1909 Ocean City Yacht Club Carnival

Tenth Anniversary Carnival of Ocean City Yacht Club

Many Interesting Motorboat Events, of Which the Speed Trials of Dixie II Prove an Important Feature

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Ocean City Yacht Club, a program of interesting aquatic events was presented during a three days’ racing carnival, July 15, 16 and 17. Contests were held both over the inside club course in Great Egg Harbor Bay and the outside course in the ocean. As the start feature of the carnival, the new Dixie II was present. In six tests, three against and three with the tide, Dixie II averaged 35.54 miles an hour.

The members of the Ocean City Yacht Club are chiefly Philadelphians. It is comparatively a young club, but is composed of real sportsmen. The club has an excellent home, and its hospitality is famous along the Jersey coast. It created no surprise that Ocean City was thronged every day during the carnival with visitors gathered to witness the exhibitions.

Weather conditions were the best, except on the first day of the carnival, when fogs interfered considerably with the program. It had been planned to hold a 30-mile ocean race between cruising motorboats as the chief event of the opening day but the mists were so thick that this contest was postponed. Instead an impromptu race between boats of this kind over the club course of fifteen miles was hastily arranged. The contest proved a battle-royal, and was one of the most interesting of the entire three days. The Bermuda racer Ilys, was the winner. Ilys is owned by J. C. Neafie Whitaker, of the Yachtsmen Club of Philadelphia. Her victory was no easy one, as her corrected time was but 1 minutes 27 seconds better than that of Phantom II, entered by Henry D. W. Reichert, of the Ventnor Yacht Club, and Vincent, owned by Edwin F. Hall, also of the Ventnor Club, was a close third. Clisade, entered by Commodore J. Clifford Wilson, of the Cape May Yacht Club, which had been expected to give Ilys a lively tussle, was unfortunate. The fog on the bay was so thick that the cruiser went off her course. Commodore Wilson, realizing his error, made no attempt to claim credit for the figures recorded in his favor at the finish. The corrected time of Ilys was 1:37:07. Petrel, owned by Charles Dyott, of the Ocean City Yacht Club, broke her propeller early in the race and dropped out.

While the program provided for the opening day was interesting, it was insignificant as compared with that of the day following; in fact, as though it had been carefully arranged the carnival schedule apparently led up to a grand climax, in which Dixie II was the chief factor. For the Friday races, there was another host of contestants from all over the Jersey coast, and numerous clubs were represented. Fine weather prevailed, and the postponed 30-mile sea race for cruisers was a success. Practically the entire course for this contest was on the ocean, a triangular run. Ilys again demonstrated her speed, and was the winner. Vincent once more made a game showing. Ilys won on the corrected time of 3 minutes and 11 seconds over Vincent. Clara B, Lady Maud, and C.J.C. also started. The remaining program for this day was again given over to the sailing craft.

Dixie II arrived on this day, and created no end of excitement. The racer came over the railroad car, one end of which opened out. She arrived in perfect condition, and was received by George W. Proud and Albert Rappuhn, her engineer. She was unloaded, carted by a special wagon to the wharf of Captain George F. Fish, one of the organizers of the club carnival, and there placed in the water. She rested on a specially built cradle, which enabled her to be rolled from car to wagon, wagon to wharf, and wharf to water, where the cradle dropped from under her leaving her floating in her natural element.

With the dawn of Saturday, the day of the carnival, yachtsmen began arriving at Ocean City, and by the time that the races began, the bay on front of the clubhouse presented a perfect picture with its swarm of all varieties of craft. This day had been set aside for motorboat contests, and popular interests centered in these particular contests. With the exception of two sloop races, the entire program was given over to the motorboats.

The exhibition by Dixie II was naturally the great event of the day. She made six runs, three with and three against the tide. As stated above, her average speed was figured at 35.54 miles an hour. In the three trials with the tide, Dixie ran at the speeds of 36.92, 36.55 and 36.73 miles an hour, respectively. In the trials against the tide, she made 34.45, 36.73 and 34.12 miles an hour. The stop watches on the speed tests were held by George F. Fish, A. A. Howell, and M. C. Hall, representing the Ocean City Yacht Club. E. J. Schroeder, owner of the Dixie II, and S. Bartley Pearce, her captain, were pleased with the showing.

The final contests for motorboats were very interesting. The race for standing cabin offered a sensational finish in which the Jesse Royal, owned by A. G. Sparks, of the Ocean City Yacht Club, defeated Bellie Y, entered by David McCoach, of the same club. Alice, of the Cape May Yacht Club, was a close third.

The cabin cruiser race over the club course was a spirited contest, and for the first time during the carnival Ilys was beaten. She was first over the line, but lost on time allowance by 5 minutes and 14 seconds. On elapsed time Ilys had over seven minutes to spare, but the Estella, entered by W. H. Zern of the Yachtsmen Club, had an allowance of more than 21 minutes. Phantom II won third place, and Luogeo was fourth.

There were nine entries in the speed boat race, over the club course. The Al Araf, entered by Lorenzo Bye, of the Ventnor Yacht Club, won against the field, with Meteor, of the Cape May Yacht Club, a close second. Splinter, entered by Louis Hoopes, of the Ventnor Yacht Club, was third. Later Al Araf and Splinter indulged in an impromptu race, without time allowance, and Splinter won with a margin of 7 minutes and 36 seconds.

Fourteen boats entered the race for open boats, over the club course. Katharine, entered by John L. O’Neill, of the Wildwood Yacht Club, won with nearly four minutes to spare. The Harbor Master, entered by G. W. Carmany, of the Atlantic City Yacht Club, won second place. See Dee, Bridget II and Dash dropped out.

The formal presentations of trophies to the winners of the races took place at the Ocean City Yacht Club on the last night of the carnival. Commodore Cresse, who is incidentally Mayor of Ocean City, presided, and in his address told of the great pride of the members over the successful termination of their celebration.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, July 25, 1909, pp. 34, 35.)

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