1904 Atlantic Yacht Club Regatta

New Auto Boat Record

Standard Defeats The Herreshoff Entry By Narrow Margin

Over 24 Miles An Hour

Three Competitors In Atlantic Yacht Club Races Show High Speed

Nat Herreshoff Steers His Craft

Very fast time was made yesterday in the motor boat races held by the Atlantic Yacht Club twice over a ten-knot course, starting in front of the clubhouse at Sea Gate and rounding the Robbins reef bell buoy. Only three boats went over the course, half a dozen other entries failing to appear at the starting line, but these three, although entirely representative of the manufacturing element, made a splendid race, and gave the statisticians of motor boat figures something to talk over with great satisfaction.

The auto boat Standard, managed by her owner, C. C. Riotte, which recently won the challenge cup offered by the American Power Boat Association, making in those events the best time done by a power boat in America, eclipsed her former figures. Her best previous time was a trifle over 23 statute miles an hour, but in the twenty-knot run yesterday the boat covered the course in 56 minutes 50 seconds, an average of 21.05 knots an hour, or 24.207 statute miles. This was a remarkable showing, and the little group of auto boat enthusiasts who watched the contest were more than delighted at the result.

The Standard had as her opponent the Swift Sure, the new boat designed and built by Nathaniel Herreshoff. The Herreshoff boat is propelled by steam, being, in fact, the only auto steam boat in existence in this country. She is equipped with triple expansion engines capable of giving 100 horse power, and her boiler is tested to stand 270 pounds of steam. The boat is 51 feet long. The Standard is 58 feet long and has a horse power of 110 to 125. For her first test and with her engines not yet tuned up to their best, the showing of the Herreshoff boat was considered admirable, and the opinion was freely expressed that the boat might beat the Standard's time in the near future.

M. Herreshoff, who came down from Bristol in his steam yacht Roamer on purpose to see the race, steered the Swift Sure himself and said he was well pleased with her time. Her elapsed time over the twenty-knot course was 59 minutes and 36 seconds, an average of 20.13 knots an hour, or 23.15 statute miles.

The Vingt-et-Un, a smaller edition of the Challenger, which was beaten in England yesterday for the Harmsworth Cup, sailed over the course in a class by herself. Her time was 57:54, a little better than the Herreshoff boat, giving the Vingt-et-Un an average of 20.77 knots an hour, or 23.88 statute miles. C. M. Hamilton steered the boat. The interesting feature of the race was the close time made by all three boats, and the fact that each one did better than twenty knots an hour.

Commodore Harrison B, Moore's steam yacht, Zara, was the committee boat. The summary:

Boat and owner Start Finish Time
Standard, C. C. Riotte 2:30:15 3:27:05 0:56:50
Swift Sure, N. G. Herreshoff 2:30:42 3:38:10 0:59:36
Vingt-et-Un, Smith & Mabley 2:36:21 3:34:15 0:57:54

(Transcribed from the New York Times, July 31, 1904, p. 10)

[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page — LF]