

New Harmsworth Rules

Course in Future Will Be 30 Knots With Flying Start

Several important changes have recently been made in the rules governing the international motor boat competition for the Harmsworth Cup, which has been held for the last two years in British waters. American motor boat owners have expressed great pleasure in the new conditions, and it is barely possible that these changes will have the effect of causing more than one boat from this country to go to England next season and race for this cup.

One of the regulations that hitherto occasioned considerable criticism here was the shortness of the course, which, in the original deed of gift was limited to from six to twelve miles. This is now increased to from thirty to thirty-five nautical miles. On this side of the water none of the big motor boat races held this year have been over so short a course as twelve miles. The American Power Boat Association, in both of its challenge cup contests, has had a thirty-knot course, and instead of determining the winner by one victory, there are three races, the winner being decided by the point system. For the Harmsworth Cup, however, one victory determines possession of the trophy.

Besides the increased distance for the Harmsworth Cup races, the course must be laid out so as to avoid any angle of less than 120 degrees and a distance of at least 100 yards must intervene between any two marks.

Another radical change is in making the start of future races a flying start and not a standing start as formerly. The standing start has caused general dissatisfaction among all previous competitors. All of the boats hereafter will be started together.

No change has been made in the size of the competing boats, the total length over all not to exceed forty feet, but no restrictions are placed on the number, size, or horse power of the engines, except that each boat must be capable of not less than four knots in still water.

One of the officers of the American Power Boat Association said yesterday that he was not surprised that the rule had been changed so as to give a greater racing length. With the improvements made within the last two years a race of from six to twelve miles shows practically nothing regarding reliability of a motor. The motor boat must be treated in competitions similar to automobiles and have a racing distance long enough to act as an endurance test of speed and stability. The changes, therefore, in the international race are expected to arouse greater interest in the contest, causing better boats to be built and more practical results being evolved as a consequence of the race.

The challenge of the cup must be received by the club holding the trophy, now the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland, before Feb. 1, and six months must then intervene before the holding of the race. After the first challenge has been received entries may be made up to July 1.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Oct. 25, 1904, p. 10. )

[The French protest Napier Minor's Harmsworth win was upheld, and the 1905 contest was held in the Bay of Arachon. - GWC]

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Motor Boat Rules Will Be More Strict

Important Changes Adopted In Measurement And Rating

Challenge Cup Discussion

American Power Boat Association Likely to Hold the Next Race on the St. Lawrence River

An important meeting of the American Power Boat Association was held last night at the Hotel Astor, at which several changes were made to the rules regarding the proper measurement of auto and motor boats so as to obtain the exact racing rating of the boat. The necessity for clearer definitions on a number of points was brought out in the races held during the season just closed, and the amendments now adopted, it is believed, will prevent the ill-feeling and demand for remeasurement that was characteristic of nearly every big motorboat event during the year.

One of the most important changes stipulates that the revolutions are to be taken from the owner's written certificate, which shall be subject to verification by the measurer and "that the owner shall, at the end of the race, file with the committee a certificate giving the actual maximum number of revolutions made during the race." In this connection it was also resolved that "all boats other than steam and electric, whose engines turn more than 500 revolutions per minute, shall carry revolution counters, fitted to the engine so as to be immediately available for measuring. Revolutions on all boats shall be the maximum number of revolutions per minute, taken on a mile run at the boat's highest speed."

The subject of revolutions has been a difficult one in fixing the exact rating of a boat for racing purposes. The contests of the past season furnished some practical suggestions, and the events that will be held in the future under the changed rules will determine the real speed of a boat and its reliability more accurately than has been possible in the past.

An important change in calculating the horse power provides that the horse power shall be obtained by dividing the total number of square feet of heating surface of the boiler by two and seven-tenths. It was also provided that in boats having flat or torpedo boat sterns the knuckle shall be taken as the afterpoint of the load-water line.

Certain peculiarities in the build of new motor boats has also produced trouble in determining the definite rating. In dealing with such boats hereafter the measurer has received power to report such facts, provided he believes the regular rule will not rate the boat fairly, to the Race Committee, and the latter, with the measurer, will then award such certificate of rating as they consider equitable, and the measurement shall be deemed incomplete until this is done.

President W. H. Ketcham presided at the meeting, and among the other members of the association present were Secretary Anson H. Cole, Col. F. A. Hill, F. N. Waterman, H. J. Gielow, and H. L. Lozier Jr.

The challenge for the American Power Boat Association's Challenge Cup from the autoboat Standard was laid before the meeting. The Standard, which first won the cup, is now owned by Price McKinney of the Thousand Islands Club, in the St. Lawrence, and the Vingt-et-Un II, which won the cup last Fall, is also owned by a St. Lawrence clubman, W. S. Kilmer of the Chippewa Bay Yacht Club. The latter club, therefore, has to defend the trophy, and in all probability the next race will be held in St. Lawrence waters. When the two clubs appoint their committees and notify the association, the latter will appoint a member to confer with them and make final arrangements for the race, which will not be held until the Spring, at the earliest.

Mr. Anson reported that the association now included thirty-eight clubs.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Oct. 29, 1904, p. 10 )