1905 Hudson River Water Carnival

The Hudson River Power Boat Races

Thursday morning, September 14th, the first day of the races opened with a cold Northerly wind, which brought out top coats. Ten o'clock found a few of the faithful shivering on the pier, foot of W, 97th Street, a few spectators on steamer Sirius, of the Iron Steamboat Co., anxiously awaiting the start of the first of the six events scheduled for the day. About this time a delay of 15 minutes was announced, owing to some trouble with the starting gun, shortly after which it was found a mark boat had become displaced, when another and final delay of 15 minutes necessity had to be made.

Promptly at 10:30 the preparatory gun was given and 5 minutes later La Mascotte started for the line with the boom of her gun. Her handicap of 38 minutes made her an easy win- ner over Cactus II by 28 minutes and 31 seconds. According to the official timekeeper, Argonaut did not finish; although there were those who claim that she did. At any rate her time was not taken. Argonaut had not been measured, but was allowed to start "scratch" at 11:13, and it is barely possible that the committee decided not to take her time. The race was 30 knots.

C. E. Proctor, realizing that he had no show to beat La Mascotte's handicap, entered into an agreement with F. B. Havens whereby Cactus II would not compete in saturday's race, but following La Mascotte 7 minutes and 30 seconds later made a race with her for a trophy mutually agreed upon.

The next race was between Hazel, Arcadia and Glissando. of these three it is said that Arcadia had alone been weighed. She was an easy winner by 38 minutes and 25 seconds over Glissando, with Hazel less than 2 minutes later. Hazel fouled her propeller on the last lap and lost the race, it is said. The race was 19 1.2 knots.

In the first race for open launches there were four starters, Little Star and Linus J, two other entries failing to start in any of these races and Chum which did not start Thursday, but was in both races Saturday. White Fox finished at about 2:17:27, but she crossed the line while the committee were at lunch, and her time was not taken. It was not until the next day that the committee reconsidered and correcting their record awarded her first place after Harry Hart of the Stamford Motor Co., representing her owner, Walter Ferguson Jr., had registered forcibly his protest. White Fox won over Vitesse by some 39 minutes an 9 seconds, with August Meitz 1 minute and 55 seconds later. This course was 19½ knots.

Considerable interest was manifested in the next race, 30 knots, between XPDNC, Skeeter and Veritas. Veritas, it is said, was another boat that had not been weighed and had she won it is possible that she would have been protested.

Out of nine open launches entered there were but four starters. Durno with a handicap in her favor of over an hour, was no match for Simplex III, winning over Simplex III by 14 minutes and 15 seconds. The only other boat to finish, Vici, was disqualified for crossing ahead of her gun.

The last event was looked forward to with much interest as it was a one-gun start with no handicaps and entries included such wonderfully reported craft as Den, Winton and Six Shooter, neither of which had ever appeared before in a race. It was freely talked that there was no probability of Winton finishing if Speare saw Six Shooter was likely to win, and others considered unlikely that Smith would continue if he saw Winton likely to take the lead over Six Shooter.

In Den they saw a proposition which they could hardly fathom. The wonderful reports of her doings off Bridgeport were generally disbelieved, while Simmons stoically held to his reports of 39 miles an hour made a few days previously on the Hudson. She was towed up and down in front of the pier several times, apparently on dress parade, then ran up and down in a smother of foam, her stern well under and head up, looking somewhat like a prancing rocking horse, making a big fuss.

On the gun they were off, Shooting Star II rapidly overtaking Den, which soon stopped and drifted back of the start. Some of the uncharitable hinted that she would stop rather than be beaten by no faster boat than Shooting Star II. Dixie swung to the starboard, apparently to escape the strong ebb tide, and her manoeuvre was mistaken by many for fouled steering gear. Winton, Six Shooter and Panhard II broke down, Dixie finishing 6 minutes and 8 seconds ahead of Shooting Star II, the only other boat to finish. This course was was also 30 miles, and was open to boats 12 meters and under, any one of them being eligible to compete for the Harmsworth Cup, recently raced for in the English Channel

The only event scheduled for Friday was the long distance race to Poughkeepsie and return, a distance of 117 knots instead of scheduled. This would make 134 miles instead of 143.

There were 27 entries in this race, and as it was a handicap affair it took nearly three hours to get the boats away. The first starter was Simplex III at 9:36:32, followed by Six Shooter at 10:09:26, Wizard at 10:11:18, Panhard II a false start outside the stake boat at 10:48:05, and Veritas, 12:02:40. The false start of Panhard II disqualified her and a gun was fired to call her back, but to no avail. It is possible that she could have been recalled had anyone thought to blow Sirius' syren, as she was lying alongside the pier.

Veritas, off 125th Street, smashed a clutch band and was out.

At 1 p.m. a few members of the press and others took a ride on Sirius nearly to Haverstraw and return, arriving back at the pier shortly before 5 p.m.. It was learned that Simplex III had increased her lead over Six Shooter and Wizard, turning the Poughkeepsie mark as follows: Simplex III, 1:07:00; Wizard, 1:51:00; and Six Shooter, 2:04:00. Panhard II was reported to have turned at 3:41:00. Simplex III finished at 5:04:25. At 7:11, or one hour after sundown, the time limit having expired Six Shooter was recorded as not having finished.

Saturday, the final day of the series, there were twelve events scheduled and run off.

The first was La Mascotte with no competitor, a "sail over." but pitted against Cactus II with a handicap in her favor of 7 minutes and 30 seconds. La Mascotte won by 1 minute and 29 seconds over Cactus II, winning a cup from C. E. Proctor, besides scoring one point in her race in the series.

In the second race between Hazel, Glissando and Arcadia, Arcadia alone finished.

In the second race for high-speed boats, 33 ft. and under, there was an additional starter, Colonia, but she failed to finish. Durno was again a winner and now had two races to her credit. Simplex finished 31 minutes and 24 seconds later, followed by Rosebud and Vici.

In the second race between Veritas, XPDNC and Skeeter, XPDNC was the winner by 4 minutes and 16 seconds, while Veritas did not finish.

The second race for open launches was won by White Fox, beating Traveller by 6 minutes and 36 seconds, Vitesse third and August Meitz fourth. Chum, a new starter in this class, did not finish.

In the second race for 12 meters and under but two boats finished. Dixie again winning, beating Shooting Star II by 33 minutes and 34 seconds. Panhard II and Den made good starts, but soon gave up.

In the afternoon interest had dwindled, for the winners in all the races were known, as the point system was used, giving the winning boat a point for finishing and another for each boat beaten.

Dixie beat Panhard II by 15 minutes and 22 seconds. Shooting Star II breaking down and Den not making an attempt even to start.

Cactus II and La Mascotte filled in the time allotted for the cruising boats, but La Mascotte stopped and Cactus II, after waiting two or three times for her, it is said, withdrew.

Arcadia again won in her class. Hazel did not start and Glissando did not finish.

In the final race for launches, White Fox defeated Traveller by 14 minutes and 9 seconds, but Chum was first, beating White Fox by 27 minutes and 6 seconds. August Meitz failed to finish.

Vici lost the final for boats 33 ft. and under to Durno by 37 minutes and 55 seconds. Simplex III and Rosebud did not finish. This made three straight for Durno.

XPDNC for the third time defeated Skeeter, this time by 6 minutes and 12 seconds, with Veritas finishing 54 minutes and 35 seconds later.

(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Sep. 23, 1905, pp. 482-489. )

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