1920 Thousand Islands Yacht Club Regatta

St Lawrence Power Boat Championship Races

Under the auspices of the Thousand Islands Y. C., the annual American Power Boat Association Races for the championship of the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands were held under ideal weather and course conditions. The course was laid out in beautiful Alexandria Bay with the late George Boldt's castle as a background on one side of the course, while the opposite side was lined with visitors to this power boat Paradise. Lander the able leadership of Commodore James Hammond, assisted by a corps of experienced racing officials the races were run without a hitch.

The first days race was marked by the overturning and sinking of Ralph H. Sidway's Arab V, a Peterson designed and built plane, powered with a Liberty engine. At the time Arab was pushing Miss Toronto very hard, in fact she forced Miss Toronto to make the lap at the rate of exactly 60 miles an hour, the fastest lap ever made in competition on this river. Miss Toronto was in the lead on the last quarter of the first round when Arab shot off to one side and then turned suddenly and skidded in the opposite direction, turning over and sinking. Mr. Sidway and Hoover K. Wright the mechanician were thrown out. Griffith Clark in his fast Leopard rushed to the aid of Wright who called out that his leg was broken, while Commodore Inglis' Comet picked up Mr. Sidway, who, aside from a wetting and a general shaking up, was no worse for the experience. Leopard dashed directly for the hotel dock with the injured man. It was found that while Wright's leg was not broken, the ligaments were torn and the leg badly bruised. Although they got a line on the sinking plane from Comet, they were not able to make it fast properly and she sunk in about 80 feet of water. Attempts to raise her were started immediately.

Jack Bickell and Frithiof Ericson in Miss Toronto slowed down after the Arab accident as they had no serious competition from P. D. Q. VI, and finished the race at about a 53 mile an hour clip. The course was a 5 mile oval, but at the finish the boats did not round the last mark, making a total distance of 29 5/8 miles.

The hydro events the second day were simply a repetition of the first day, aside from the fact that there was no accident, for P. D. Q. VI, although running consistently didn't have power enough in her six cylinder Sterling to keep up with the pace set by the Canadian boat. The officials had told Mr. Ericson of his mile-a-minute lap, soon the second day he kept the big Liberty open wide and made the total course at better than 58 miles. This would have been bettered if a river steamer had not thrown such a wash that they had to slow Miss Toronto down on the last lap. As it was her time was better than has ever been made with the exception of the time made in the recent British Trophy and Gold Cup Races by Miss America.

In the displacement class Brush By, a Reliance-built hull equipped with a six cylinder Hall Scott marine engine, made the 20 mile course at the rate of 38.09 miles, equalling Miss Nassau's record made at Miami last winter. On the first day Brush By was pushed hard by the 20-foot Hel Scoot, fitted with a four cylinder Hall Scott. The engine was installed in Hel Scoot the morning of the race. Leopard V, another six cylinder Hall Scott boat, was third, while Packard, with a 12 cylinder automobile engine, was fourth.

Hel Scoot and Leopard exchanged places on the second day, which tied them for second place for the series. The final point score was, Brush By, 8; Leopard and Hel Scoot 5 each and Packard 2.

Summaries, Thousand Islands Y. C. Regatta
Displacement Championship St. Lawrence River — Course 19 5/8 Miles
Boat & Owner Builder Engine Cyl. Time
First Day
Second Day
Brush By, J. B. Sullivan Reliance Hall Scott 6 32:23 30:39 8
Leopard V, Griff. Clark Canadian Beaver   6 33:52 32:20 5
Hel Scoot, S. B. Northrop Fritz Hunt   4 32:58 37:03  
Packard, F. H. Taylor Fritz Hunt Packard 12 46:56 46:15 2
Thousand Islands Challenge Cup For Hydroplanes — Course 29 3/8 Miles
Miss Toronto II, Miss Toronto Syndicate C. C. Smith Liberty 12 33:?? 31:16 4
P. D. Q. VI, A. G. Miles Beebe Sterling 6 47:12 34:30  
Arab IV, R. H. Sidway Petersen Liberty 12 Sunk    


(Reprinted from The Rudder, October 1920, pp. 3-4)