1909 Monaco Regatta

Fast Motorboats in Monaco Race

American Entries Will Be Pitted Against Best Speed Creations in Europe


Invasion of Foreign Field by Dixie II and Standard a Notable International Event

The entry last week of two high-speed motor boats for the international races at Monaco in April has served to call attention most prominently to the great advance made in power boat construction in this country. At the same time many prominent motor boat owners have expressed the assurance that this invasion of the foreign motor boat field will exert a direct stimulus upon the sport here during the coming season. With Dixie II, whose remarkable speed has made her the wonder in motor boat circles of the world, and with the new 500-horse power Standard, designed by the same naval architect who is responsible for Dixie II, Clinton H. Crane, America's prestige in international motor boating is likely to be decidedly augmented.

From the scant information received here regarding the number and class of entries in the Monaco races, it is clear that the finest speed productions of Italy, France and Germany, with a fair representation from England, will be among the competitors. As the two American boats are entered in the most important events, the international Grand Prix being the big attraction, a victory by either will be an acknowledged triumph for motor boat building, both in respect to hulls and engines, in this country.

The present invasion of Europe is not new, but it is the first time that two boats have been entered for any foreign races. Three years ago the Challenger went to England for the British International Motorboat Cup, but did not get it. Then, two years ago, E. J. Schroeder, seeing possibilities of success in his Dixie, went after the cup and brought it back, although the race itself was hardly worthy of the name of an international event. Last year, for the first time, England sent over two of her best boats, Wolseley-Siddeley and Daimler II, and to the surprise of all, Dixie II, which only made her appearance a week before the races in Huntington Bay, beat the renowned Wolseley-Siddeley by 11 seconds in a grand race, Daimler II, unfortunately, breaking down.

As the English challenger Wolseley-Siddeley was one of the famous boats in the Monaco races a year ago, Dixie II's victory was notable international event, and she enters the Monaco series with a reputation thoroughly acknowledged abroad.

Nothing like the speed that has been consistently shown by Dixie II has ever been made at Monaco. Last year the best time was practically an even thing between the French boat Panhard et Levassor and the Wolseley-Siddeley, each doing a trifle better than 30 statute miles. The English boat, owing to a broken clutch was beaten by the French boat for the Championship of the Mediterranean, a 200-kilometer race, the victor averaging about 29 miles.

The powerful 500-horse power Standard, which is ten feet longer than Dixie II, is expected to be fully as fast. Curiosity as to her abilities will be set to rest within the next month as both boats will be put through a grueling series of trials, and the designer of Dixie II, believes the new hull which has been built for her in Boston will add somewhat to her speed.

More than thirty high-speed boats, it is reported, will be entered from France at Monaco, and the Germans will be represented as never before. The hydroplanes, one of the racing sensations last year will be largely in evidence again, and some phenomenal speeds from these smaller and remarkable boats are predicted. J. T. Moore-Brabazon of England has been building a hydroplane to be fitted with an eight-cylinder Antoinette engine, and in boating parlance, it is expected to be a "hummer." Two fast hydroplanes have been finished in France, to be fitted with Brasier engines, one, if not boat, to have two 100-horse power motors. Among the big racers that Dixie II and Standard will meet are Lorraine V, equipped with a large Lorraine-Dietrich engine; a Delahaye racer, and a new Mors racing craft.

This year's Monaco motorboat races will be the sixth annual meet of that character, and it promises to eclipse all of its predecessors in general interest. The Grand Prix international event, in which Dixie II and Standard will race against teams of three from France, Germany, England and Italy, and probably other countries, is a 100-kilometer race, 62.1 miles. The prizes are 10,000 francs to the winner, 2,500 francs to the second boat, 1,500 francs to the third, and 1,000 francs to the fourth. In the starting nautical mile and flying kilometer, which are run together, the prizes are 3,000 to the winner and the Prince of Monaco Cup, the second boat getting 1,000 francs. The Monaco racing rules are the most elaborate in respect to detail that have ever been compiled for motorboat contests, and in the award of prizes it is stipulated that ten per cent of the winning money goes to the builder of the motor and ten per cent to the builder of the hull.

The races will last from April 4 to 11, the Grand Prix event coming on April 9, the mile and kilometer trials coming on the closing day, and the fifty-kilometer race, in which the American boats are entered for the Monte Carlo prize, on April 5.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Jan. 31, 1909, Sect. IV, p. 2. )

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