1909 Hudson River Carnival

Racers Near Drowning

Motor Boat Turns Turtle on the Hudson—Two Rescued

The high-speed motorboat Elco-Craig turned turtle yesterday afternoon in the Hudson River, near Spuyten Duyvil, while competing in the opening races of the National Motor Boat Carnival, and its two occupants, Irwin Chase, who had charge of the boat, and William F. Ray, the engineer, were thrown into the water and narrowly escaped drowning.

Racing at an average speed of about twenty-six miles an hour the Elco-Craig was plowing through the water in its second round, when the famous Dixie II passed Elco-Craig on the starboard side. A log floating directly in the path of the Elco-Craig caused Mr. Chase to make a quick turn of the boat to avoid striking the log. The sudden swerving of the craft caused it to turn turtle and both Ray and Chase were hurled into the water.

With heavy oilskins on the men were in no condition to remain afloat any length of time, although both are good swimmers. The Captain of the Revenue Cutter Manhattan, which was patrolling the triangular course, saw the mishap from a mile or so down the river and hastened to the rescue, but just before the cutter arrived a passing tug, with a heavy lighter in tow, went to the rescue of the men and pulled them aboard.

James H. Hoadley’s well-known speedy Den won the race for speed boats for the Inter-State Trophy. There were seven starters, including George F. Baker, Jr.’s Vim. R. E. Vanderhoff’s Whim got second place.

In the race for large cruising boats F. C. Havens’s Avis beat J. H. Hoadley’s Alabama by nearly nine minutes over a twenty-mile course. Ilys, one of the late Bermuda racers, had no contestant in her class.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Sep. 16, 1909, p. 1)

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