1907 Portland Rose Festival Regatta

Seattle vs. Portland

Portland, Ore., June 23 — The fastest race ever pulled off in these waters was witnessed yesterday afternoon from the Morrison and Madison bridges. It was a case of Seattle against Portland, with Portland pulling out a strong winner, as usual. Rhoderick Macleay, of the Puget Sound City, had pitted the Mercury against Fred Lind's Flirt, and the latter won by a liberal margin.

The Mercury was brought here from Seattle several weeks ago with the reputation of being the swiftest thing that ever cleft water. Being only 22 feet long, narrow as an arrow and equipped with a 4-cylinder engine of 19-h., she has produced some remarkable records, but she fell down hard in trying to pass the Portland-built launch Flirt, which also has something of a record for speed.

The race came off at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and many witnessed the sensational finish, the Flirt reaching the Morrison bridge, the end of the course, as the Mercury pulled under the Madison structure. The victory secured a purse of $300 for the owner of the Flirt, each side having put up $150.

John Wolff, who sold the Flirt to Lind about a year ago, was engineer, while Lind was at the helm. A racing expert named Rasch had charge of the Mercury's engine. The distance was covered in 17 minutes.

The Flirt is the longer boat by eight feet, the Mercury's length being 22 feet. She is equipped with a 15-h., three-cylinder engine and built along lines insuring the least possible resistance. She is, however, by no means the fastest launch on the river, because John Wolff's new launch Vixen has reeled off about 23 knots an hour in running against time. The Vixen was launched only a few weeks ago, and has not been given a thorough test, although other boats, ordinarily speedy, appear to stand still when she passes them.

(Transcribed from The Motor Boat, July 10, 1907, p. 35 )

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