1910 APBA Gold Cup
Alexandria Bay, NY, August 4-5, 1910

Dixie II Wins Race

Fleet Motor Boat Covers 33 Miles in 57 Minutes in Alexander Bay

ALEXANDER BAY, N. Y., Aug. 4—The fleet motor boat Dixie II, flying the colors of the Frontenac Yacht Club, won the opening race this afternoon in the Gold Challenge Cup series before a crowd of thousands. She did the thirty-three miles in fifty-seven minutes under adverse conditions. A heavy wind so roughened the water that the race was postponed two hours, and it had abated but little when the start was called.

The Squaw of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club was second and the Skit of the Clayton Yacht Club third. Intruder, Hoosier Boy and Louise were withdrawn.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 5, 1910, p. 12.

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Dixie II Wins in Rough Water

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N. Y., Aug. 5—Weather conditions this afternoon played havoc with the second day’s gold challenge cup motor boat races, leaving but two boats contesting in an event which has been the talk for months in the motor boat world. During the early afternoon a stiff wind kicked up whitecaps in a way that caused hundreds to remain away, believing the race would be postponed. The Dixie II again won to-day. It was a tame race, just a spectacle of a high powered boat dashing through flying spray and never being let out to her full speed. Far behind trailed the freakish Skit, which finished far in the rear yesterday. To-day she came out as the sole opponent of the world famous Dixie II. The race was naturally a disappointment. The time for the 33 miles was 1 hour and 1 minute.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, Aug. 6, 1910, p. 5.)

{The final heat was another lame contest with Dixie II winning with ridiculous ease, and to add insult to the APBA the Times did not even print an article covering the final day of racing – GWC}

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Dixie III Again Wins the Gold Challenge Cup

Once more has Dixie III earned the title of Invincible, at least as far as American racing is concerned, by winning the Gold Challenge Cup at Alexandria Bay, August 4th to 6th, racing under the colors of the Frontenac Yacht Club. Throughout the racing she was steered by her new owner, Mr. F. K. Burnham, with her old engineer, Rappuhn, at the throttle. It is a pleasure to see an owner of a speed boat of the highest class handle the wheel himself in important events, and it speaks well for the future of motor boat racing that this position is not turned over to professionals.

The series of races was on the whole somewhat disappointing and of less interest than last year, owing to the fact that of four boats entered but three finished the first day, while on the second day the old reliable Dixie was the only one to finish, the third race being a sail over for her.

There were four boats entered, Dixie III, Squaw, the Thousand Island Yacht Club entry, Skit, a monoplane, and Skipper.

The first race was run in a stiff west wind that kicked up a short choppy sea, which made the going wet for the contending boats. For this reason the race was postponed from four o’clock in the afternoon to six, although at that hour it was blowing just as hard as it had been at the start. The race was a close one between Dixie and Squaw, while the monoplane Skit lagged behind badly. Dixie was never headed and finished the 31 2/3 mile course in the excellent time of 57:14 without showing, probably, the amount of reserve power she had.

On the next afternoon when the time came for the second race, the wind was worse than it had been the day before and none of the spectators expected the start to be made on time. In fact Mr. Burnham and the crew of Dixie were sleeping up to fifteen minutes of the time set for the start, when the word was received that the race would be started as scheduled. They were on hand, nevertheless, with Dixie when the gun fired, Skit being the only other contender in the race. In spite of the rough water, the boats were sent away at four o’clock. Dixie finished the first round at 4:21:03, while Skit did not complete the course until 4:23:15, a gain of over two minutes for Dixie. The second round was made in about the same time with Dixie drawing further away, and at 5:04:20 Dixie crossed the finish line with the report of the gun from the judges’ boat. Although the committee waited until six o’clock Skit did not finish, one of her cylinders not working properly, besides which she had trouble with her ignition equipment. Thus on the third day Dixie had a sail over, as under the conditions of the race a boat must finish the race to be eligible to start the next day. She covered the course in 57:07, the best time shown in the series.

(Excerpts transcribed from Yachting, September, 1910, p. 217.)

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Gold Challenge Cup Races

Heralded as the premier races of the year the annual Gold Challenge Cup races of the American Power Boat Association, recently held at Alexandria Bay, N.Y., proved a fizzle in every sense of the word. Reports that eight magnificent powerful speeders, groomed to the last speck, were daily doing tryouts in the neighborhood of 40 per5 caused a rush of talent to the historic St. Lawrence, but alas for their hopes, the press agents had put another one over, and after a broken crank-shaft, a few busted cylinders, a disqualification and a lost-in-the-woods rumor had been run down, the mighty squadron of America’s best dwindled down to Dixie III (for some reason still called Dixie II), Squaw and Skit.

Dixie lasted three days and ran as consistently as usual; Squaw ran the first day and again the last day; Skipper failed to complete one race and Skit ran two days; a fine record; only four of the eight to get going at all, and only one of these covered the course three days in succession. For a locality so replete with wealthy men and so full of enthusiastic power-boatmen as this section of the Thousand Islands the exhibition was, to say the least, decidedly tame; but as the trophy will go now to another section of the river we may hope for better results next year.

Last year Dixie defended the cup for the Thousand Islands Y.C. but this year was sold and the new owner, although a member of the club, elected to enter from the Frontenac Y.C.. The defending club naming Squaw, a Crane-designed craft, very similar to Dixie, with Simplex engines, as the defending boat. When her owners allowed her to run she did very well and, in the opinion of many, would, with a little more power, cause Dixie to be extended to her limit. Skipper is a 40-footer of the normal type and Skit, which carried the hopes of Ogdensburg, the home of the various Chips of history, was a hydro or rather monoplane built from the lines of Viper described in THE RUDDER during the past few months. With the exception of the fact that the craft was lengthened four feet and slightly improved aft, she is identical with the ori9ginal Viper. Unfortunately Mr. Leighton only had thirty days to build boat and engine, and she wanted about thirty more days of tuning up. Before the races, according to her owner, she did better than 32 miles per hour, but troubles which didn’t come singly put her out of the running, and while she added much to the spectacular side of the regatta she never was a serious contender.

The races were held over the old course from Alexandria Bay down the river, and three circuits were supposed to represent a distance of 32 statute miles. The three days’ racing was started on August 4th, and on account of a brisk wind which blew down the course the first race was postponed and the craft did not get off until 6 p.m. The spectators meanwhile, who could only see the best part of the course, voiced their disgust in no uncertain terms. Finally at 5:55 p.m. the preparatory gun was fired, and at 6 p.m. they were off for a fair to middling start. Dixie, steered by her owner, impatient apparently at the delay, humped her back a trifle and decided the final result of the racing, barring accidents, in just about 30 seconds after the start. The uninitiated held their breath for another 19 minutes until Dixie shot around for the first circuit followed by Squaw about a minute later, with Skipper two minutes behind her, and Skit away back; but after this thrill the small boys were back to mumblepeg, ad so far as any real interest was concerned the great races were over. A few poor souls "guessed that maybe Dixie would break down," but she went about her business as usual, and on the second lap was slightly over a minute in the lead of Squaw, with Skit last and Skipper stopped down the course. At 6:57:14 Dixie crossed the line, winner of the first race of the series, having covered the course of 32 statute miles in 57 minutes 14 seconds, with Squaw just exactly one minute behind; the unfortunate Skit, with the redoubtable Charlie Fauth working like mad on the machine, some 16½ minutes in the rear.

The second day brought forth only Dixie and Skit, while Squaw, the only craft capable of making an interesting race with Dixie, lay snugly in her boathouse because the course was too ruffled to permit her running. For two rounds Dixie played with Skit until on the final circuit the little boat was put out of business on account of drenched ignition, and Dixie finished majestically alone, her dash across the line bringing forth about three weak toots and a few sad-voiced cheers.

On the last day, Saturday, quite a crowd of spectators’ boats appeared on the course and by way of variety Squaw came out, while Skit, still suffering from acute indigestion of the commutator, remained ashore, Skipper being still off the scene. Promptly at four the procession started and both craft completed the course without accident, incident or enthusiasm; a little diversion being caused by one tiller of the soil, down for the day, who walked absentmindedly off the end of the wharf.

Given the same power as Dixie III, Squaw would have provided some prime racing, but the result was never in doubt and the cup went to Frontenac. Dixie thus enjoying the unique distinction of having defended the cup for the Thousand Islands Y.C. last year, and winning it from the club this year.

(Excerpts transcribed from The Rudder, September, 1910, pp. 125-127.)

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The Gold Cup Races
by C. G. Davis

Four fast motorboats started at the crack of the starting gun of Alexandria Bay at six o’clock, on Thursday, August 4th, and the old reliable Dixie II, with her proud owner, F. K. Burnham, at the steering wheel, and Engineer Rappuhn at the throttle, came home a winner in this, the first of the three days’ racing for the Gold Challenge Cup, beating Squaw, the Thousand Island Yacht Club entry, after a close and exciting race by 1 minute and 12 seconds. Skit, a monoplane, came in 17 minutes later and Skipper, the other entrant, came to a stop on the second round.

It was a well-fought race from start to finish, a race that meant the forfeiting of the leadershit should the motor falter at all, but neither the Dixie II’s nor the Squaw’s did, both roared around the whole thirty-mile course lijke two young volcanoes.

Skit was the more sensational in her actions, for she stuck her bow out of the water for half her length and "glided" with the bobbing up and down peculiar to all hydroplanes, and cut the water n either side of her flat bottom into two high fountains of spray but she could not leg it with the other two in spite of the fact that she carried 120 h.p. on a length of 24 feet.

More boats were expected to participate but some came to grief in preliminary tryouts. The Hoosier Boy did not show up and Louise, a smart little black flyer, was barred from starting by the judges as she did not comply with the race conditions in that she had no reverse gear. Another entry, Intruder, owned by Mr. Burnham, built form designs by H. J. Gielow, broke her crank shaft, and the Insurgent, a Thousand Island boat, owned by W. H. Harris, cracked a cylinder.

Squaw, the local boat, owned by Commodore F. G. Bourne, was built by Joseph Leyare, at Ogdensburg, and is as handsome a craft as one would care to see. She was equipped with the Simplex motor formerly installed in Messenger.

By three p.m. it was blowing from the west in vicious puffs, so that small motorboats had considerable difficulty in making landings. The little green and white houseboat for the use of the judges was anchored in the center of the triangle formed by the three flags that marked the turn off Alexandria Bay, where the start and finish ere to take place. Crossman’s Dock on the mainland was even at that early hour crowded with spectators and the docks along that shore lined with motorboats tied up to see the race. A large fleet of motor yachts was made fast to the trees on Hart Island and held close up to the stone wall bank there. From the top of George Boldt’s houseboat, La Duchess, the photographer and I had a bird’s-eye view of the whole race. The fast little black-hulled Louise, after a conference aboard the judges’ houseboat, went roaring away, her engine snorting the displeasure her owner felt at being disqualified, but the rules had not been observed and it was their own fault.

Then the peculiar little Skit cast off at 3:30 from alongside the judges’ boat and went roaring upstream, a small white flag at her stern bearing her racing number. From some unseen source the Skipper suddenly shot inmto view, a long red mahogany craft rocking from side to side as her crew let her out just to try the turn; then she ran downstream and mingled with the fleet of spectators’ yachts in the lea of Hart Island.

The boats were of all sizes and shapes, but all painted that one clean color, white, and white dresses and white suits predominated among their crews and guests which showed up in handsome contrast to the rich green of the trees that overhung the water almost to the yachts’ masts. Nearly all of the boats were decorated with strings of many colored flags.

Skit seemed little in comparison with the others, and everyone spoke of her as the "little one." She came throbbing down the river at full speed, half her length forward teetering up and down in a manner that fascinated one’s attention so that he hardly noticed the veil of spray thrown up at each side, almost hiding her crew from view.

Dixie II, the brave old warrior, was next to appear on the watery arena, being gently led around by a little midget of a motorboat.

Each of the Thousand Island Yacht Club’s one-design boats, distinguishable by a large black figure on either bow, just abaft their wide, sharp, brass cutwaters, appeared in readiness to patrol the course, clothed with the authority of the vertical striped revenue flag and uniformed crew off the reveue cutter Morrill, stationed here to see that the course was kept clear.

The race was to have been started at 4 p.m., but just at that time a big black lake steamer, the J. W. Keefe, shoved her blunt nose across the line, her officers high up in the pulpit-like bridge on top of her pilot house well forward, while dirty shirted coal passers hung out of the square open port aft right alongside of which a young waterfall came gushing from her pumps.

Evidently the race had been postponed, for no one molested a handsome, little, cedar-planked, canoe-shaped motorboat, that with a party of three or four pushed upriver against the wind. At 4:45 everyone expected that the race would surely start at five, and all eyes were focused on the judges’ boat, but not a sign of a start was to be seen when that hour came around.

The fleet of steam yachts and motorboats, anchored in a group between Sunken Rock Light and the big, black, iron, gas buoy moved up closer and more compactly towards the latter, and in the lea of each island a fleet of spectator boats lay anchored. Boathouses, stone walls and cottage verandas were lined with people but nothing happened. The sky overhead was blue but it was hazy and gray all around the horizon, and cat’s paws of wind rushed across the river, darkening its surfaces as they passed.

The motorboat Nameless then came by just as I counted one hundred motorboats in sight and told the people on the deck below us that there would be no race until six o’clock by holding up six fingers. It was a long wait until six o’clock and one by one the big yachts got under way and their spars disappeared behind the heavy foliage of the various islands. Small open boats, their parties tired of lying still, started to run about; boys in frail little skiffs rowed back and forth across the course, and the crowd on the mainland thinned out noticeably while those on Hart Island stretched out in the grass under the trees and waited. Mr. Miles, in charge of P.D.Q., with a revenue flag on her tall forward flagpole and with the Morrill’s commander aboard, did an act of charity by going around notifying people of the postponement.

Sharply at 5:55 p.m. the crack of the preparatory gun started spectators to their feet. It was blowing then just as hard as ever. Dixie II started the music by the sharp roar of her exhaust as she went tearing upstream followed by Skit. Outrider, once known as the Standard, cast off from a handsome mahogany craft that looked very much like Dixie II. She lay quietly in midstream, content to make a standing start, while the three others, roaring like volcanoes, electrified the crowd as they came tearing the water into spray, increasing their roar as throttles were opene as they neared the line and the sharp crack of the starting gun sounded.

It was a beautiful sight to see Squaw, her crew confident, allow those boats to get almost neck and neck before she, too, jumped ahead and the Skipper and Squaw apparently crossed the line neck and neck. The judges’ split timing showed Dixie and Squaw exactly even, twelve seconds after the signal and Skipper thirteen seconds, while Skit was slightly behind in crossing, being seventeen seconds after the gun.

Four sprays of white water, each with a dot of varnished wood in the center, went gliding out of sight down the river pretty nearly as fast and very much the same viewed from astern as the flat stones we, as boys, used to skitter over the surface of ponds. Dixie II seemed to be forging ahead but we could not tell from so far away.

The crowd had suddenly reassembled at Crossman’s Dock by some sort of magic but there were fewer spectators’ boats than there had been an hour earlier.

The wind was every bit as strong, the flag halliards beat a tattoo on the pole beside me and the flag snapped and cracked overhead, while the bunting on the many flagpoles of the hotels was stretched out flat and hard.

At 6:15 two white spots were seen coming up the river. One of these gliding spray spots was well in the lead. The pall of soft coal smoke out of the funnel of a little white steamer downriver made a background against which the spray loomed up clearly. In a moment we saw a bright red bow, which proclaimed the leader as Dixie II, and the lighter color of the second boat’s varnished mahogany hull told that she was Squaw.

At 6:19:04 Dixie was officially timed on her first round. Mr. Burnham, swathed in white to deaden the roar of her engine, stood up to make the turn and when her nose pointed downstream he reached over, tapped Rappuhn on the shoulder and, words being useless in that roar, motioned to let her out. "Rap" did let her out, as Dixie’s actions showed. Squaw, cutting a beautiful, clean circle and looking the shadow of the leader, rounded at 6:20:09. Skipper came next at 6:21:53 and I noticed that she swung outboard s she rounded. She had a crew of three, and her skipper, with a two-handed grip on the steering wheel on her port coaming, made a pretty turn. Skit came last, rounding at 6:25:11, and she scooted around with that peculiar glide characteristic of all planers, she looked as terrifying head on as a "fire engine in full blast to the man on the crossing getting out of its way." She certainly looked wicked but the big, long, sharp fellows were too much for her.

After they had passed out of sight the suspense was relieved and people who had watched in silence found relief in laughter and conversation. Many audibly expressed a hope that some other boat than Dixie II would win; it would be more interesting they thought, but Dixie was running them all off their feet, and, with her capable owner at the wheel and "Rap" at her throttle, she had a crew hard to beat. The next time they came into view one had a long lead, and there was no use to ask who. The spray they threw coming across the open stretch of the bay was the same as before. Again we saw one long, red hull with yellow deck and a long, flat streak of suds; the second boat a more yellow tint of hull with two high sprays of water off either side. They were Dixie II and Squaw.

The turns were laid out so that Dixie had to turn against the thrash of her screw which accounted for the rattle of her exhaust as "Rap" slowed her engine for the turn to roar again when around. The times as they rounded were: Dixie II, 6:38:21; Squaw, 6:39:28.

Both helmsmen stood up, gripping the wheels in positions which would inspire a sculptor. Squaw’s engineer was sitting low pumping up pressure as puffs of thin, black smoke shot out of her low funnels. She is a beautiful craft. Her bright mahogany glittered in the sun while the polished brass deck fittings shot back starts of sunlight as they caught the rays just right. The two other boats were not in sight, and it was learned later that Skipper’s engine had run short of oil and rather than burn out his bearings her pilot slowed her down and withdrew, but the Skit was still running and by the time the others were out of sight she made her appearance and came gliding around at 6:50:20. One of her crew of three men was not visible, and the other two with lifebelts on were crouched low behind the little peaked khaki tent-like cover over her motor. Her motion over the water was exactly like that of the steamer Cero II, only the peculiar whistle of that craft was missing.

As the spots of spray again appeared the fleet of steam yachts edges across the river to be nearer the finish.

It was again Dixie II that led as they came down the home stretch. Her spray shot out like puffs of steam from her side, and her rival, far astern, was throwing it up in clouds. Dixie didn’t run—that don’t express it—she shot along the water like a projectile out of a gun—shooting out of sight behind one craft—across the interval of open water to disappear behind another and that’s all we could see, just an intermittent flash—between spectator boats until she crossed the finish line and the bark of the committee gun announced her winner.

Cannon boomed and whistles tooted all over the bay while both contestants and spectators hustled for boathouses and docks, and there was but slim attendance when the Skit came gliding home at 7:15:45.

No one imagined for a moment that the race would be started at four o’clock on Friday as the weather conditions at that time were far worse than those of yesterday. It was not only blowing much harder but the direction was such that instead of crossing the river as it did the day before it made a clean sweep right downstream; a heavy, lumpy sea was running and rain did not improve things. So little did Mr. Burnham expect to be called upon to race Dixie II, that at fifteen minutes before the start, both he and Rappuhn were taking a nap when word was received announcing the start of the race at four. Dixie was there, nevertheless, though the preparatory gun had sounded and only four minutes remained before the start when her motor was started.

A little blue flag with white square in its center had been hoisted on the flagstaff of the judges’ boat under the red and white club flag. Things happened fast when they did begin. The bark of the cannon on the judges’ boat sent Dixie II shooting for the line which she crossed about 15 seconds after the gun, while Skit was five seconds behind Dixie II, roaring louder than ever, her nose up higher and a bigger white wake astern. She carried a crew of only two men to-day. Mr. Gillespie’s oldest son was at the wheel, his younger brother "Bub" having had that pleasure the day before.

Old guides who had been down the river earlier in the day reported a nasty sea up towards Chippewa Bay and we could see by the way they threw the water that it was rougher than yesterday. I happened to look to see how they were weathering it, just as Dixie II took three high jumps, disappearing each time behind walls or jets of spray that must have been seven or eight feet high, but the reason for this was explained by a big lake steamer, the Toronto, that was coming into Alexandria Bay Dock. Dixie had struck the steamer’s wash. Skit danced the same time and then they were soon out of sight.

"Here they con! See them,--right up by Whiskey Island," shouted one of the onlookers, as they reappeared. Dixie II was cutting clean and running fast and came sweeping around the triangle of white flags at 4:21:03, slowing up perceptibly as she did so and then opening up for the straight run. She was away beyond Sunken Rock Light, passing down on the far side of the river with Skit coming up on the other side, a sliding shower bath.

Skit rounded at 4:23:15 with her nose up high turning sharp around the corner flags which caused some to think she was not going outside the middle flag.

Dixie rounded the second time at 4:42:30, with Skit a speck of spray far away. It had been blowing a gale, and was so cold that everyone had his collar turned up and hands dug into pockets, but now it began to rain and people scurried for shelter under verandas or under the wide spreading threes on Crossman’s Landing. At 4:48:20 Skit rounded her second time while hundreds of spectators tried to peek under the awnings or past the ends of big steam yachts two or three of which had tied up to the dock so that a favored few could sit in camp chairs and watch the sport, blocking the view of all others.

At 5:04:20 Dixie II came roaring across the line, and was half a mile up the river when the bark of a gun from the judges’ boat startled us. Then several steamers tooted three very tardy blasts of appreciation.

"As cold as the weather was" was a remark made at my elbow by a party of men but Dixie II’s rattle-like exhaust had disappeared between the islands on her way to Mr. Burnham’s handsome boathouse.

We waited and waited—six o’clock came and still no Skit appeared nor did she finish—the first of her six cylinders had not been working properly all during the race and finally her dry cell fed jump-spark ignition quit on the last round and she had to be towed home.

This, under the conditions of the race, eliminated all but Dixie II as a boat must finish to be eligible to start the next day.

On Saturday, the final day of the races, Dixie II had a sailover, and she covered the course in 57 minutes, 7 seconds. Squaw raced with her, but since the latter boat failed to finish in Friday’s race she was not in the running, but served to make things interesting for the spectators. Since Dixie II raced under the colors of the Frontenac Yacht Club the Gold Challenge Cup goes to that club.

The judges were H. T. Koerner, president of the American Power Boat Association, G. Averill and R. H. Eggleston. The Regatta Committee was composed of Dr. M. J. Gibbons, chairman: Lee Rumsay, A. G. Miles, Maxwell Rafferty, George Hasbrouck, F. K. Burnham and C. L. Hayden.

(Excerpts transcribed from MotorBoat, August 10, 1910, pp. 37-40.)

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Winning the Gold Cup for Frontenac
The Eighth Race for the Challenge Trophy of the American Power Boat Association.
How Dixie II Broke a Record and Won Back the Cup She Had Successfully defended.
by Kinsley Wilcox Slauson

Wind and weather, so much of it that even the old rivermen admitted that there was "a bit of a blow on," combined with the withdrawal of three of the seven entrants, made the races of the American Power Boat Association lack their accustomed interest. With an entry list including seven craft, each of which had made during her trials records of better than thirty miles an hour, and with yachts and cruising boats on hand from many and distant parts of the country, interest in the races previous to the events was very keen. There were numerous "dark horses," and the appearance of a number of new boats running up and down the river in the vicinity of Alexandria Bay created an unusual amount of excitement so that those who had been following the racers closely predicted that Dixie II would not have as easy a time in lifting the cup as she did in defending it last year.

Ideal weather during the first four days of the week changed upon Thursday, August 4th, to typical racing weather and the wind, which had veered to the southwest, increased in violence until 3.30, the time for which the races had been called, there was such a sea running that it was next to impossible to conduct the races on scheduled time.

Notwithstanding this, that interest in motor boat racing is as keen as ever was shown by the fact that in spite of the long and tedious waits of past years, hundreds of steam yachts and motor boats lay at anchor from 3.30 until 6 o’clock waiting for the starting signal. Many of the larger yachts had been thoroughly provided with Japanese stewards who could be seen serving tea at frequent intervals, but the smaller craft, on board which the presence of a Japanese steward would have left little room for other passengers, were obliged to content themselves with speculating as to the probable outcome of the races. It was a noticeable fact that during the long wait not more than two or three craft weighed anchor and made for their home ports without waiting for the red and white flag to be raised upon the judge’s boat.

The official entry list, which before the races looked quite formidable, included Skipper, equipped with an 8 cylinder 250 h.p. Jencick engine, representing the Chippewa Yacht Club; Intruder, representing the New York Boat Club, and equipped with a Sterling engine of eight cylinders and developing 2140 h.p.; Dixie II, which so successfully defended the cup for the Thousand Islands Yacht Club last year, this year representing the Frontenac Yacht Club, and equipped with an 8 cylinder Crane engine of 250 h.p.; Hoosier Boy, the famous racer from the Middle West, representing the Buffalo Launch Club, and equipped with an 8 cylinder Buffalo engine; Skit, of whom a remarkable performance was expected, representing the Clayton Yacht Club, and equipped with a 6 cylinder Leighton engine of 120 h.p.; Louise, representing the Syracuse Yacht Club, equipped with a 6 cylinder Lloyd engine developing 120 h.p.; Squaw, the defender, representing the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, and equipped with a 150 h.p. Simplex engine. Insurgent, a new boat, which was to represent the Gananoque Yacht Club, owing to numerous accidents, did not make her appearance.

The closer one examined the entry list the better it looked, and after the formal announcement of the contestants much interest was shown in the probable outcome inasmuch as several were expected to give Dixie, which last year was considered to be without a rival, a close race for the trophy. The Thousand Islands Yacht Club added interest to the events by refusing to enter Dixie II as a defender and withholding the name of their entry until a short time before the races were called. A new hull had been constructed for the particular purpose of defending the cup, and when it was found a few days previous to the races that the high powered Simplex motor for which the boat had been built could not reach the river in time, a force of men worked day and night to change her engine bed, and in its stead was used the 150 h.p. Simplex motor, which has for a number of years driven the Messenger, a well-known 50-foot craft belonging to Mr. F. G. Bourne, the owner of Squaw which defended the cup.

Perhaps the most interest previous to the races was attracted by Skit, which was built in Ogdensburg and had come to the Bay bearing a speed record in smooth water of almost 34 miles per hour. Had the weather been more favorable shoe would doubtless have given a better account of herself, but the high waves of the first day, and the fact that her engine could not be made to run properly held her speed down to considerably less than 30 miles an hour. She was in fact an extremely poor third upon the first day, Skipper, the fourth boat, having dropped out, and the second day she completed but one round of he course after a very poor showing.

Intruder which was designed to prove the fastest boat on the St. Lawrence River, and whose reputation had reached Alexandria bay almost before her keel was laid, proved somewhat disappointing during her trials and it is doubtful if she could have upheld her reputation even had she not met with an unfortunate accident two days previous to the race. During one of her trial runs a crank shaft snapped and did considerable damage to several cylinders of her motor, putting her completely out of the race.

Hoosier Boy cracked a cylinder early in the week and was unable even to put in an appearance in time for the events. Louise, a black, rakish-looking craft which had shown bursts of speed approaching 34 miles per hour, seemed doomed to misfortune and was unable to enter. Two weeks previous to the date set for the races she had thrown her entire crew into the water during a practice run, causing the death of one man and the narrow escape of the other three occupants of the boat. The following week she broke her clutch and being unable to secure a new one in time was prevented by the rules of the American Power Boat Association from racing with a solid shaft, much to the disappointment of her admirers.

Insurgent, a craft of much reputed speed had also drowned one of her crew by overturning during the previous week in the vicinity of Morristown N.Y., and did not enter.

With three of the seven entrants out of the running before the races started there was no danger of the cup leaving the river and the mere presence of the unfortunate Skit, the one hydroplane model in the race, was all that prevented the bridge parties on board the yachts from attracting more interest than the races. Somewhere in the background, too, was a faint hope that Dixie would uphold her reputation for consistent performance by making another record as she did last year, even though it would mean that the trophy would pass from the hands of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club and be given over to the charge of the Frontenac Club.

The "dark horse" of the events, representing the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, had been making her trial runs in the early morning hours long before those who seek rest and recreation in the heart of the Thousand Islands had thought of arising even for an early morning fishing trip, and few had seen her, although there were many reports from those who were returning, probably from fishing trips of the previous day, as to a fast-flying craft which had been churning up the waters in the vicinity of Dark Island. When Squaw ran slowly up the river from her boat house upon the first day of the races here were many remarks of admiration for her clean cut lines and her exceptionally well balance hull. She cut through the water with slight disturbances and seemingly little effort and the prediction that she would finish close upon the heels of Dixie, if not ahead of her, appeared to possess much truth even upon the first day when her engines were not running properly.

The course, three times around Ironsides Island, was thirty-two miles in length, 10 2/3 miles to each circuit. The start was from an imaginary line drawn from a signal flag upon George C. Boldt’s palatial house boat, La Duchess, anchored off the head of Hart Island opposite Alexandria Bay, to another signal flag located in the lower bay. The official judges’ boat of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club was anchored in midstream upon this line. Contrary to the custom of former years, all buoy were kept to starboard, making the course much less complicated and the finish was marked by the continuation of the starting line to the east of the judges’ boat.

After two hours and a half of waiting on the first day, the preparatory gun was given at 5.55 o’clock, and although the wind was blowing fully as hard as at 3.30 when the races had been called, it was not deemed advisable to postpone them until later. Although the start cannot be compared with that of last year when the four entrants crossed the line abreast with less than ten feet of open water between them and the starting line to prevent their disqualification, Squaw, Skipper and Skit were fairly even as to their relative positions, with Dixie somewhat in the lead. Dixie increased this lead until the first round found her a considerable distance ahead of Squaw with Skipper, although apparently running well, a rather poor third. Much interest was still shown in Skit which rode seemingly upon but a few feet of her flat-bottomed after-portion, her rudder, which was set upon out-riggers, throwing a stream of water far astern.

The heavy sea appeared to cause Skit much trouble, and not only did the high waves hold her back but the showers of spray, as it afterward transpired, shortcircuited her plugs so that the motor was developing little more than 90 h.p. instead of 120. She pluckily continued, however, for the three rounds and secured third place owing to the fact that Skipper had withdrawn upon the second circuit due to difficulty with her lubricating system. Skit did not receive the customary ovation when she crossed the finish line, as she was considered practically out of the running and there were few craft left to welcome her after her hard race in unusually rough water. The score at the end of the first day stood, Dixie 4 points, Squaw 3 points, and Skit 2 points, the points for scoring being taken from the maximum number of starters upon the first day, regardless of the number finishing.

The second day, which was bright and clear in the morning, brought a continuation of the heavy wind by noon and by 1 o’clock rain added to the discomfiture of the spectators. The wind had increased during the night until the sea was worse than the day before and few people had any idea that the race would be started. Squaw didn’t even put out from her boat house, and much to the disappointment of everyone, Dixie and Skit ere the only contestants, the former of course winning easily and adding four more points to her score. Skit could not contend against the heavy swells and was obliged to return to her boat house before the second round was completed. This was her final appearance as she seemed to take hr defeat mush to heart and was not seen upon the third and final day.

August 6th was an ideal day for racing, although the sky was somewhat overcast and rain threatened, but the wind had dropped and spectators were more in evidence, due to a report that Dixie would make a record. It was thought that Skipper and Skit would race to furnish additional excitement although they had now no chance of winning the cup, and when the warning signal was given at 3.55, only two craft, Dixie and Squaw, were manoeurvering for the start. Squaw, however, owing to her extremely business-like proportions received much attention and the start was a fairly good one, although both boats crossed the line 13 seconds after the gun. Dixie made the first round in 18 min. 59 sec., actual running time, with Squaw 16 seconds behind her. It was afterwards learned that Squaw had lost much valuable time through attempting to round the buoy at the foot of Ironsides in the wrong direction and being obliged to retrace a small portion of the course. She made up much of this in the second round, and since she appeared to be running even better than Dixie there were not a few that predicted that she would win the race. It was impossible to determine whether Dixie was being pushed to her limit, although those who were keeping close watch of her time found that she was making each round in approximately 19 minutes, or at a rate of almost 34 miles per hour. This if maintained to the end would break the record for the course, and although on short spurts she has traveled as greater speeds than this, the covering of a 32-mile course in less than an hour caused the watchers upon the shore and on board the yachts to await the outcome with interest.

When the gun marking the finish boomed forth from the judges’ boat, the official time showed that Dixie had completed the 32 miles in 57 minutes and 20 seconds, six seconds slower than her time of the first day, although this was more than accounted for by the 13 seconds lost at the start. Squaw, which had evidently been running faster than Dixie ever since losing the distance on the first round, crossed the line only ten seconds later.

Dixie’s performance on the first day sets a new record for the course and lowers by 1 minute and 11 seconds her time made last year when a new mark of 32.87 miles per hour was made, a record for boats under 40 feet in length. Her actual running time upon the last day was considerably faster, but this year’s performance made under conditions less favorable than those last year, again makes her more certain of her position as the fastest 40-footer in the world by raising the record to 33.53 miles per hour. It will be noticed that the speed made by Squaw would easily have defeated Dixie’s record time of last year.

Although accidents to many of the contestant and the stormy weather marred the pleasure of many, the last day of the races when two boats each covered 32 miles of water which was by no means smooth in less than an hour, proved a redeeming feature. The United States Revenue Cutter Morrill was on hand as last year and remained at anchor off the Casino, while her officers patrolled the course in a very different manner with the assistance of several boats from the one-design class of racers built this year for members of the Thousand Island Yacht Club.

There were no accident during the races, although one craft, which had cracked a cylinder head and was lying helplessly in the path of Dixie which was bearing down upon her, was rescued in the nick of time by a speedy boat which threw her a line and towed her to safety. The only amusing incident to those who were watching the races from the water front of Alexandria Bay was furnished by an excitable photographer who insisted upon getting a close view of Dixie at full speed with a small pocket camera and who had great difficulty in persuading the various oarsmen who were attempting to assist, to row him directly in her path so that the racer would be obliged to change her course, thus giving him an excellent view at the turn.

The races, with the exception of the last round of the last day, were a disappointment from a spectacular standpoint, and although there was much enthusiasm it took on a certain air of artificiality, due doubtless to the results of former years when the outcome has not been in doubt. The weather contributed its share toward dampening the ardor of the spectators after the races had started, and the fact that the second day’s race was run under conditions that prevented even the nearby cottagers from leaving the seclusion of their own firesides gave Dixie a lead that could not be overcome and made the result a certainty before the third day.

The spectators can scarcely be blamed for not putting in an appearance upon the second day, and strangers to the river, the fact that they had seen Dixie make a new record for the distance. Then, too, when an unbroken month of ideal weather changes to a "sou`wester" upon the first day of the events, even the optimistic river guides can do little to cheer visitors by telling them that the waves would be much higher if the wind were from the other direction.

Skit was handicapped by bad weather and proved a disappointment except as a smooth-water racer. She is essentially a creation of the Chippewa Yacht Club, and her design was secured by fastening to the original Chip a soap box which had been so modified as to its lines that it rose up on end when towed through the water at a sufficient rate of speed. Her motor is one of the two engines with which Chip II twice won the cup, and she proved later at Frontenac that there is merit in her lines when she has no rough water to contend against. Skit’s later performances have somewhat consoled her designer, the present owner of the original Chip, who could do nothing but sit on the shore and listen to the remarks of the spectators as to "freak boats" in general.

The Gold Challenge Cup has now left the custody of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club and has moved eight miles up the river to Frontenac where it will again be contested for next summer. The races of 1910 were held upon the 4th, 5th and 6th of August, two weeks earlier than customary, owing to the international races for the Harmsworth Trophy, which were held at Larchmont on August 20th.

Squaw ran a close race with Dixie, and it is quite possible that had the races been postponed for better weather or had her crew been aware of the fact that the races were to be held on the second day notwithstanding the weather, she might have been successful in defending the cup.

The Gold Challenge Cup, offered by the American Power Boat Association, was first won in the summer of 1904 by Standard, representing the Columbia Yacht Club of New York City, and the races were consequently held upon the Hudson River. Later in the same season, the cup was taken to the St. Lawrence by Vingt-et-Un, racing for the Chippewa Yacht Club, where it remained for three years, being successfully defended in 1905, 1906 and 1907 by Chip I and Chip II. In 1908 the old rating rules, which had proved very unsatisfactory, were abandoned, and no limit of any kind was placed upon the contestants except that they must be under 40 ft. in length. Under these free-for-all rules Dixie II took the cup to the Thousand Islands Yacht Club at Alexandria Bay, easily wresting it from the Chippewa Yacht Club, who used as their defender the famous Chip II, the boat with the "pipe organ exhaust."

Last year the Dixie successfully defended the cup, and while with this year’s races the cup goes to another club, to Dixie II for the third time goes the honor of winning it.


First Day, August 4th



1st round

2nd round

3rd round

Total time



Dixie II




























Second day, August 5th

Dixie II













(Transcribed from MotorBoating, September 1910, pp. 3-6.)

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

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