1904 Harmsworth Trophy

Auto Boat Injured in Test

Smith and Mabley Challenger Runs Into a Submerged Log

The Smith & Mabley Challenger, the larger of the two autoboats which the firm has entered through the Automobile Club of America for the international autoboat race for the Harmsworth Cup in England the latter part of this month, was injured by striking a submerged log or beam floating in the Hudson River off the Columbia Yacht Club house at the foot of West Eighty-sixth Street yesterday morning just as it was about to start on a test trip to Tarrytown and back. The bow of the light craft was so damaged that it will require several days' work to repair it, and in consequence the test was postponed until Monday or Tuesday of next week, and the boat will not be shipped to-morrow, as was planned.

The injured boat is similar to the Vingt-et-Un, which defeated the Fiat III, so signally at Larchmont on Monday and Tuesday of this week, except that it is of 150 horse power, the Vingt-et-Un being of 59.7 horse power. The Autoboat Committee of the Automobile Club of America, through which the entries from this country for the Harmsworth Cup race are made, accepted the performances of the Vingt-et-Un on the Sound as a sufficient test of that boat, but decided that the larger boat should make a test trip over a course of thirty-two nautical miles from the Columbia Yacht Club to Tarrytown and return.

Carlton R. Mabley, one of the owners of the two boats, said yesterday that it was not yet decided whether the Vingt-et-Un will be shipped to England to-morrow, as originally planned, or will be held to go with the larger boat at a later date, which probably will be next Saturday.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, July 1, 1904. )

[The Challenger would be one of those high-powered boats upon which so many hopes and so much achievement was anticipated, but would prove to be snake-bit virtually from the very moment its hull first touched the water. A good parallel could be drawn by the boats of Steve Woomer - all the potential and driver skill in the world linked to a litany of mis-fortune --GWC ]

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