1905 Beebe Cup Series Races

Power Boat Races At Hartford, Conn.

Bespattered with oil and drenched by the flying spray Daniel S. Morrell drove his sturdy power boat Rocket to victory in the power boat races this afternoon, defeating some very likely craft in consequence. The race was one of a series to be run for the Beebe Cup, donated by W. H. Beebe, of New York, and was over the river course from the Hartford Y.C. to a point just below the Middletown Y.C., and return, a distance of 31.26 knots.

A smooth sea prevailed and a light wind was blowing from the southeast, but on the run home the contestants had the tide to contend with, notwithstanding some good sport ensued. Six boats were originally intended to make up the event, but two of them did not contest. The Dayton-Budlong craft Columbia, regarded as a flyer, did not contest, having fouled her propeller a few days before and had not been put in trim in time for the event. Some great things are anticipated in this craft. Boojum, a tiny contestant (that was to be) hailing from Middletown, did not show up in time for the starter's gun and put in her appearance some time after all the other boats had crossed the line, This narrow craft was to have gone first in the event, but failing to appear, Leclair, also hailing from down the river, did the trick.

Owing to a misinterpretation of the starter's signals this craft took the water 2 minutes before her time. Two minutes was thus to be deducted from her time allowance of 15 minutes and 32 seconds. She was scheduled to have crossed the line at 3 P.M., but did so at 2:58, thus having a two-minute start on the next boat, Rocket, which crossed the line after manouvering to the start, enabling her to start exactly on time at 3:03:59.

The craft, Fantana, another down the river production, was brought to the line almost at the very last moment, 3:15:05, a few little alterations being necessary, which nearly cost her some valuable time as the next craft, 6-cylinder Hornet, was scheduled to leave 27 seconds later, which she did, although the start was hardly what it might have been.

The first boat to leave, Leclair, passed out of sight about 2 miles below the club quarters in 5 minutes and 52 seconds, and Rocket did the same trick one second slower. All the starters reached the stake boat at Middletown and had proceeded on the run to the finish, but after having just about made the turn, Leclair fouled, one of her cylinders going bad, which put her out of the contest, leaving Rocket in the lead. Fantana also fouled and had to give p the contest, and being in her own waters, had but a short distance to go to reach her quarters. Hornet was thus left to fight it out with sturdy Rocket, but "the Fates" in a measure decided otherwise, and for a time she was disabled, but eventually made the repairs and finished the course, thus winning one point in the series. For a time it looked as if the race would be Rocket first and no second, and in a measure such was the case, for Hornet was indeed a bad second.

It was this long, slim craft that Rocket most feared, and had she not fouled possibly the result would have been different, at least a little closer. The spectators at the Hartford quarters were anxiously awaiting the telephone message from Middletown announcing the arrival of the speeders, and when that message arrived it was to announce that the boats turned the stake boat in the order of the start, and that Leclair and Fantana were out of the race, and then there was but to await the arrival of the awaiting contestants. Soon some one espied in the distance a mere speck, which glasses proved to be the Rocket coming full tilt for home, and as she drew near to the finish she presented a very pretty sight as the water parted at her bow. As she finished the committee gun announced the event and after circling around, the sturdy gray craft dew up to the club float, the occupants being literally soaked from head to foot and spattered with oil. In response to a question, Morrell replied that the run had been quite satisfactory.

Of the contestants, Rocket and Hornet represented the Hartford Y.C., and the remaining ones the Middletown Y.C.

Another race is to be run in the near future.

The first gun was fired at 2:50; the second, at 2:55, and the final, at 2:58. Rocket's time, 2 hours, 15 minutes and 23 second. Hornet's time, 2 hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds. Time limit two and a half hours.

Rocket, by to-day's victory, has earned four points, one for finishing the course and three for defeating three competitors; all of which will figure for the series standing.

Rocket had been tied up to her float some little time when a telephone message announced that Hornet was coming like a streak. Soon that craft was seen looming up in the distance and on the home stretch showed some speed as she tore her way up through the water. She was accorded the gun as she crossed the line, those present feeling she deserved it for her plucky finish.

The various craft may be described as follows:

Leclair, owned by E. A. Ely, 28½ ft. long, about 5 ft. breadth, 4-cylinder Hubbard engine, 23.14 h.p., full rating 57.79, steered by H. W. Hubbard.

Hornet, owned by A. B. Tooker, 6-cylinder Frisbie engine, 25,8 h.p., length 31.83, full rating 65.35, steered by Frisbie.

Fantana, owned R. H. Downs, 4-cylinder Hubbard engine, 23.32 h.p., length 31 ft. 10 in, 3 ft. 8 in. beam, full rating 63.21 (Now holds the record for Hartford to Fenwick.), handled by Arnold and Markham.

Rocket, owned by D. S. Morrell, 4-cylinder Standard engine, 18.8 h.p., length 27.46 ft., 4 ft. 6 in. beam, full rating 58.05, Morrell was at the wheel.

(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Aug. 26, 1905, pp. 403-404.)