1908 Royal Hamilton Yacht Club Regatta

International Race at Hamilton, Ontario

A Victory for the "Sterling Flyer" of Buffalo at Races Held by the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club

A great day, a great race and an uphill victory not often seen and not often accomplished was the net result of the International Motorboat Regatta at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club on August 29th. The brilliant weather, the gaily decorated clubhouse, its crowded verandas, the visiting yachts from many parts and the fine assemblage of palatial motor cruisers decorated with bunting made an inspiring background for the first really serious and formal international motorboat race held in Ontario's waters.

After an uneventful cruise through the Welland Canal from the Niagara to Port Robinson and across the southerly leg of the triangle formed by Toronto, Fort Dalhousie and Hamilton, the 27-foot motorboat wonder Sterling Flyer, of Buffalo, accompanied by H. T. Koerner's well-known Seminole and Commodore Criqui's flagship, Silverheels, sailed squarely into the arms of the members of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club and were accorded the proverbial hospitality and good fellowship which so signally distinguishes our Canadian friends. The preliminaries of the race were quickly and thoroughly settled upon. The race was between the Blue Streak and Miss Fidgety of Toronto, the Mavis of Hamilton, and the Sterling Flyer of the Motor Boat Club of Buffalo. The American boat was handicapped 12 minutes and it seemed an interminable time before her gun was given. Indeed the Blue Streak had accomplished almost 5 miles of the 15 miles of the course; Miss Fidgety was on the end of the second leg of the first 5 miles and Mavis well towards it when the Sterling Flyer's gun spoke out.

Like a flash she sped over the line only to be badly blocked by a large sailing sloop lying with all sail up and squarely in the course. By quick and dexterous guiding she avoided what looked to be a certain collision and away over the long course and in a hard stern chase after the Canadian racers who were even then ready to turn for the second turn of the 5 mile triangle. The entire representation of the Motor Boat Club of Buffalo cheered themselves hoarse from now on, in encouragement of their representative boat. Foot by foot that little streak of green forged through the waters of Hamilton Bay--that incomparable body of water for motorboat racing--with never a skip of her cylinders or the minutest hitch of her splendid machinery; on, on, roaring a deep throb of life from her six exhausts and telling her clever steersman, Frank Nuse, that all's well within. On and on, over the first leg, making a turn that made the multitude shudder, so sharp, so deft and so successful, for the second triangle. On and on, around the first and second turns, slowly but surely cutting down the tremendous lead the Canadian racers had and stubbornly kept. Hurrah! at the end of the third turn of the triangle the Sterling Flyer was over-hauling Miss Fidgety, rushed past her and Mavis after Blue Streak, which was racing like a thing of life with fine precision to the finishing point.

One eighth of a mile only and the race is the Blue Streak's! Sterling Flyer is a quarter of a mile away, but the increasing roar of her exhausts tells of courage and determination for the final spurt. It looks like a hopeless endeavor as the Blue Streak flies with the speed of an arrow straight for the goal. A sixteenth! and the Flyer shoots out diagonally from the wake of the Blue Streak for better water and the seemingly hopeless but desperately fought finish.

A thirty-second of a mile! and the crossed roar of the two racers' exhausts ring out in defiance, one against the other, abreast, apart, agap and with a magnificent spurt the Sterling Flyer shoots ahead to victory amidst the wildest pandemonium of cheers, guns and whistles seldom heard, which spoke a fine tribute to the sportsmanlike qualities of our hosts and the Canadian public in general. Mr. Barclay was the happiest man in the Dominion and the Motor Boat Club members shared his joy with him in the victory of his fine craft which placed it easily in the front rank of American racers. The splendid sterling silver trophy is in Buffalo and the successful event is the beginning of an International Regatta which next year will be held under the auspices of the Motor Boat Club of Buffalo.

  Start Finish Time
Sterling Flyer 5:22:15 5:56:30 34:15
Blue Streak (Waukawa) 5:10:00 5:56:42 46:42
Mavis 5:17:30 5:57:01 39:31
Miss Fidgety 5:11:00 5:58:35 47:35


(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Sep. 25, 1908, p. 35 )

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