1908 Hudson River Yacht Racing Association Regatta

Fourth Annual Regatta of the Hudson River Yacht Racing Association

The Hudson River at Kingston, N.Y., on Labor Day was the place and the time of the fourth annual regatta of the Hudson River Yacht Racing Association. The races were held under the auspices of the Rondout Yacht Club., and the officers and members of the club proved themselves to be royal entertainers. The attendance was large and every club in the association was represented. The down-river clubs, those of Yonkers, Irvington, Tarrytown, Tappan Zee, Ossining, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie assembled at Poughkeepsie on Sunday afternoon, September 6th, and made the run to Kingston in fleet formation. There were sixty motorboats and more in this fleet of little vessels, and they presented an inspiring sight as they came to anchor. The Albany Club came down from the North--a fleet of sixteen motor craft in line--and joined the Southern fleet at Kingston.

The evening of Sunday was passed in visiting old friends and in forming new acquaintances, and in all those divers jolly ways that always present themselves when a good crowd of motorboat fellows come together, be the place Kingston or anywhere else on or off the map. By 10 o'clock, or nautically speaking, four bells in the first watch, all hands had turned in. At this time weather conditions were such that all were fearful that the races would be spoiled by rain.

The morning of Labor Day broke bright and clear, and when the preparatory gun was fired at 10:30 the faint breeze that had been blowing from the North had increased to a 25-knot blow that heeled the racing yachts over and that caused the smaller motorboats to jump about like lost corks in a bottle. The sailing races were pulled off first and furnished excitement to contestants and spectators alike.

The motorboat races, the principal events of the day, followed the sailing contests, and were run off promptly according to schedule. The crowd of spectators--and it was an enthusiastic assemblage, numbered fully five thousand persons, and everyone remained until the last race was over.

Class A, for speed boats, run over a course of fourteen miles, which was covered by Elmer L in 50 minutes and 21 seconds, was an exciting event. As this boat had not been measured by the official measurer, a protest gave the race to Flip, time 52 minutes and 3 seconds. There was a large number of entries in each class, although a number did not appear at the starting line.

The last race of the day, and by far the most exciting contest of the regatta, was a race for the Joseph R. Ellicott Cup, a trophy presented by Joseph R. Ellicott, president of the Hudson River Yacht racing Association. This cup is offered for the boat making the fastest time over a course of ten nautical miles, and if won three times by any one club of the Association, the trophy then becomes the perpetual property of that club. The entries were Elmer L, owned by Lansing De Long, of the Albany Yacht Club; Black Cat, owned by A. Traver, of the Poughkeepsie Club; Flip, owned by T. V. Roe Jr., of the Tarrytown Yacht Club, and Lackawanna III, owned by H. T. Coldwell, of the Newburgh Canoe and Boating Association.

The start of this race was by far the most spectacular feature of the day's sport. At the crack of the gun the four fast boats leaped for the line and crossed so closely bunched that the judges were unable to determine the positions as they darted over the line. Elmer L took the lead from the first buoy and after that point was never headed. The other contestants made a splendid fight for the trophy.

In all, this, the fourth annual regatta of the Hudson River Yacht Racing Association, was a most successful meet, and the association will, no doubt, continue to occupy its position as a leader in yachting affairs on the classic Hudson. The clubs of the association are all active organizations.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Sep. 25, 1908, p. 7. )

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