in 1910 Cincinnati Regatta [Western Championship] - The Cincinnati Regatta

1910 Cincinnati Regatta [Western Championship]

The Cincinnati Regatta

by F. H. Dunker

With the weather and conditions all that could be desired, fifty thousand Cincinnati people deserted their offices and homes Saturday, August 27th, to witness the opening event of the Ohio Valley Exposition, held on the Ohio River. The exposition management had set aside $1,600 to be used by the Ohio River Launch Club for prizes in a series of motorboat races. This liberal amount, together with the many beautiful cups and pennants offered by the club and its members, it was hoped it would bring out the cream of the racing boats.

Three races were provided as follows: Class A: 8 ½ miles—for open boats, making 10 to 18 miles an hour, with three cups for first, second and third prizes. Class B: 16 2/3 miles—for speed boats, making 18 to 25 miles an hour, first prize, $200; second prize, $100; third prize, $50. There were also three cups in this race. Class C: Free-for-all—25 miles—for speed boats making 25 miles an hour or better. First prize, $1,000; Carew cup valued at $250, and a beautiful silk pennant, emblematic of the Western championship; second prize, $200, and a solid silver cup; third prize, $100, and a solid silver cup.

The first race was won by Meddler, which made the 8 ½ miles in 33:43. The second race brought out a field of seven boats, and it looked to be anybody’s race under American Power Boat rules. The Cincinnati enthusiasts pinned their faith on Idlewild Jr., owned by P.H. Hesser, while the Louisville rooters were out in full force to pull for Little Captain, owned by J. and C. Howard of Jeffersonville, Ind. Idler, owned by Harry Parrish, was expected to make a showing.

Idlewild Jr., soon demonstrated that she was easily the fastest boat in the race. She conceded a handicap of 7 ½ minutes to the limit boat, but in spite of this soon overhauled the entire field and finished 7 minutes 40 seconds in the lead, running 16 2/3 miles at the rate of 23.9 miles an hour under throttle.

A very unpopular decision was rendered by the judges in this race. After the race had been started the club representative set out a skiff opposite the clubhouse, carrying the official flag. This was intended as the turning point in the Class C race to follow, but it confused the steersman on the Idlewild Jr., and two other boats, and caused them turn about 100 yards short of the mark for the Class B race. After the race protests were filed, and Idlewild Jr., was disqualified for turning at the wrong mark in spite of the fact that she could have covered the additional distance a dozen times, and still win the race by a wide margin. Hobo was also disqualified for failing to make 18 miles an hour, which was the minimum in this race. First place was given to Little Captain and second place to Idler.

At the last momebt it was learned that Mr. Whitlock had withdrawn Hoosier Boy II because of an accident. Several other boats for which high speed was claimed were also withdrawn, leaving Idlewild III, the Detroit River champion, owned by P.H. Hesser, of Cincinnati; Red Top II, the Mississippi River champion, which defeated Hoosier Boy II July 4th, owned by W.E. Hughey, of Bellevue, Ia., and Emerson, for which a speed of 34 miles an hour had been claimed, owned by A.H. Traver, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Idlewild III and Emerson were sent away at a good start, with Red Top II about one hundred yards in the rear. From the start the race became a procession with Idlewild III taking it easy at a 30 ½-mile clip. She was slowed up at all the five turns, and not extended to her full speed at any time during the race, except at the finish. She completed the course of 25 miles in 49 minutes 28 seconds. Emerson finished in 52 minutes, and Red Top II in 54 minutes 32 seconds.

The result of this race established Idlewild III as Western champion. She is equipped with an 8-cylinder Scripps motor, having a 6 ½-inch bore and 6-inch stroke. Idlewild Jr., which has never lost a race up to the time of her disqualification at Cincinnati, is equipped with a 6-cylinder 4x4-inch Pierce-Budd motor.

Those who had charge of the regatta were: Exposition representatives, George Griffiths, James Orr and Walter Wichgar; regatta committee, Edward A. Haffner, chairman, and Albert Clausen, secretary; racing committee, Willard A. Fox, chairman, Albert Bettinger, A.D. Brown, Theodore Foucar, A. Zimmerman, Morten Carlisle, Dr. E.J. Berghausen and Alvin Kreis; course committee, Edward S. Beaman, chairman, Captain Menges, Colonel Paul Milikin, William Lyons and Louis J. Dauner.


Class A – 8 ½ Miles 10 to 18-Mile Boats A.P.B.A. Rules
Name Owner Time
Meddler Hazel and Harthin 33:43
It A.B. Heyl 30:37
Editor H.R. Williams 38:18
Foxy II, Doctor B., Green Frog, Ty Cobb, Kitty and Hazel M also raced


Class B – 16 2/3 Miles 18 to 25-Mile Boats A.P.B.A. Rules
Little Captain  J. & C. Howard 49:28
Nixie Dr. O.J. Fetter 53:15
Idler Harry Parish  54:51
Idlewild Jr. and Hobo disqualified. White Oak and Emma T.  also ran. Idlewild Jr’s time was 41:18


Class C – 25-Mile Free-For-All Western Championship
Idlewild III Paul H. Hesser 49:43
Emerson A.H. Traver 52:00
Red Top II W.E. Hughey  54:32
Hoosier Boy II, Comet, Nemo and Nigger did not start.


[Transcribed from MotorBoat, September 25, 1910, pp. 38, 40.]

(Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. — LF)