The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & News (Kingston, ON), Sept. 17, 1848

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The Kingston Harbor Regatta came off yesterday, and afforded one of the best day's sport which it has fallen to the lot of the Kingstonians to witness for a long period. The weather was comparatively fair. During the previous day and night there was a gale of wind from the S.S.E. accompanied with heavy rain, promising a necessary postponement of the Regatta, but, although with a change of the wind to the N.W., there were frequent threatenings during the morning of Friday, but a very slight shower was experienced. The breeze during the day was pretty fresh from the latter quarter, but rather puffy, and the boats generally came to their moorings for the start under reefed canvas.

It was arranged that the boats of the first and second classes should start together - an arrangement by which three of the second class were enabled to enter for the first, as well as second prize. The following entries for these classes were made:-

Jenny Lind, Mr. Collins, first class.

Mary Ann, Mr. Rutherford, do.

Tempset (sic), Mr. Pigeon, 1st and 2nd.

Foam, Mr. Baird, R.B. do.

Inconstant, Mr. Radcliffe, XX do.

Papoose, Lt. Davis, R.N., second.

Shortly after twelve the booming of the gun gave the signal for starting. The moorings were near the bridge, and the boats ran up the harbor with a very free wind, the Mary Ann leading. As Point Frederick was rounded, they stretched for the first buoy off Ferguson's Point, Long Island, about three miles distant, and with the wind nearly aft, the Jenny Lind hoisted a square sail, and soon closed upon and passed the Mary Ann; but both were soon passed by the Tempest, perriauger rigged, and running wing on wing. The Tempest rounded the first buoy considerably in advance of her competitors, but the advantage here gained was soon lost in running upon the wind for the next buoy stationed off Four Mile Point: the Jenny Lind and Mary Ann closed up again, passed, and now it was fairly seen that the chief contest of the day lay between these two fine yachts. From the Four Mile Point buoy to that opposite Ferris's, it was a dead beat on the wind: the two last named boats rounded this in very close proximity to each other, and then were "homeward bound." The Jenny Lind came in the winner by about one hundred yards distance. Of the second class boats, the Inconstant shortly after made her appearance, leading, but very closely followed by the Foam - so close as to render it doubtful, when the harbor was entered, and short beating stretches were required, which of the two would round first the winning point. The Tempest, too, was close at hand, but did not save her entrance. The Papoose lagged behind some distance, but her size was against her in this class, being much smaller than any of her competitors. The distance sailed was about twelve miles in direct lines. Time - winner, first class, 2 h. 13 m.; winner, second class, 2 h. 28 m.

About one o'clock the signal was given for the boats of the third class to get under weigh. Nine entries had been made in this class, as follows:-

Ada, Mr. Leaman,

Sans Souci, Mr. Burrowes,

Surge, Capt. Paynter, R.A.

Jessie, Mr. Fowler,

Iris, Mr. Rowlands,

Odd Fellow, Mr. Offord,

Nautilus, Mr. Chambers,

Golden Arrow, Mr. Osborne,

Eliza, Mr. Fisher.

All of these got well under way, and on passing Point Frederick, the group presented a very interesting sight. A separation was soon, however, effected. Several carried square sails for running before the wind and these soon left their less prepared antagonists well behind. From some misunderstanding, a wrong direction was taken, the Jessie leading for Mr. George's white barn on Long Island, under the presumption that the first buoy was stationed opposite, and the remainder, not doubting the correctness of the course taken by the worthy Secretary's own yacht, followed boldly as best they could. The consequence was that they ran in nearly three quarters of a mile below the actual station of the buoy. There was one exception. The look-out of the little Odd Fellow early perceived the actual position of the buoy and made direct for it, followed by the Ada, an American boat from French Creek, and these two passed it in the order in which they are named. But the Jessie discovering her error, was hard upon them, and making a splendid run, easily passed, and ere the second buoy had been reached, placed the better part of a mile between her and them. But the Jessie had overreached herself; she reached the buoy in time to experience a lull of the N.W. wind and consequently to feel a pressure from the westward, throwing her considerably out of her course, and when her antagonists came up to that point the breeze had freshened and was coming again clear from the N.W. placing them considerably to windward. The Ada was closely followed by the Sans Souci and the Surge, and entered the harbor in the order in which we have just named them, the Jessie following! The remaining five boats did not round the third buoy, the weather encountered between the second and third being squally, with rain - and prudence and personal comfort suggesting, that where all hope of winning the prize or saving the entrance had fled, the quicker home the better. The race was a very fine one. There were but four minutes of time difference between the winner of the third class prize and that of the second class, notwithstanding the blunder which led the former a wild-goose chase for the discovery of the first buoy. Time, winner 3rd class, 2 h. 32 m.

For the fourth class, the entries made were:

The Queen, Mr. Burnison,

New Era, Mr. Gildersleeve,

Sea Lark, Mr. Grist,

Agnes, Mr. Cunningham,

Gazelle, Mr. Walker, R.B.

Devil-may-care, Mr. Howard,

Dread, Mr. Morisette.

The Queen, a Brockville boat, lead easily the whole way, and came in the winner. The Dread saved her entrance.

For the Scow Race, two entries were made - the White Pigeon, from French Creek, and the Ferry, of Long Island. The Ferry led handsomely round the two first buoys, and at so good a distance that we took it for granted that she would come in the winner. But it is probable that in the beat between the second and third buoys, under a rain squall, the larger boat closed upon the smaller, for she came in the winner by a couple of hundred yards.

The Rowing Matches had commenced before the return of the scows. The first was between two six-oared boats - one from French Creek and the other from Wolfe Island. The American crew worked well, with an excellent boat and lost but by a couple of lengths; the Wolfe Islanders sustaining their ancient reputation were declared the winners.

For the four-oared boat race, four boats were entered - the

Blue Bird, M. Oades,

Picaninni, Lt. Davis, R.N.

General Wolfe, W. & I. Reg. Club,

General Brock, Mr. Cameron.

The first did not run and the race was altogether between the Wolfe Islanders and the sailors of the Dockyard - the Wolfe and the Picaninni, the former winning. The other two were six-oared boats, manned by four men, but were evidently not a match for the Brock and the Picaninni, built expressly for four oars.

For the two oared race, the entries made were the

Picaninni, Lt. Davis, R.N.

General Brock, Mr. Cameron,

Firefly, do.

The two first were the chief competitors in the four-oared race - who now appeared shorn of one half of their propelling power for a fresh contest. The Picaninni and the Firefly, by an error, went on a wrong course, and the Brock alone rounded the proper buoy. The owner of the Brock proposed to run this race over again, but the Picaninni declining, the Brock was declared the winner.

For the Championship, three entries were made, the

Dart, Mr. Medley,

Firefly, Mr. Cameron,

Cow, W.I. Regatta Club.

Eccles, the old champion of the Bay, was absent from illness, and Wolfe Island was on this occasion represented by a young Frenchman, Baptiste Turcotte. The Wolfe Island Regatta Club had afforded sixteen men for the rowing matches already disposed of, and they were not in condition to supply Eccles' place in a better manner. Mr. Medley rowed his own boat - a beautifully formed skiff - and came in handsomely the winner - and the champion of the bay. The Wolfe Islanders will hardly, however, allow the championship to rest quietly here.

The second skiff race, by an omission, was not called - and it is arranged that the contest shall take place today at three o'clock. The entries are:-

Better late than never, Mr. Baird, R.B.

Cow, W.I. Regatta Club,

Firefly, Mr. Cameron.

In the third skiff race, the Experiment, rowed by a Wolfe Islander, won, beating the Engineer.

The sports of the day closed with an interesting Sculling Match between the Emerald and the Rowdy. The former won, but we have not the names of the scullers.

From the list thus given, it will be seen that the day was well occupied, and the sports of a very varied character. The steamers Magnet and Prince of Wales, crowded with spectators, moved about the bay and afforded to a large number of the citizens of Kingston excellent opportunities of viewing the contests at different points; and we have no doubt that the result will be the imparting of a considerable impetus to the growing taste for aquatic sports.

p.3 The Weather - ...During the storm on Thursday night the foremast of the brig Lilla was struck by lightning, receiving, however, but little damage.

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Sept. 17, 1848
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Chronicle & News (Kingston, ON), Sept. 17, 1848