1904 Indian Harbor Yacht Club Regatta

Slow Auto Boat Races

Standard Runs on the Rocks and Loses Her Propeller

Too Rough For Challenger

Many Boats But Few Starters at Indian Harbor Yacht Club

GREENWICH, Conn., July 4. — Motor boat racing at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club near here to-day, was deprived of any record-breaking results on account of the heavy sea churned up by a stiff southwest wind. For the big sailing yachts the breeze was a genuine delight, but it was fatal to the small motor boats, some of which took in so much water in their efforts to go over the course as practically to put them out of running. This fate happened to Challenger, the Smith & Mabley 150-horse-power boat that is to leave on Saturday for England, where it is entered to race on July 30 for the Harmsworth Cup, near the Isle of Wight. After going once over the course the Challenger became so unmanageable and shipped so much water as to make her racing showing a farce, and Clinton H. Crane, who was steering her, withdrew before completing one round of the five-knot course. It was a cause of great disappointment to the yachtsmen and auto-boat owners present that the Challenger was unable to give an indication of her probable speed, as there are no more races for her to enter before being shipped for England.

A serious accident to the Standard, the American auto-boat record holder, prevented that speedy boat from going over the course. While attempting to get a brush with Alfred Marshall's steam yacht Lavanter the Standard ran on Cormorant Rocks, off Great Captain's Island, and tore out a blade of her propeller. Her hull, fortunately, was uninjured, but she was unable to race, and for the remainder of the day was moored alongside C.C. Riotte's steam yacht.

On account of the rough water, for the Sound was covered with great white caps, several of the auto boats entered for the races declined to start. The chief race of the day, therefore, for auto boats only had three starters, the Challenger, the Vingt-et-Un II, and the Shooting Star. C.M. Hamilton steered the Vingt-et-Un, whose broken bow due to the accident on Saturday at the American Yacht Club had been quickly repaired, and only a keen observer could discern that the boat had been damaged at all.

The committee reduced the course to fifteen knots instead of twenty. The start was a very pretty one, the Vingt-et-Un leading the Shooting Star by about three feet, while the Challenger was ten seconds behind. The rough water made it impossible to run at full speed, and before the first round was completed both the Challenger and the Shooting Star withdrew. The Vingt-et-Un went over the required course, finishing the fifteen knots in 1:06:44, about four or five knots less than she showed at Larchmont a week ago when she beat the Fiat III. Considering the weather, the time was highly creditable. In the cabin motor class there were three entries, and the Suis Moi, fresh from her victory on Saturday at the American Yacht Club, again won on time from the Queen Bess by 1:18, although on elapsed time the Queen Bess led by 1:42. At the close of the race R.H. Stearns, owner of the Queen Bess protested the Suis Moi, demanding that the latter should be remeasured. In the race for open power launches, once over the course, the Scooter, owned by A.J. McManus, won, but she was protested ny the Lucia, the only other competitor, on the plea that the Scooter failed to go over the correct course. Owing to the rough water the mile speed races were omitted. The events were managed in good order by Frank Bowne Jones, Charles E. Simms, and Charles E. McManus.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, July 5, 1904, p. 10. )

[The Challenger would have one more opportunity to test before leaving for Europe, but this test would prove disastrous for her as well. — GWC ]

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