1934 Around Manhattan Race

Strenuous Racing Season Gets Under Way

Speed and Spills in ‘Round Manhattan Race

A grand total of 104 entries with a starting list of fifty outboard drivers distinguished the revival of the Around Manhattan Race. Sponsored by the New York American and William Randolph Hearst, the actual work of conducting the race was performed by members and officials of the Middle Atlantic Outboard Association, The Regatta Circuit Riders, the Colonial Yacht Club and the American Power Boat Association, under whose sanction the contest was run. As in other long distance outboard races, handicaps for the several classes were used. Class F, the largest, was the scratch class starting at 2:13:48. Class C had 0:03:22 allowance and started at 2:10:26. Class B with 0:08:13 started at 2:05:00 and the smallest Class A with an allowance of 0:13:48 started at 2:00:00. The later starts of the larger classes made it necessary for these drivers to overtake the earlier starters, as the first boat to finish was to be the winner.

Always a hazardous course, the Hudson River was made quite rough during the afternoon by a brisk southerly wind which opposed the current. The little outboards bounced from wave to wave, and on top of this handicap had to dodge or attempt to dodge the usual heavy drift and debris for which New York waters are well known. Only about half of the starters were successful in coming through without damage of some sort and after the race, pit crews had a busy time getting to numerous points on the waterfront to get damaged boats and motors back on their trailers.

George Waller, a New Rochelle Division II driver, with a Class B engine was first to finish and received a prolonged cheer from the multitude who had assembled on the Colonial Yacht Club grounds. He was clocked in an even 56 minutes which made his elapsed time 51 minutes or just a few seconds longer than the course record of 50:19 made by Charles Cabot in 1931. He was closely followed by three other drivers who finished in a close bunch some minutes later.

Summary Around Manhattan Race
Sponsored by New York American. Conducted by Middle Atlantic
Outboard Association. Sanctioned American Power Boat Association
Pos. Name Class and Division Battery Queensboro Fordham Finish Time
1 George Waller B-2 2:25:00 2:35:05 2:47:05 2:56:00
2 Everett Shannon C-2 2:28:00 2:37:00 2:50:40 2:59:40
3 Fred Jacoby, Jr C-2 2:26:00 2:35:00 2:50:40 2:59:42
4 H. F. Shakeshaft, Jr A-1 2:20:00 2:33:00 2:49:00 2:59:48
5 Charles Johnson C-1 2:26:00 2:35:00 2:52:00 3:01:31
6 Wilfred Roberts A-2 2:22:00 2:35:04 2:50:00 3:01:48
7 William Feldhusen C-2 2:28:30 2:38:07 2:54:00 3:04:11
8 Robert Graham F-2 2:35:00   2:56:00 3:05:07
9 Clayton Bishop B-2 2:24:00 2:37:00 2:54:00 3:07:44
10 Adrian Habben C-2 2:27:00 2:38:02 2:54:00 3:08:20
11 Fred Eberling C-2 2:32:30   2:59:50 3:10:00
12 A. F. Wagner, Jr B-1 2:36:00   2:59:30 3:10:06
13 Ted Roberts A-2 2:20:00 2:41:00 2:58:20 3:10:18
14 Leon Rogers C-2 2:25:30   3:01:40 3:10:32
15 Herman Miner B-2 2:34:00   3:01:40 3:13:34
16 J. C. Walier B-2 2:27:00   2:59:20 3:13:54
17 A. W. Hale B -1 2 :28 :15 2 :41 :01 2 :58 :45 3:16 :00
18 Stephen B. Oberle C-1 2:31:00 2:43:05 3:04:25 3:17:13
19 J. W. Peck C-2 2:41:00 2:51:09 3:04:25 3:17:25
20 Thos. Smith C-2 2:27:30 2:47:00 3:05:30 3:23:32
21 Chet A. Howell B-1 2:41:00 2:52:03 3:11:40 3:24:05
22 Thos. McCarthy B-1 2:32:30 2:49:00 3:17:55 3:34:15
23 Martin O'Neill C-1 2:26:30 2:41:05 3:28:00 3 :43 :40
24 Charles McAteer, Jr B-2 2:46:00 3:04:00 3:30:25 3:46:00
25 George Rye B-2 2:27:00 3:17:00 3:45:00 3:56:15
  Sheldon Cornish B-2 2:23:00 2:33:06 2:49:00 D.N.F.
  Carl Gehricke B-1 2:33:00   3:15:25 D.N.F.
  F. W. Travers F-1 2:48:00 3:05:00 3:28:00 D.N.F.
  Geo. Byron B-1 2:29:30 3:05:00 3:34:55 D.N.F.
  Bryce Rowe F-1 2:37:00 2:51:00   D.N.F.
  Lew Franco C-1   2:35:06   D.N.F.
  Alfred Topping C-2 2:26:30   D.N.F.  
  John J. Benkendorf C-1 2:30:00     D.N.F.
  Kenneth MacKenzie F-2 2:31:00     D.N.F.
  Gerson Feinstein B-1 2:34:00     D.N.F.
  John G. Plunkitt F-1 2:40:00     D.N.F.
  John Bucciarelli A-2 2:54:00   D.N.F.  


Inboard Runabouts
Class E Start 3:30 P.M.
    Queensboro Fordham Finish
1 H. Paul Prigg 4:01:00 4:16:30 4:26:58
2 Arthur Oberle 4:01:00 4:16:50 4:27:30
3 Gerard Sheeran 4:02:00 4:18:35 4:31:00
Class I Start 3:35 P.M.
1 John M. Rutherfurd 3:56:00 4:09:00 4:17:05
2 David Gerli 3:59:00 4:09:35 4:17:35
3 Francis B. Gilbert 4:02:00 4:14:00 4:22:30
4 R. Pancoast 4:02:00 4:02:35 4:23:44
5 E. Calder 4:00:00 4:11:25 4:19:40
Class K Start 3:40 P.M.
  William H. Berri     D.N.F.
1 Hector Alexander 4:02:00 4:13:20 4:20:55


Prizes Awarded
Class A-I H. P. Shakeshaft.
Class A-II Wilfred Roberts, first; Ted Roberts. second.
Class B-I A. F. Wagner, Jr., first; A. W. Hale, second; Thomas McCarthy, third.
Class B-II George Waller, first; Clayton Bishop, second; Herman Miner, third.
Class C-I Charles Johnson, first; Stephen Oberle, second; Martin O'Neill, third.
Class C-II Everett Shannon first; Fred Jacoby, Jr., second; William Feldhusen, third.
Class F-I No finishers.
Class F-II Robert Graham, first.


Best Speeds By Classes

Class A. 29.78 m.p.h. Class B. 34.72 m.p.h. Class C. 35.95 m.p.h. Class F, 34.50 m.p.h. Inboard runabouts Class E, 31.11 m.p.h. Class I, 42.05 m.p.h. Class K, 43.25 m.p.h.

Everett Shannon, driving in C-II, was second in 59:40, Fred Jacoby, Jr., C-II, third in 59:42 and H. P. Shakeshaft, A-1, fourth, in 59:46. For about ten minutes the finishers arrived in quick succession and at 3:30 when the time limit expired, some 22 drivers had completed the circuit. A boat finished in eleventh position and while the time was recorded it was impossible to read its number despite the most powerful binoculars used by the checkers. A watch was kept so that number could be recorded when the boat came to rest at the floats. To the amazement of the officials, the driver kept right on down the river and finally disappeared in the distance. Reports came from the observers along the water front of his passing them a second time and, strange to say, he made two complete circuits of Manhattan Island without a single stop or mishap. This remarkable driver later was identified as Fred Ebling, driving in C-II and he was assigned his place as eleventh to finish. The episode brings forcibly to the attention of both drivers and officials the absolute need of carrying a number on racing craft of such size and color as to make it possible to be read.

Many innovations were made in the conduct of this race by reason of the sponsorship of the New York American. All drivers, mechanics and guests at the club were well fed and refreshed during the afternoon. The Regatta Circuit Riders took care of providing the food, and the entire staff of ladies from MoToR BOATING'S offices were on hand to see that no one was overlooked. Liquid refreshment in the form of numerous barrels of beer was provided through the generosity of the Schaefer Brewing Company. All of this was served and consumed in the show room of the Fleetwing Boat Company whose entire building and facilities had been turned over to the race committee for the purpose. A band provided continuous entertainment and the public address system carried a running comment of the progress of the boats on their trip around the island. A dozen engineering students from Stevens Tech had offered to man observation posts along the waterfront and their reports came in promptly over special wires and were in turn relayed through the loud-speakers.

After the conclusion of the outboard event, several classes of inboard runabouts set off to duplicate the trip around the island. Eleven big boats, three each in classes E and K and five in Class I started at five minute intervals. John M. L. Rutherfurd, Class I, driving a Kermath powered Hackercraft, was first to finish with a speed of 42:05 m.p.h. David Gerli and Ed. Calder followed. Keenan Wynn, son of the famous Fire Chief, was first in the large class K with a speed of 43:25 m.p.h., and H. Paul Prigg, driving a Gray engined runabout, was first in Class E. at 31:11 m.p.h. He was closely followed by Arthur Oberle driving a Gray engined Seaman Sea Skiff.

The Race Committee in charge was headed by C. F. Chapman, Chairman, William Rozett, Harvey Hauptner, J. S. Y. Tyson, and Charles C. Alexander as Secretary.

At the close of the day a very handsome collection of trophies and substantial checks, for the professional drivers, provided by the New York American were distributed to the winners amid the cheers of the crowds.

Outboards Unlimited — 5 miles

Flyaway, Fred Jacoby Jr., first; Exter Speshul, Harper Chance, second; Harmony II, Bob Rohan, third; Quaker City Kid, Wm. H. Whitaker. fourth.

Runabouts Classes D-E-F-G — 6 miles

First Heat

Lady Pep, Fred N. Hahn, first; Miss Behave, Ted Megargee, second; Desdemona, Walter G. Kuser, third. Speed of winner, 33.544 m.p.h.

Second Heat

Lady Pep, first; Miss Behave. second; Desdemona, third. Speed of winner, 33.519 m.p.h. Final score on points—Lady Pep 800, Miss Behave 600.

Runabouts Classes A-B-C — 6 miles

First Heat

Arthur Oberle, first: Bo-Peep, Len Bailey, second; Speed of winner. 26.825 m.p.h.

Second Heat

Arthur Oberle, first. Final score on points—Oberle 800.

Hydroplanes 125 cubic inch class

First Heat-6 miles

Emancipator II, Gene Ape!, first; Emancipator III, S. Mortimer Auerbach. second; Howdy II, H. Haffner. third: Guppy, R. H. Dale, fourth. Speed of winner. 39.560 m.p.h.

Second Heat

Emancipator II. first: Howdy II. second: Emancipator III. third: Guppy, fourth. Speed of winner, 39.823 m.p.h. Final score on points— Emancipator II. 800. Emancipator III, 525 (second on time); Howdy II. 525; Guppy 169.

Runabouts Classes H-I

First Heat — 6 miles

Restless. F. S. Carter. first: Ethyl Ruth, A. D. Pugh. second: Flo-Bar, Chas. Kroehling, third. Speed of winner. 34.026 m.p.h.

Second Heat

Ethyl Ruth. first; Restless, second: Flo-Bar. third. Speed of winner. 40.541 m.p.h. Final score on points—Restless 700 (won on time): Ethyl Ruth 700; Flo-Bar 450. (Restless won by 15 seconds).

Ladies Race — 6 miles

Restless, Mrs. Mae Carter, first: Miss Behave. Mrs. Ted Megargee. second: Desdemona. Mrs. Walter Kuser. third; Lady Pep. Miss Emma Van, fourth. Speed of winner, 38.627 m.p.h.

Speedboat Free-for-All — 10 miles

Restless. F. S. Carter. first; Lady Pep. Fred Hahn. second: Desdemona, Walter G. Kuser. third: Ethyl Ruth. A. D. Pugh. fourth. Speed of winner 36.290 m.p.h.

(Reprinted from Motor Boating, August 1934)