1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Regatta
Wolff IIand Pacer Win Races
In point of enthusiasm aroused and records produced, the worlds championship motor power boat races on Lake Washington yesterday afternoon, were a grand success. The attendance at the opening event was not large, possibly due to the fact that the meetings had not been advertised sufficiently, but every spectator of Saturdays contests is bound to prove a booster for the principal part of the series next week.
At an average speed of nearly thirty-two miles an hour, the Wolff II, manned by Captain E. W. Spencer and J. E. Wolff, of Portland, won the big free-for-all, thirty-mile event for all boats of twelve meters or less. Her closest, and as it eventually proved, her only competitor, the Pacer, also a Portland boat, handled by R. F. Cox and W. C. Slattery, failed to develop any excitement, unable to get within hailing distance of Wolff II after the first half mile and losing by almost half a lap. This was partly excused by the fact she is a much smaller craft, really in the ten meter class with a measurement of only thirty-two feet. The Wolff II falls only one inch short of forty feet in length.
Twenty-Mile Race Exciting
The real excitement of a close contest and admiration of a pretty well fought race from start to finish was drawn to the twenty-mile race of the ten-meter craft, fought out between the Seattle Spirit, manned by Emerson Reed and Charles Binkley, the Aries by Eddie Roesch, and the Lawana, a Roberts boat owned by J. B. Brown. This was scheduled for a thirty-mile course and will be conducted as such through the remainder of the series next Tuesday and Thursday, but because of the late hour yesterday afternoon it was cut down to two laps or twenty miles.
In this event, won by the Pacer in 42 minutes 4 4-5 seconds, the Seattle Spirit and Lawana passed and repassed each other time after time in their struggle to hold second place.
Seattle Spirit has taken the lead of the field at the start by a margin of nearly seventy-five yards, but the Pacer forged ahead before the end of the first lap and continued to increase the distance in the second. By the middle of the second round Spirit had apparently given up the chase and was fully half a lap behind Lawana.
The big interest was expected in the event between the Pacer and the Wolff II, in the free-for-all, as it is understood the owner of the defeated boat stands to lose something like $1,000, the result of a wager on the outcome. It is said the Pacer, which is a New York built vessel, was sent West for the special purpose of beating the Wolff II, which has claimed the championship of the Pacific Coast the last two or three years and has yet to meet its peer.
Wolff II Real Flyer
The Wolff II has a six-cylinder engine, 6-inch bore and 6 ½-inch stroke, developing between ninety and 110 horse power. The Pacer has a six-cylinder Leighton engine, 5x5 ½, 120 horse power. The Lawana, which also entered the free-for-all but was compelled to draw out at the end of the second lap because of broken steering gear, has only a 5x5 engine developing not more than fifty horse power.
Considerable jockeying featured the start of both big races, the Pacer and Lawana trying it on in the first event with disastrous result. Still unsatisfied, these same two, together with the Aries, tried it again in the twenty-mile race. In consequence, the Wolff with a standing start in the first, secured a lead of at least 100 yards and the Seattle Spirit with the same kind of a getaway secured fully 50 yards advantage in the second.
The Wolff II, champion of the Pacific Coast, made the thirty-mile run, with the eleven turns in 56 minutes, 25 1-5 seconds. The Pacers time for the course was 61 minutes, 14 1-5 seconds.
In the second big event the Pacer made the twenty-mile race in 42minutes, 1 4-5 seconds, the Lawana in 42 minutes, 58 1-5 seconds. The Spirits time was not recorded and the Aries failed to finish.
Three other events, the 18-foot, 22-foot, and 28-foot classes were run off with only one entry in each, but these will be continued Tuesday and Thursday next week, and several new entries which failed to reach Seattle for yesterdays race, are expected to appear and give yesterdays solitary runners a dash for the money. These events are for only ten miles, once around the course.
The Ayacanora, owned by A. Stanley White, in the 18-foot class made the distance in 51 minutes, 55 ½ seconds, the Pokey, in the 22-foot class, by Hildebrand of Olympia, in 39 minutes, 41 2-5 seconds, and the Lady Jane Grey, in the 28-foot class, covered the course in 1 hour, fifteen minutes, and 46 1-5 seconds.
Guggenheim Likes Sport
M. Robert Guggenheim, patron of the New York-Seattle automobile race finished last week, and who is one of the judges in the motor power boat races, enthusiastically declared yesterday that the racing boats outclassed the autos. He declared his intention to enter the lists himself next year and said he contemplated dismantling his high power road machine, having a special hull built and installing the auto motor in the boat.
The judges announced yesterday that the second heat in the championship series next Tuesday will begin at 2 p.m. sharp, the starting gun in the first event to be fired on the dot of the hour. The course will be the same as yesterdays from Exposition Pier, at the east side of the fair grounds, to Madison Park, thence to Leschi Park, across to Medina on the east shore, and back to the start, a distance of ten miles.
(Transcribed from the Seattle Daily Times, July 4, 1909, p. 18)
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page --LF]
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