The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 25, 1848

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To the Editor of the British Whig.

Mr. Editor,-

Being aware that many of the readers of the British Whig take an active interest in the promotion and success of the manly and healthful sport of Yacht Sailing, I wish to lay before them a correct account of a very close contested race which took place on Friday last, between two boats well known in this harbour, viz.: the Jessie, Mr. Fowler, and the Sans-Souci, owned by Mr. Burrows.

The course was from the Martello Tower, opposite the town, round Nine Mile Point, down Batteau Channel, and from thence back again rounding the Tower.

Captain William Donaldson, the judge appointed to start the Boats, cried "Go," at 20 minutes past 2 P.M., and off they went accordingly, the Jessie a few yards in advance; the wind being about west the boats lay their course close-hauled, and both kept almost beside each other till nearly abreast of Snake Island, where the Sans-Souci collared and passed her opponent to windward, not without much difficulty. Not long after this a circumstance occurred which reflects much discredit on the crew of a schooner called the Odd Fellow, who, being to windward of the Sans-Souci, bore down upon her and shook the wind out of her sails, thereby checking her speed and diminishing her chance of the race. On being demonstrated with, in (it must be confessed) rather strong language for their malicious and unsportmanlike conduct, they repeated the offence, again bearing down and again shaking the wind out of the sails of the Sans-Souci, who this time, however, managed to shake off her troublesome companion, and from that moment continued widening the distance between herself and the Jessie.

After rounding Nine Mile Point, both Boats set their square sails, but after a few minutes that of the Sans-Souci had to be taken in, in consequence of the yard being carried away; notwithstanding which mishap she was six minutes in advance on emerging from Batteau Channel, at the foot of Simcoe Island; about this time the wind which had previously been westerly, hauled round to the north and they commenced beating. When last seen, being then opposite Garden Island, the Sans-Souci was a full mile to windward of the Jessie, immediately after which period the envious shades of evening descending upon the contending parties concealed them from the anxious eyes of the watchers ashore and shortly after from each other. Not long before arriving at the Tower the Sans-Souci got foul of a schooner at anchor, while endeavoring to weather her, and in getting clear lost some minutes; just as she was gathering way those on board much to their surprise perceived the Jessie coming quite close on their quarter and had just time enough to ease away the main sheet and run round the Tower coming victorious barely by two boats' lengths.

A race so closely contested is of very rare occurrence, and the absence of the judge at the finish is much to be regretted; however, no blame can attach to that functionary, in as much as he was absent at the request of the owners of the racing boats, who persuaded him to accompany them to see the race, in a boat which did not come back till some time after the others.

We understand that the gentleman who sailed the Jessie objected to the stakes being handed over to the owner of the Sans-Souci, and claimed that the race was a drawn one and should be run over again; but after hearing the statement of the crew of each boat, and also the evidence of others who had seen the finish, the judge arrived at the conclusion that the Sans-Souci had fairly won the race, and awarded the stakes accordingly.

The Sans-Souci has now run six races, and won five of them, having been vanquished only once, and, that by a boat much larger than herself. She was built for Major Radcliff, late of Amherst Island, and reflects much credit on her builder, Mr. David Taite, of the same place.

Montreal, Oct. 23rd - The Steamer City of Kingston, owned by Messrs. Colcleugh & Greer, drifted from her former position in the Lachine Rapids, yesterday afternoon, and afterwards struck on a rock and went to pieces almost immediately, no lives lost.


Kingston Marine List.

Vessels Arrived In Port.

Oct.21st - Schr. Ceres, Toronto, 181 bbls. flour, H. & S. Jones & Co.; flour, wheat and peas for the Quebec Forwarding Company.

Schr. Ann Jane Brown, Port Hope, 95 bbls. flour, 49 bbls. oatmeal, Quebec Forwarding Co.

Schr. J. Coleman, Hamilton, 2500 bbls. flour, 150 kegs butter, 28 bbls. vinegar, 5 bbls. ashes, 92 bbls. pork, not mentioned.

Str. City of Toronto, Toronto, flour, butter and beef for Macpherson & Crane and H. & S. Jones & Co.

Str. Cataract, Oswego, gen. cargo.

Str. Pilot, Montreal, barge William Henry in tow, with merchandise.

Str. Princess Royal, Montreal, barge Brock in tow, gen. cargo.

Prop. Clifton, Oswego, gen. cargo.

Schr. Sophia, Oshawa, 500 bbls. flour, Quebec Forwarding Company; 267 bbls. flour, 153 bbls. pork, Jones & Co.; 17 kegs butter, 2 bbls. grass seed, 200 bbls. flour, 5 bbls. pork, Macpherson & Crane.

Schr. Sir W. Wallace, Oswego, 61 bales hemp, E. Browne & Co.; gen. cargo.

Str. Lady of the Lake, Oswego, gen. cargo.

Schr. Primrose, Wellington, 1700 bushels rye, Hooker & Henderson.

Schr. Elizabeth, Port Credit, 7224 bush. wheat, 445 bbls. flour, not mentioned.

Disasters of the Polly Wags - We are sorry to learn that the steamer City of Kingston, with several barges in tow, laden with produce, ran on a rock in the Lachine Rapids yesterday. Messrs. Colcleugh & Greer are the Agents for the steamer.

We have not been able to gather any further information on which we could depend, respecting the position of this steamer.

The Dawn was aground yesterday near Gananoque.

We have also been informed that the new steamer Comet is ashore at the mouth of the Beauharnois Canal; she will be got off immediately.

A letter has just been handed to us stating that a large barge laden with produce etc., consigned to McCuaig & Co., has sunk at the head of the Long Sault Rapids. [Montreal Herald]


The Subscriber having completed his New and Extensive Marine Railway at


is now prepared to build Merchant Vessels, or Yachts of any tonnage. To gentlemen desirous of possessing fast sailing and weatherly craft, he considers it sufficient merely to state that he is the builder of the well-known Cutter-Yacht Sans Souci which has polished off her competition, and is now the acknowledged boss and champion of Kingston Bay.

DAVID TAITE, Ship-builder

Amherst Island, Oct.21st, 1848.

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Date of Original:
Oct. 25, 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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 25, 1848