1910 Palm Beach Regatta

Power Boat Races at Palm Beach

PALM BEACH, Fla., March 15.—With three well-contested events and ideal weather conditions the sixth annual motor boat regatta of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association opened to-day. Jack Rabbit won the Black and White Cup of the American Power Boat Association in the open handicap in which there were ten entries.

In the speed record trials, Courier II won the Palm Beach $500 Cup with an average of 30.36 statute miles per hour. Diana won the speed contest for Florida boats.

Transcribed from the New York Times, March 16, 1910, p. 11.

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


"Fingey" Conners’s Boat Disqualified

POINCIANA, Palm Beach, Fla., March 17.—W. J. Conners, the New York State politician, was compelled to withdraw his boat, the Buffalo Courier II, from the races on Lake Worth this afternoon owing to a break in the piston rod. Earlier in the day it was defeated in the Class E, four-and-a-half-mile race, in which the Jack Rabbit, owned and driven by H. L. Willoughby, Jr., finished first but was penalized 8 seconds, which gave first honors to the Dewey, entered by W. F. Coachman. This was not all the misfortune that followed the Buffalo boat, for the Regatta Committee announced that it had been disqualified in the speed trial contest held here Tuesday, giving out the following statement:

"The Buffalo Courier, which obtained an average speed of 27.17 nautical 
or 31.286 statute miles per hour over two consecutive miles in opposite directions, under the conditions governing the speed trophy, is disqualified."

The condition referred to reads: "The trophy for the speed record average of six trials over the mile course will not be awarded unless the record-making boats enter and compete in 70 per cent of the general races of the regatta for which they may be eligible. (All boats must enter and compete for the Class A race and speed economy test, be excused from the remainder for cause, and obtain higher speed than in the general racing.)"

Mr. Conners did not let the ruling of the Regatta Committee for the disqualification and its system of penalization go by without being heard from. He met Theodore D. Wells, Chairman of the committee, on his return from the races on the dock in front of the Royal Poinciana, and in loud terms told him of his opinion of the committee action. The races to-day were interesting. The Bruiser belonging to A. B. O’Hara, carried off final honors, winning in the Class B four and one half nautical miles and in Class D-E for nine miles. The former event furnished an exciting finish, the Bruiser winning by one-half second. The other boats to carry off first honors were the Eaugallie, in Class D-E, nine nautical miles, and the Gertrude for four and one-half nautical miles.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, March 18, 1910, p. 9.)

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


Dewey Beats Jack Rabbit

Endurance Race Feature of Palm Beach Power Boat Regatta

PALM BEACH, Fla., March 18.—The Dewey, owned by Charles F. Coachman and driven by Charles A. Clark, was first over the finishing line in the endurance contest for all boats exceeding twenty miles an hour speed on Lake Worth to-day. The distance was 103.5 miles.

The events to-day marked the closing of the four-day regatta held under the auspices of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association and furnished excitement. The Dewey led the Jack Rabbit, driven by younger Willoughby, by one mile. The latter is the son of Lieut. H. L. Willoughby of the New York Yacht Club. The third craft to go over the line was the Eaulallie, owned and driven by George Houston, which came in 1¾ miles behind the Jack Rabbit. The Eaulallie had made three rounds of the course of four and a half miles before the Jack Rabbit received the starting gun’s signal, and four laps before it was the Dewey’s time to get under way.

In the twentieth mile the Dewey took command. The Diana, entered by George Gingras, the only other starter, quit early in the contest with pump trouble. A cup valued at $500, besides a leg on the palm Beach Grand Prize, valued at $2,500, which goes to the winning craft. The prize, however, must be won twice by the same owner before becoming his property.

A consolation race of four and a half miles was the other event to-day. The Keego, entered by Frank M. Andrews, was first over the finishing line, beating the Possum, driven by Lieut. Willoughby, by one-sixteenth of a mile. Richard Croker saw the races to-day from the shore. David H. Slayback of Verona, N.J., President of the Eastern Amateur Skating Association, who is here with his wife, is to build a large motor boat to race in the regatta here next year.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, March 19, 1910, p. 11.)

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


Palm Beach Races

The sixth annual Regatta of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association held from March 15th to 19th in Lake Worth, Florida, marked the climax of this season’s motor boating activity at this popular winter resort, and as has been the case in the past created considerable interest among the motor boat enthusiasts. The races this year, however, while interesting as speed contests were less intersectional in interest than heretofore as the boats entered were nearly all Southern boats. The principal Northern entry was Buffalo Courier II, entered by W. J. Conners. The experience of this boat throughout the week was most unfortunate, although undoubtedly the fastest boat entered, she was with one exception the only entrant which did not win a prize. Earlier in the week this unlucky boat got beyond control, spilled her crew into the water on a sharp turn and tearing madly along, picked her way unguided through a mass of piles and other obstructions and finally beached herself, sustaining some light injuries. On the third day of racing she met with another accident, to say nothing of her being penalized the day before for having exceeded her handicap in the Class C event and furthermore, she was later disqualified, after having won the speed trial, for not having entered 70% of the events for which she was eligible.

Of the sixteen boats entered the following eleven participated:

No. Name Owner Club or Port
1 Bruiser A. B. O’Hara Rockledge, Fla.
2 Buffalo Courier II W. J. Conners Buffalo Motor Boat Club
3 Diana George Gingras Rockledge, Fla.
5 Dewey W. F. Coachman Jacksonville Power Boat Club
7 Gertrude F Chas. Furthman New York
8 Jack Rabbit H. L. Willoughby Jr. Sewalls Point, Fla.
9 Keego Frank M. Andrews Gilbert’s Bar Yacht Club
10 Meteor D. H. McMillan Jacksonville Power Boat Club
11 Possum H. L. Willoughby Sr. Gilbert’s Bar Yacht Club
14 Eau Gallie G. F. Paddison Eau Gallie Yacht Club


The races were held under the following classifications:

The summary of the races during the week is as follows:

Tuesday, March 15th.

10.30 A.M., Speed Record Trial.

Courier II, 30.368; Diana, 24.835; Jack Rabbit, 22.896.

Buffalo Courier was declared the winner of the Palm Beach cup, but as was previously stated, was later disqualified for not having entered 70% of the events for which she was eligible..

2.30 P.M., Speed Contest, 9 Miles.

This event was open to Florida designed and constructed boats only, and the prize, the Association Cup (to be won twice) was won by Diana in 26 minutes and 3 seconds, Dewey getting second place in 27 minutes and 14 seconds.

3.30 P.M. Class A. 9 Miles. American Power Boat Association Handicap.

Jack Rabbit won first in this event covering the distance in 26 minutes and 40 seconds, with Diana second. Although Buffalo Courier II made the course in 22 minutes and 9 seconds, her handicap brought her down to fifth place.

Wednesday, March 16th.

10.30 A.M.. Class B. 4½ Miles.

Eau Gallie winner, Possum second. Prize T. S. Barron Cup.

11 A.M. Class C. 4½ Miles.

In this event Buffalo Courier II and Dewey finished in a spectacular dead heat, but both were penalized for exceeding their handicaps giving the race to Bruiser, the speedy little boat owned by A. D. O’Hara. Prize Greenleaf and Crosby Cup.

11.30 A.M. Class BC. 4½ Miles.

Diana winner, Jack Rabbit second. Prize Commodore Harrison B. Moore Cup.

3.30 P.M. Class BC. 18 Miles.

Possum exceeded her time allowance and the first honors went to Dewey with Eau Gallie second. Prize Arnold Constable Cup.

Thursday, March 17th.

10.30 A.M. Class D. 4½ Miles.

Gertrude F winner, Possum second, prize Friend.s Cup.

11 A.M. Class E. 4½ Miles.

Dewey winner, Jack Rabbit second. Prize Frank Tilford Cup. Jack Rabbit was first over the line, but was penalized 5 seconds, putting her in second place.

11.30 A.M. Class DE. 4½ Miles.

Eau Gallie winner, Bruiser second. Prize Still Rock Cup.

3.15 P.M. Class E. 4½ Miles.

Bruiser winner, Eau Gallie second.

3.45 P.M. Class DE. 9 Miles.

Bruiser winner, Dewey second.

Friday, March 18th.

Seven boats were eligible to enter Friday’s endurance race for the grand prize of $2500 (to be won twice) open to all boats of over 20 miles speed, but accidents reduced the field to Eau Gallie, Jack Rabbit and Dewey. Dewey covered the 103½ miles in 4 hours, 47 minutes and 26 seconds, thereby winning from Jack Rabbit and Eau Gallie, whose times were 4 hours, 58 minutes and 34½ seconds and 5 hours, 45 minutes and 23 seconds respectively.

The closing event was a consolation race of 4½ miles, open to all boats of over 12 miles speed. Keego won in 15 minutes, 55 seconds, and Possum was second in 20 minutes and 6 seconds.

(Transcribed from MotorBoating, April 1910 supplement, p.2.)

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


The Palm Beach Regatta

by H. L. Lawrence

It is usually considered that the powerboat races over the palm-lined course at Lake Worth, Fla., mark the opening of the season for power boating, and while some weeks elapse between this now classic event and the next open regatta of any importance, the Palm Beach races serve notice that the chrysalis stage has passed and that the season in "on."

The number of boats participating in this year’s regatta proved something of a disappointment. Sixteen boats were entered for the various races, but only eleven showed up on the morning of the first day’s racing and took part in the events of the subsequent four days.

The most interest again was centered, as it was last year, in the entry of W. J. Conners of the Buffalo Motor Boat Club, who this year had a new speed wonder in Buffalo Courier II, equipped with a high-speed Sterling engine, which had been credited with considerably over 30 miles an hour. It is unfortunate that after a remarkable performance in the Class C event on the second day, Courier, after overcoming a big handicap in a grand race and finishing in a dead heat with Dewey, attaining a speed of 31.285 miles per hour, was disqualified for exceeding her average of 30.369 miles in the speed record trials for the Palm Beach Cup the first day, which event was supposed to bring out a boat’s best speed.

The same thing happened to Mr. Conners’ entry last year, and he was greatly displeased at the committee’s ruling, declaring that he would never bring a boat to Palm Beach to race again. Courier II was unfortunate in being pursued by hard luck throughout the week, as she broke her propeller by striking a log in the second day’s racing, and after hauling out and having a new wheel fitted she had to withdraw from the Class DE race the next day on account of a cracked piston, after turning into the homestretch and rapidly overhauling the other boats. Apart from Buffalo Courier, Dewey, a 37-foot boat, equipped with a 45-65 horsepower Sterling engine, by her sensational win in the endurance race of 103.5 nautical miles the last day in 4-47-40, and by her taking the Frank Tilford cup in the Class E race of Thursday, and winning the 18-mile Class BC race of Wednesday, was probably the largest winner as far as the importance of events is concerned.

Throughout the four days of racing the weather conditions were good, and while for a part of the time the wind blew strong kicking up something of a sea in the shallow lake, the boats were not bothered except at the turns, where they took the waves abeam or quartering.

The first race on the programme for Tuesday, March 15, was the speed record trial for the Palm Beach Cup. This event brough four of the fastest boats entered to the line—Buffalo Courier II, Diana, Jack Rabbit, and Dewey—and consisted of six trials over the mile course from the committee boat off the Royal Poinciana dock to a stake boat anchored at the southern end of the course. Buffalo Courier soon showed her quality by running away from the other boats and made the best time. The average speed for the six trials of the contestants were as follows, expressed in statute miles: Buffalo Courier II, 30.369; Diana, 24.835; Jack Rabbit, 22.981, and Dewey 22.897. Though the Courier made the fastest time, the rules stipulated that in these trials the boats to be awarded the prize must obtain a higher speed than in the general racing, and as Courier exceeded this time in her race the next day, she was disqualified as told above, and the race awarded to Diana.

The last day of the regatta, Friday, March 18, was reserved for the endurance race of 103.5 nautical miles, or 23 times around the 4½-mile course. Four boats were entered, Eau Gallie, Jack Rabbit, Diana and Dewey. Courier II was prevented from starting by the accident of the previous day.

The boats were started in the following order: Eau Gallie at 10.03; Jack Rabbit at 10.38; Diana at 10.41, and Dewey at 10.45, the last getaway. Eau Gallie was twice around the course before Jack Rabbit and then Diana were off. Dewey kept, at great risk, close to the line, so as to be off almost with the gun, as her handicap got her off after Eau Gallie had completed her third lap and was well around the course.

After Diana had finished her second lap she made the turn at the north end of the course, and, in view of the crowd, stopped almost abruptly. Every effort was made to adjust and correct the trouble with the clutch, but, failing in this, she was headed for the basin and withdrew from the race.

Dewey and Jack Rabbit made some beautiful turns, gaining each time they did so. Near the end of the twelfth lap the gap between them was almost closed.

Coming up the course, these two rivals were seen to be almost abreast. Dewey was inside and Jack Rabbit was outside. On the first turn, Dewey, having the advantage of the inside, made a close hug of the buoy barrel and passed Jack Rabbit at the second turn, where Jack Rabbit only had a possible chance by her outward sweep to dash in and pass Dewey. From then on, Dewey maintained her record, and as lap followed lap, she gained on Eau Gallie until the completion of the twentieth lap, when she passed her and finally crossed the finish line 3 minutes and 51 seconds ahead of the Jack Rabbit, which had also passed Eau Gallie and finished in second place.

The elapsed times were: Dewey, 4-47-40; Jack Rabbit, 4-58-31; Eau Gallie, 5-42-26.

Victory in this event carries with it a leg on the Palm Beach Grand Prize of $2,500 in gold, in addition to a handsome prize cup. This cash prize has to be won twice by the same owner before becoming his property, as the conditions specify that it has to remain in the custody of the association until so won, drawing, however, a 3 per cent interest, the earnest money being added to the original prize upon final payment. This means that Dewey will probably be seen at the event next season, in an endeavor to clinch the cash. Probably everyone at Palm Beach watched this race at different times during its course, and interest in the event ran high.

The programme was brought to a close by a consolation race of 4½ miles for those boats that had not won an event during the regatta. This race went to Keego, with Possum second.

On the Sunday previous to the opening of the regatta a curious and spectacular accident happened to Buffalo Courier II, which happily resulted in but little damage to the craft, though it created a great deal of excitement along the water front. While going over the course for a tune-up spin the crew, in some manner, lost control of the boat, and she shot ahead at full speed as they entered the turn in the course. The captain, seeing he could not make the turn, reached for the reverse lever, but in his haste to throw it over, something broke in the gear, and the boat careened badly as she shot forward towards the railroad bridge across the lake. Two of the crew were thus pitched out into the water, one of them being the captain, and the third man, a local mechanic, losing his head, jumped overboard as the craft bore rapidly down on the bridge, instead of trying to shut off the engine. With no one on board, and running straight for the bridge at 30 miles an hour, it seemed a safe bet that the boat would soon be kindling wood; but, by what seemed a miracle, she shot under the structure, between the pilings, striking them a glancing blow which only split a few planks and cracked a couple of frames, and, swerving to one side, ran hard upon a mud bank and came to a stop. An examination showed but little damage done and the boat was soon hauled off and taken to Palm Beach for repairs. By rushing the work it was completed before dark Monday, and the boat had a trial spin that evening, apparently none the worse for her little joy ride. The engine did not seem to be hurt, and, barring a wetting and a scalp wound of one of the crew, received in going overboard, but little damage resulted. Those 30-mile boats are great when they get started.

It was well for the interest in the regatta that Courier could come to the line on Tuesday morning, s her performance was keenly followed. There is no doubt that she is a very fast boat, and she will doubtless be heard from again before the season’s racing is over. In the thirteen races which were run off during the four days, the following boats were the winners of first prizes, the number of wins credited to each being also shown: Bruiser, three races; Eau Gallie, two races; Diana, three races; Dewey, three races; Jack Rabbit, one race; Gertrude F, one race; Keego, one race.

The chairman of the Regatta Committee in charge of the event was Theodore D. Wells, of New York, and the various races were run off promptly and in a shipshape manner. The other officers of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association are: H. M. Flagler, president; W. K. Vanderbilt, Jr., and Fred Sterry, vice-presidents, and Leland Sterry, secretary and treasurer.

(Excerpts transcribed from Yachting, May 1910, pp. 399-401)

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


The Palm Beach Races

The Sixth Annual Regatta of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association

By Harry Belknap

The morning of Tuesday, March 15, the first day of the motorboat races at the sixth annual regatta of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association, dawned clear and fine. A light northwesterly wind rippled the blue water of Lake Worth, and during the morning the conditions were favorable for good racing. The first event on the program was the Speed Record Trial scheduled for 10.30 a.m. and consisting of six trials over the mile course, the average time being taken, for the Palm Beach Cup. Four boats came to the starting line for the speed trials, Buffalo Courier II, owned by W. J. Conners, of the Buffalo Motor Boat Club; Diana, owned by George Gingras, of Rockledge, Fla.; Jack Rabbit, owned by H. L. Willoughby, Jr.; and Dewey, owned by W. F. Coachman, of the Jacksonville Power Boat Club. The course was the nautical mile in length from the committee boat Amber Jack, anchored off the Royal Poinciana dock, to the Mary Lee, moored at the southern end of the course. Buffalo Courier II had no difficulty in running past all her opponents and her performance delighted the speed enthusiasts. This trophy, however, has to be captured two years in succession by the same owner before becoming hid bona-fide property. The Courier’s average speed was 30.368 statute miles an hour. The speed rate of the three other boats was as follows: Diana, 24.8351 statute miles an hour; Jack Rabbit, 22.981; Dewey, 22.89677.

In the afternoon the speed contest for Florida designed and constructed boats and the A.P.B.A. Handicap Race were held. The weather had changed since early morning, and a strong northerly wind was blowing up the lake, which made a choppy sea. The committee boat and the fleet of motor craft anchored near the starting line pitched and tossed while the speed boats threw clouds of spray from their bows as they cut through the waves. The speed contest for Florida designed and constructed boats only, for the Association Cup, began at 2.30 p.m. The following boats were on hand when the starting gun was fired: Diana, Dewey, Jack Rabbit, Eau Gallie, Bruiser and Meteor. The distance was nine miles, the boats going twice around the four and a half miles course. Meteor broke down soon after the start. At the end of the first round Diana was first; Jack Rabbit second; Dewey third; Eau Gallie fourth; and Bruiser fifth. During the next round Dewey passed Jack Rabbit. Diana, of Rockledge, won the race; and Dewey, of Jacksonville, was second finishing one minute and eleven seconds behind the winner. Jack Rabbit finished third; Eau Gallie fourth, and Bruiser fifth.

The Class a race for all boats, handicaps under the American Power Boat Association rating rule, was held at 3.30 p.m., over the same course. The distance was nine miles—twice around the four and a half miles course. There were nine starters in this contest, and they crossed the line in the following order, the handicap time being taken at the start: Gertrude F., Possum, Keego, Jack Rabbit, Eau Gallie, Diana, Bruiser, Meteor, Buffalo Courier II. Just 10 minutes, 37 seconds after the first boat, Gertrude F., had crossed, Buffalo Courier II dashed across the line and began her long chase after the rest of the fleet. Keego was very unfortunate in having engine trouble shortly after the start which put her completely out of the race. At the end of the first round the boats were in the following order as they swept around the turn: Jack Rabbit, Gertrude F., Diana, Eau Gallie and Dewey close behind her; Meteor, Bruiser, Possum and Buffalo Courier II, the latter having gained much time on her competitors. Just after the turn Dewey passed Eau Gallie as the boats dashed onward for the last time around. Jack Rabbit, H. L. Willoughby, Jr., owner, was the winner, crossing the finish line at 4:03:21½. Diana was second, crossing at 4:04:48; Dewey finished third at 4:05:42½, and Meteor crossed at 4:06:53; Buffalo Courier II, 4:08:47½; Eau Gallie, 4:09:26½; Bruiser, 4:10:05½; Gertrude F., 4:10:52; and Possum 4:18:16. Buffalo Courier II put up a good race but could not overcome the heavy handicap imposed upon her. Eau Gallie struck a floating log and lost her rudder, a board being used to steer with until crossing the finish. The choppy sea made it very wet for the racers, and all the boats threw clouds of spray as they dashed around the turns.

The Second Day’s Events

The second day of racing at Palm beach brought forth some very exciting contests and a number of close finishes. The feature of the day was the wonderful climax to the Class C race for boats over 32 feet. At the finish of this event Buffalo Courier II and Dewey crossed the line at exactly the same moment, the race between these two boats being called a dead heat. A northeasterly wind was blowing all day, but the water was much smoother than on Tuesday afternoon, the waves being troublesome only at the turns.

The first event on the program was the Class B race at 10.30 a.m. for boats of 32 feet and under (l.w.l.). Distance, 4½ miles (nautical). All the handicaps were based on the actual performance of the boats on Tuesday. Possum was the first boat to start in the Class B race. Gertrude F. started second, and was followed by Eau Gallie, whose engine stopped for a few moments. Keego was due to start next, but had trouble in getting started, so Jack Rabbit got off first. Diana came next, and got a good start, passing Keego just after the turn. The boats finished in the following order: Gertrude F., Jack Rabbit, Diana, which had just passed Possum, Possum, Eau Gallie, and Keego. The corrected time showed Diana to be the winner, with Possum econd.

In the Class C event at 11 a.m. for boats of 32 feet and over (l.w.l.), distance 4½ nautical miles, the following craft lined up and started in the order named: Bruiser, Dewey, Meteor and Buffalo Courier II, the latter dashing across the line at top speed. When the boats were coming down the home stretch, Dewey was in the lead, but Buffalo Courier II came on at tremendous speed, rapidly gaining on her competitor. As the boats dashed towards the finish line cheers and whistles rent the air, and when they raced across neck and neck, pandemonium broke loose. Bruiser finished third and Meteor came in last. Several of the boats were penalized for exceeding the speed made in their trials, and when the official records were made public they showed Bruiser to be the winner, with Dewey second. Buffalo Courier II exceeded her handicap time by 5½ per cent and Dewey by 3½ per cent.

The next contest on the program was the Class B C race at 11:30 for all boats, distance 4½ nautical miles. The craft started as follows: Possum, Gertrude F., Bruiser, Eau Gallie, Keego (stripped of canvas on one side), Jack Rabbit, Dewey, Diana and Buffalo Courier II. The Courier was unfortunate in getting across the line too soon and was forced to make a wide circle and re-cross it. Possum was first across the finish line, and Dewey second. Then came Diana, Jack Rabbit and Bruiser well bunched together. Gertrude F. was the next boat to cross the line. Then came Buffalo Courier II, and later Keego, which made a poor last, having had trouble. Corrected time showed Diana winner, with Jack Rabbit second, the latter losing by a quarter of a second.

At 3:30 in the afternoon the Class B C race for boats of all lengths, distance 18 miles, was held. The four and a half mile course was used, the boats going around four times. Much of the interest was taken away from this contest by the accident to Buffalo Courier II early in the race. After getting a good start, on the home stretch of the first round, the Courier struck some floating object and lost a blade of her propeller, which put her completely out of the running. Possum had such a big handicap over the other boats that at the finish she was the only racer in sight. It was 5 minutes 21½ seconds before Dewey, the second boat in, crossed the line. Dewey, Eau Gallie, Bruiser and Diana were fairly close together, finishing in the order named, while Jck Rabbit brought up the rear. Gertrude F. and Keego had abandoned the race after the first round.

Possum, the fist boat to leave, crossed the starting line at 3:30:00. Gertrude F., the next boat, left at 3:35:52. Possum finished her first round before Bruiser started, the latter leaving at 3:54:18. Eau Gallie started at 3:54:42. Gertrude F. finished her first round before Keego started, but later gave up the race. Keego left at 4:01:08, the ferryboat being a little in her way. Her engine appeared to be out of shape, frequently missing explosions. Diana started at 4:02:32 and Buffalo Courier II at 4:10:10, the latter stopping when a little more than half way back on the first round. Eau Gallie and Bruiser finished their first round just before Courier started. They were very close together, Eau Gallie forging ahead. Possum had completed her second round before the departure of Courier. Dewey passed Jack Rabbit at the end of the second round and had increased her lead considerably at the end of the third round. Possum crossed the finish line before the other boats were in sight. Corrected time showed Dewey the winner, with Eau Gallie second. Dewey crossed the finish line at 4:51:41½; elapsed time, 49:27½.

Buffalo Courier II had been hauled out on the ways and a new wheel put on, so that she would be in shape for the next day’s races.

The Third Day’s Races

On Thursday the weather conditions were favorable for good racing. The first event on the schedule was the Class D race at 10.30 a.m. for boats of seventeen miles speed and under. Only two boats were in this contest, Possum and Gertrude F. Gertrude F. was the winner, but the finish was pretty close. When near the finish line Possum was bothered by the swell from Gertrude F., and her tiller rope parted, causing the boat to slow down, and circle to cross the line again.

The next race, held at 11.00 o’clock, was for Class E, seventeen miles speed and over; distance, 9 miles. The boats started off in the following order: Bruiser, Eau Gallie, Keego, Jack Rabbit, Diana, Dewey, and Buffalo Courier II. Jack Rabbit was first to cross the finish line; next came Dewey, and then Diana and Bruiser crossed almost together, followed by Eau Gallie, Courier II and Keego, the latter being a poor last. The official time shows Dewey winner, with Jack Rabbit second.

In the Class D E race for all boats over 12 miles speed, held at 11:30, distance 9 miles, the boats started off as follows: Possum, Gertrude F., Bruiser, Eau Gallie, Jack Rabbit, Dewey, Diana and Buffalo Courier II. Diana and Courier got a poor start. At the end of the first round Gertrude F. was leading Possum and Eau Gallie had slightly gained on Bruiser. Courier II passed, going very fast, with her exhausts spurting clouds of blue smoke. Eau Gallie finished first, closely followed by Bruiser, Dewey, Jack Rabbit, Diana, Gertrude F. and Possum. Buffalo Courier II had turned the home stretch and was rapidly gaining on all the other boats when she suddenly stopped, and it was afterwards learned that she had broken or cracked a piston. The official reports show that Eau Gallie the winner with Bruiser second. The finish was spectacular, the boats being well bunched.

The Speed Economy Test scheduled for the afternoon was called off and two special races substituted. The first race, which was started at 2.30 p.m., resulted in some close finishes, the Jack Rabbit being first across the line. The race, which was for Class C (over 17 miles speed), distance 4½ miles, had to be raced over again because of a mistake in the starting time. In this second race all the starts were good. Bruiser, the first boat to leave, was followed by Eau Gallie, Jack Rabbit, Diana and Dewey. The finish was very close, Bruiser just dashing ahead of Eau Gallie when near the line. Dewey was close behind, and then came Jack Rabbit and Diana. Bruiser won by a second and a half.

The other special race, the last event of the day, was for Class D E—all boats, speed; distance, 9 miles. This race started at 4 o’clock, the boats leaving in the following order: Possum, Gertrude F., Bruiser, Eau Gallie, Jack Rabbit, Diana and Dewey, the latter getting a fine start. At the end of the first round Gertrude F. had passed Possum; next came Bruiser and Jack Rabbit; and then Dewey and Diana very close together, Dewey forging ahead. The boats finished in this order: Bruiser, Dewey, Jack Rabbit, Gertrude F., Diana, which appeared to be running rather poorly, and Possum. Eau Gallie did not finish. No boats were penalized in this race for exceeding trial speed. Bruiser won, with Dewey second.

The Final Day

The weather on Friday, the closing day of regatta week, was very favorable for motorboat racing, a light easterly breeze rippling the smooth waters of Lake Worth. The endurance race for boats over 20 miles’ speed, distance 103.5 miles, for the Palm Beach Grand Prize, and Purveyor’s Cup, second prize, $50 in gold, was started at 10 a.m. Four boats were entered for this contest: Eau Gallie, Jack Rabbit, Diana and Dewey. The race was twenty-three times around a course of 4½ miles. Eau Gallie, the first boat to leave, started at 10:03. Jack Rabbit started next at 10:38, Eau Gallie meanwhile having finished her second round. Diana Started at 10:41. Eau Gallie just completed her third round before Dewey, the last boat to leave, started at 10:45. The latter got a very poor start, having trouble in getting her engine going. Diana withdrew at the end of he second round. At the end of the twelfth round Eau Gallie and Dewey came up together, and at the turn the Jacksonville boat forged ahead. At the end of the twentieth round Dewey had made up her laps and was in the lead, which position she held until the finish. Jack Rabbit passed Eau Gallie in the twenty-first round, the latter losing time because of running afoul of some palmetto leaves. Dewey crossed the finish line at 3:32:40. Jack Rabbit was second, crossing at 3:36:31. Eau Gallie finished at 3:45:26.

Dewey is 37 feet long, 4 feet beam and is equipped with a 45-65-hp. model B Sterling motor.

In the closing event, a consolation race, between Possum and Keego, the latter boat won rather easily.

Buffalo Courier II did not start in any of the final races, and throughout the entire regatta W. J. Conners’ new boat was pursued by the most persistent hard luck. Beginning with the accident on Sunday in which her crew were thrown out, the Courier underwent a chapter of misfortunes, including a false start and loss of propeller blade on Tuesday, and breaking of piston rod on Wednesday. The Courier was disqualified in the speed record trials for the Palm Beach Cup for exceeding her trial speed on two consecutive miles of the Class C race, held on Wednesday, the 16th. W. J. Conners was greatly displeased with the Regatta Committee’s decisions, and declared that he would never again bring a high-speed boat to Palm Beach.

Although there were not as many entries as had at first been expected, the regatta was marked by a number of very close races, and but for the unfortunate showing of Buffalo Courier II, the sixth annual regatta of the palm Beach Power Boat Association might have been called a great success.

The Courier Cuts Some Fancy Capers

In Sunday afternoon, March 13th, a peculiar and spectacular accident happened to Buffalo Courier II. The boat had just been over the race course on a practice spin and was nearing the turn at the northern end when the crew lost control of their boat. It happened while they were changing from the batteries to the magneto, that the Courier suddenly shot ahead at tremendous speed and swept down towards the railroad bridge instead of making the curve around the end of the course. Capt. Fred Ahr, who was at the wheel, seeing that the boat was unmanageable, reached for the clutch, but as he threw it over, something broke; the entire mechanism pulled out; the boat careened madly to one side, and the two men (Capt. Ahr and Engineer Earl Coleman) were thrown into the water, the former receiving an ugly scalp wound. The third man in the boat, a mechanic from West Palm Beach, jumped as the craft approached the bridge. Running wild with no one on board, the Buffalo Courier II described a circle, and the men struggling in the water were in danger of being run down. Then straight for the bridge dashed the runaway, and her destruction seemed inevitable. But, by what seems a miracle of good fortune, the Courier ran through the bridge between a piling at top speed and only struck herself a glancing blow s she passed. Swerving off in another half circle, the boat finally ran up on a mud bank and her mad career was ended. A number of planks were smashed and several of the ribs broken in going through the bridge, and the propeller bent when it hit the shoal; but a later examination showed that the hull was not injured as seriously s had at first been supposed. The men were quickly rescued from the water, and the boat was put on the ways for repairs.

By Monday afternoon the work was finished and the boat launched. Several trial runs were made before dark and the boat appeared to be in just as good shape as before the accident, except that the spare propeller which had been fitted, did not prove exactly suitable. The whirring cannonade of her exhausts was a welcome sound to the crowd thronging the shores of Lake Worth, for it told that Buffalo Courier II, the star boat of the fleet, would be on hand for the start of the races next day.

(Excerpts transcribed from MotorBoat, Mar. 25, 1910, pp. 33-36)

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


The Performances of Buffalo Courier II and Dewey

The Courier II, owned by W. J. Conners, of the Buffalo Motor Boat Club, Buffalo, N.Y., made an excellent showing in the first race of the meet at the Sixth Annual Regatta of the Palm Beach Power Boat Association, at Palm Beach, Florida, March 15th. The first event on the program was the Speed Record Trial, consisting of six trials over the mile course, the average time being, for the palm beach Cup, 30.368 miles an hour. Four boats started. The Courier II had no difficulty in running past all her opponents. She was disqualified from taking the prize in this event on account of exceeding her average speed in a later race.

The next race the Courier II went into was under the American Power Boat rules. The weather had changed, and a strong northerly wind was blowing up the lake, which made a very choppy sea. The first boat had almost finished the course before the Courier started, and she showed in this race about 12 minutes around the course. The next day the Courier II was entered in a race, handicapped on previous performances, and she was handicapped on the slow time made in the American Power Boat race. It looked very much in this race as though the Courier II and the Dewey were tied for first place, but when the judges came in they stated that the Courier II had finished first, but was disqualified for exceeding her time. The next event she ran in her time was taken on her two-mile run down one side of the course. In this run on her two miles down and back she exceeded her time in the mile trials by about one mile an hour. The judges then posted a notice that the Courier II was disqualified in the speed trials for exceeding her speed in the latter event.

The Courier II has made unofficially the fastest time ever made by any motorboat at Palm Beach, Florida, powered by a 240-hp. eight-cylinder Sterling racing engine. She is 40 feet long by 5 feet 3 inches beam.

The endurance race for boats of over 20 miles speed, distance 119.18 statute miles, for the Palm Beach Grand Prize and purveyor’s cup, was won by the Dewey, owned by J. F. Coachman, of Jacksonville, Fla. This contest carried with it a prize of $2,500 in gold. In addition to the purse, the Dewey also takes the aggregate sum of $200 received as entrance fees. The race was a twenty-three times around a 5.2 mile course, having ninety-two turns. The Dewey showed average speed of 25 miles an hour. She started at 10:45, being the last boat to get away and to a very poor start, and did not gain the lead until the twentieth lap, which position she held until the finish. Dewey crossed the finish line at 3:32:40.

Dewey is 37 feet long, 4 feet beam, and is equipped with a 46-65-hp. six-cylinder Model B Sterling motor.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Apr. 10, 1910, p. 104.)

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