1909 Columbia Yacht Club Regatta

Motor Boats Race On Hudson River

George F. Baker Jr's. Vim Wins Long-Distance Run to Ardsley and Back


Columbia Yacht Club Opens Season With Fine Entry List in Power Boat Contests--Society Views Sport

Never in its history has the Columbia Yacht Club had a more entertaining racing day and a more enjoyable social opening than was the occasion yesterday when the club went formally into commission for the season. The flag raising ceremonies went off promptly at 2 o'clock, preceded by the booming of a gun on the broad esplanade overlooking the Hudson River at the foot of West Eighty-sixth Street. Commodore C. S. Starbuck's flagship Carmen II was in full dress just off the anchorage, and among other big boats that added to the beauty of the scene was R. A. C. Smith's Privateer and Gen. Brayton Ives's Vitesse, while a few yards above was the trim looking German warship Bremen. Half a hundred motor boats scurried back and forth in the river, sending the spray over their bows in great sheets indicative of high speed. Twenty-four of these started in the four races prepared by the Race Committee, and with few exceptions they all finished in good time and without any serious accident.

Nearly a thousand members and their friends watched the sport. There were many luncheon and dinner parties at their tables on the lawn in front of the clubhouse, and the women crowded the upper galleries to view the speed craft as they came down the river to the finishing mark. Despite a lively breeze early in the day the water was not rough for racing and several of the smaller power boats went over the prescribed course at a creditable rate.

The big race of the day was the thirty-mile run up the river to Ardsley and back. This was restricted to boats of a supposed speed of twenty-two miles an hour. There were three starters, and George F. Baker, Jr., who steered his well-known Vim, won handily, although he did not try to make anywhere near the speed of which the boat is capable. He was satisfied to make the run at 1:52:29, barely seventeen miles an hour, but he beat his nearest competitor, Sciotto by over thirty minutes, while the third starter, William J. Brainard's Gunfire, did not finish.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, May 30, 1909, sect. IV p. 2. )

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