1928 Havana Yacht Club Grand Free For All

Havana Sets the Pace

Two Days of Keen acing at the Cuban Capital

By Earle D. Grimm

Havana offers so many attractions to the power boat racing skippers, both afloat and ashore, that the annual spring regatta under the auspices of the Habana Yacht Club is always a popular affair with American yachtsmen. So it was a foregone conclusion that the racing this year, held on March 24th and 25th, would find many American boats and crews on hand, as well as several Cuban entries, all primed to go out and annex the silverware.

The races this year were all run over the outside course, laid out off the Malecon, with the start and finish in full view from the shore, which for all of the events was lined with spectators, intensely interested in the outcome. There were five classes on the program, and most of them were filled. These included many of the classes found in the larger national regattas in the States, viz., the Stock Runabout Class, Biscayne Babies, 151-Class, a special unlimited class, and a Free-for-All. "Gar" Wood sent his Miss America V down and, driven by Phil Wood, she was the fastest boat at the regatta, disposing handily of Mrs. W. J. Conners' flyer, Miss Okeechobee, and W. Crowson's Miss Largo II.

Fine weather marked the two days of racing, all of the events being run off on schedule, without a hitch and in last time, considering the mile laps of the course. For the excellent handling of the various events credit must be given to Senor Rafael Posso, at the head of an efficient regatta committee, composed of Raulin Cabrera, W. McP. Bigelow. E. B. Treat. Jose E. Gorrin, M. A. Rivas, D. Macias, and J. E. Washington.

In the Stock Runabout Class the honors went to a local entry, Mater III, owned and driven by M. Macias. She is a Hacker Dolphin model, powered with a Scripps 150-h.p. motor. The 151-Class saw two California drivers, Dick Loynes in his Miss California, and Ralph Snoddy in Miss Rioco. This class was hotly contested, the two leaders being tied on points at the end of the two days' racing, and the winner, G. Bradfield's Miss Buckeye, being decided on the total elapsed time of the two heats. Barring a false start in the second heat, which cost her much time, Miss Rioco would probably have won the event, as she showed great speed, doing the six miles (four laps) of the first heat in 8 minutes and 43 seconds.

Miss Okeechobee, driven by Mrs. Conners, with "Bill" Flaherty looking after the engines, won both heats in the larger class rather easily, and annexed 800 points to Miss Largo's 722 points. In the Free-for-All there was nothing to it but Miss America V, while R. Suero's Habana proved too fast for the Biscayne Babies.

Not the least pleasant part of the regatta was the hospitality of the Cubans. The beautiful Habana Yacht Club, facing the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, was the headquarters of the yachtsmen, and here Commodore P. Morales made the visitors welcome at all times. With all the entertainment provided it was a wonder anyone felt like racing the following morning, but all hands showed up at the line on time and no complaints were registered. Among the yachtsmen from the United States who were present were: Commodore D. H. Conkling of the Palm Beach Yacht Club, W. J. Conners, of Buffalo and Palm Beach, Thomas L. Chadbourne and a party on the Jezebel, Mr. and Mrs. John Dodge, of Detroit, and several others.

Here is the result of the two days' racing in tabular form :

First Race — Stock Runabouts — 6 Miles
First Heat
    Lap I Lap II Lap III Lap IV
Mater III M. Macias 3:45 5:35 8:10 11:04
Sea Wolf E. Wolfe 3:55 5:53 8:45 11:31
C-12 F. Boone 4:30 6:50 10:12 13:35
Miss Alice C. Debrawer 4:55 7:50 11:32 15:20
Second Heat
Mater III M. Macias 2:46 5:28 8:09 10:50
Sea Wolf Edward Wolfe 2:56 5:46 8:34 11:23
C-12 F. Boone 3:23 6:38 954 13:09
Miss Alice Debrawer 3:33 7:03 10:29 13:56


Second Race — Biscayne Babies And Special Class — 7½ Miles
First Heat
    Lap I Lap II Lap III Lap IV Lap V
No. 12 P. Prigg 2:31 4:58 7:23 9:49 12:17
No. 15 G. Bradfield 3:19 6:06 8:52 1136 14:20
No. 23 C. Pease 2:39 5:10 7:45 10:23 13:24
Habana R. Suero 1:44 4:24 7:04 9:44 12:23
Second Heat
No. 12 Paul Prigg 2:28 4:53 7:53 D.N.F.  
No. 15 G. Bradfield 2:3.3 5:02 7:29 9:59 12:26
No. 23 C. Pease 2:40 7:15 10:19 12:49 15:24
Habana R. Suero 1:49 4:32 7:15 9:57 12:40


Third Race — 151 — Class — 6 Miles
First Heat
Miss Rioco R. Snoddy 2:13 4:23 6:35 8:43
Miss California D. Loynes 2:15 4:26 6:38 8:46
Second Heat
Miss Buckeye G. Bradfield 2:40 5:19 8:04 10:55
Miss Rioco R. Snoddy 11:54 14:19 16:45 19:06
Miss California D. Loynes 2:51 5:35 8:32 11:32


Fourth Race — Special Class — 10½ Miles
First Heat
Miss Okeechobee Mrs. Conners 1:54 3:45 5:39 7:30 9:23 11:18 13:24
Miss Largo II W. Crowson 2:01 3:56 5:52 7:49 9:47 11:46 13:44
Second Heat
Miss Okeechobee Mrs. Conners 1:50 3:45 5:44 7:46 9:43 11:44 13:45
Miss Largo II W. Crowson 2:00 4:02 6:02 8:01 10:03 12:02 14:03


Fifth Race — Free-For-All — 10½ First Heat Miles
First Heat
Miss America V Gar Wood 1:48 3:32 5:12 7:00 8:44 10:27 12:06
Miss Okeechobee Mrs Conners 1:56 3:46 5:37 7:30 9:17 11:06 12:55
Miss Largo II W.Crowson 2:04 4:05 608 8:09 10:08 12:08 14:22
Second Heat
Mss America V Gar Wood 1:51 3:40 5:34 7:30 9:33
Miss Okeechobee Mrs. Conners 1:32 4:11 6:02 7:49 9:39
Miss Largo II W. Crowson 2:00 4:08 6:14 8:44 12:54
C-12 F. Boone 3138 6:59 10:18 13:37 17:01
C-11 C. Debrawer 3:40 7:07 10:36 14:05 17:38


(Reprinted from Yachting, May 1928, pp.47-48, 122+)