1908 Gravesend Regatta

British Motor Boat Club

This club's opening race meeting of the season was held on the Thames, at Gravesend, yesterday. The programme consisted of four events, for which there were 20 entries, but three of the boats — Mr. Cyril C. Maudslay's Maudslay, Mr. J. Skliros's Santa Maura, and Mr. C. Brennan's Demon III failed to put in an appearance. The last named was unable to get round from Southend owing to the weather. There was a strong squally wind which made the conditions rather unpleasant for those racing. Two races were run in the morning, one being under M.M.A. rules and rating, and two in the afternoon, both under handicap conditions. Brooke II was unfortunate in both events for which she was entered, having to give up in each owing to slight troubles with the petrol supply and her ignition. Defender won the first race from Fleurette II by about 3 min. and Vagabond the second, in which her only opponent was Skidbladnir. Defender was unable to start in the third race owing to having lost her rudder just after the finish of the first race. Napier IV was the winner, with Ravissante second. In the fourth race Skidbladnir was the winner. Mr. R. B. Robinson (secretary) acted as officer of the day. Results:--

Open race for motor-boats exceeding 10 knots. Course--From the New Thames Yacht Club, thence round a mark boat below Rosherville Pier, thence round a mark on the powder bank below Gravesend, and back to the starting-line. Three rounds. Time allowance on 15 miles. 1st prize, the Vice-Commodore's Cup; 2nd prize, 3 pounds; 3rd prize, 1 pound. The entries were:--

Name Owner hp Time Allowance.
Ravissante Mr. L. M. Waterhouse 30 22 min. 16 sec
Defender Mr. F. May 80 8 min. 49 sec.
Fleurette II Mr. Oswald B. Colls 50 15 min. 1 sec.
Brooke II Mr. M. Brooke 100 scratch
Santa Maura Mr. J. Skliros 25 19 min. 33 sec.
Napier IV Mr. S. F. Edge 20 36 min. 58 sec.


They were started at noon. Fleurette II was first across the line, followed closely by Brooke II, Defender, Napier IV and Ravissante. The scratch boat soon took the lead, but had to give up suffering from a choked petrol pipe. it was a good race between Defender and Fleurette II, the former saving her time by about 3min. Times:--

  1st round 2nd Finish
  H M S H M S H M S
Defender (winner) 12 19 29 12 39 0 12 58 36
Fleurette II (2nd) 12 22 21 12 44 11 1 7 3
Ravissante 12 29 40 1 0 52 1 32 54
Napier IV 12 32 11 1 3 55 1 35 21


Santa Maura did not start and Brooke II gave up.

* * *

Open Handicap for motor-boats not exceeding 10 knots. Course, same as the first race, but only once around. First Prize, the Gravesend Cup; second prize, 2 pounds; 3rd prize, 10 shillings. The entries were:--

Maudslay Mr. C. C. Maudslay 20 scratch
Vagabond Mr. M. H. Stedman 12 8 m. 15 s.
Skidbladnir Mr. G. W. Cobham 7 12 m. 40 s.
Demon III Mr. C. Brenan 18 5 m. 40 s.


They started at noon, Maudslay and Demon III being absentees. Skidbladnir stopped on the line and was over three minutes late in getting away. She was never in the race as will be seen by the following times:--

Vagabond (winner) 12 46 23 Skidbladnir 1 12 55


* * *

Open Handicap for motor-boats exceeding 10 knots. Course, same as the first race, two rounds.

They were started at 4 o'clock, the time allowances being given at the start. Brooke II could not get properly going, and gave up immediately after crossing the line. Fleurette II had carburettor trouble and did not do herself justice. Napier IV won by 3min. 5sec. from Ravissante. Times: --

Napier IV (winner) 4 59 14 Ravissante (2nd) 5 2 9 Fleurette II 5 5 19


* * *

Handicap for motor-boats not exceeding 10 knots. Course, same as in second race.

Only Vagabond and Skidbladnir started at 4 p.m. The scratch boat did not succeed in catching her opponent, the time allowance being given at the start. Finish:--

Skidbladnir (winner) 4 59 7 Vagabond 5 1 10


(Transcribed from the Times of London, May 16, 1908, p. 9.)

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