1910 Hower Trophy

La Truda Wins the Hower Trophy

BUFFALO, N.Y.—Six speedy motorboats, the best of the Great Lakes fleet, shot over the starting line in the 50 mile race for the Hower Trophy held here on Saturday, August 20th. The race was under the auspices of the Buffalo Yacht Club, and the racing craft were in fine trim for the event. A large crowd numbering into the thousands turned out from the local clubs to witness the contest, and before the start every point of vantage for two miles along Michigan Street was occupied by friends of the racers and enthusiasts.

At 2:30 o’clock the speeders were dodging in and out among the spectator craft, cutting circles and adjusting motors. Three o’clock came and the anxiety of the assembled crowds was satisfied. The signal was given and the racers darted off. Van Blerck, Niagara and Fox were running almost a dead heat. Then came La Truda; she held back a second, and rushed forward with a burst of speed for which she is popular. In little time La Truda was among the leaders. Dragon was noticed bringing up the rear guard. H. S. did not start off with the other boats and seemed to flounder about the line.

As the boats rounded on the first lap Van Blerck led La Truda by a hundred yards with the latter steadily closing up on the leader. La Truda "fans" let out with a cheer that resounded far and across the Government breakwall, as their favorite passed the judges’ stand leading Van Blerck by a narrow margin.

La Truda negotiated the first lap of 6 ¼ miles in 12:39. Soon after came Niagara, followed by Dragon. A lease of liofe came to H.S. as the Dragon passed the line in her first lap, and she started full speed into the race, a lap behind the other boats. While this all happened Van Blerck lay motionless, her crew working like beavers to start her. La Truda covered the second lap in 13 minutes. Next came Niagara. The H.S. was pushing hard and gaining with each instant on the Niagara and Dragon. The three racers were fighting hard for position in the third and fourth laps.

About the time Fox and H.S. crossed the line on the fourth lap Van Blerck started in motion, and passed on her first lap one hour nine minutes ten seconds behind the other contestants. She raced with unusual speed after this prolonged rest. The crowd cheered as the plucky crew aboard the Van Blerck made an apparently futile effort to overcome the lead of the other racers.

All this time La Truda raced steadily and with little fear of being overtaken. On her last lap she let out full speed and the spirit was taken up by the racers aboard the contending boats.

The finish for second place was exciting. Niagara held this position over 35 miles of the course, and when H.S. passed her it was believed the latter would have no trouble in holding this place. In the final laps, when the two racers were making for the finish line H.S. was leading by a minute. A short distance from the line the boat slowed down, and judging from her exhausts she was not now running right and it looked for a second as if H.S. would go down to defeat.

Niagara was gaining but the crew aboard H.S. were busy. She jumped forward now and then a length or two and hobbled over the line 44 seconds ahead of Niagara. It was learned later that H.S. had run out of gasoline. Her motor had consumed 53 gallons in the 50 miles covered, and only a few drops remained in the tank when she finished. The summary:

Boat Owner Time
La Truda Harry T. Vars 1:45:17
H. S. E. O. Spillman 1:59:39
Niagara II C. V. Trombley 2:23:00
Fox August DeKleist 2:30:35
Dragon Mr. Willett 2:33:00
Van Blerck J. S. Haggerty Not timed


La Truda is equipped with a 100-h.p. model B, eight-cylinder Sterling motor, and has a long string of victories on the Great Lakes to her credit.

The first prize was the Hower Trophy valued at $500. This was awarded to La Truda. The H.S., with a new hull, received a second prize valued at $100. Niagara II was awarded an handsome bronze and silver plaque, the third prize.

The course was a triangle, laid out back of the Breakwall. It was a rectangle three miles long on each side and one-eighth mile on each end, making a lap 6 ¼ miles long, or eight laps 50 miles. The weather was most favorable for speed racing.

M. Potter was starter and timer, assisted by E. H. Dirnberger and E. R. Linklater. The judges were H. V. Bisgood, W. J. Thompson and Frank H. Bliss

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, September 10, 1910, p. 27)

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