1909 Lake Hopatcong Regatta

Belknap Race on Lake Hopatcong

by F. Edwards Whitehead

Lake Hopatcong, N.J.—Probably the best race that ever took place at Lake Hopatcong was held under the auspices of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club on Saturday afternoon, August 14, 1909, over the 30-mile course, for a beautiful cup given by Edwin D. Belknap. The boats entered were San Toy III, owned by W. H. Barron; Gibson Girl, owned by C. P. King; Roselynn, owned by L. A. Morey; Bubbles, owned by A. Oelschlager, and Peter Pan II, owned by James Simpson. The race was run over a 6-mile course, starting and finishing at Commodore Edward’s boathouse, at which place was the judge’s stand.

Punctually at 3 p.m. the starting gun was fired and the San Toy III, which was at the starting line, crossed a fraction of a second later. Gibson Girl’s gun was fired just 9 minutes 55 seconds later, and Bubbles and Roselynn were handicapped 5 minutes over Gibson Girl. Peter Pan II started 40 minutes 40 seconds after the first gun.

Every boat was off now, and it was a fight to the finish. San Toy III had covered her first two laps with just a variation of just 2 seconds. All this time Gibson Girl was doing her laps in 19 minutes 57 seconds, and 19 minutes 43 seconds, third lap 19 minutes 47 seconds. She had been rated at 20 minutes 16 seconds. On the home stretch of the fourth lap her engine stopped, and before the trouble could be located she was out of the race.

Roselynn made her first lap in 18 minutes 26 seconds, fast running away from Bubbles and gaining on the leaders. When she passed the judges’ stand after doing her second lap in 19 minutes 54 seconds it could be seen she was not running as smoothly as before, and when she was a few hundred yards on her fifth lap, she put to shore on one cylinder.

The race was now between San Toy III, Peter Pan II and Bubbles. San Toy III had run her third and fourth laps in exactly the same time, 21 minutes 57 seconds. Peter Pan II was making her laps in 14 minutes 28 seconds; second 14 minutes 35 seconds; third 14 minutes 48 seconds; and fourth 14 minutes 49 seconds. She could nor reach that silent and seemingly unconcerned boat ahead of, for the San Toy III crossed the line just 1 hour 50 minutes 11 seconds after she had started, in first place, winner of her second cup this year.

The race was viewed by many spectators who lined the shores and covered the inside of the course in their motorboats.

The judges were: Leonidus Dennis, chairman; E. F. Church, Jr. referee; I. C. Yawger, starter; C. A. Cobb and R. G. Newbegin, timekeeper.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Sep. 10, 1909, p. 62.}

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