The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 24, 1882

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p.3 Elevator About Finished - for R.J. Eilbeck & Co.

Whats The News? - first sod of Murray Canal to be turned on 31st.


Description Of The Race - Foul Of The Garfield.

How She Was Finally Ruled Out Of The Race.

A more delightful day, the Morning Express says, could not have been desired for the Oswego regatta, though the larger boats would have been better pleased with a little more wind. As it was, however, there was about an eight knot breeze, from the north, at the start, which held through the entire race, blowing very steadily. The race was pronounced the prettiest ever sailed on fresh water. It is a matter of regret, however, that the slippery Canadian boats ran away with all the best prizes. The race has demonstrated one fact beyond the possibility of a doubt, namely, that our boats have no business with those from the other side in light weather.

Making The Start.

The starting gun was fired at 11 o'clock from the Club House, the judges being stationed on the tug C.P. Morey, near the Red Beacon Light. The Ella was the first to cross the line at 4 minutes 55 sec. after 11 o'clock. She was followed 1 minute later by the Laura. Then came the Katie Gray and Cygnet.

The Katie Gray was the first to round the first buoy at 11:45, closely followed by the Laura, Ella, Garfield, Gracie, Cygnet and Cricket. There was only 20 seconds difference between the Ella and the Garfield at this point, and the race back to the home buoy was exciting. The Katie kept the lead and rounded at 12:16.25. The Ella rounded next at 12:19, and the Garfield 30 seconds later. The Laura rounded 25 seconds after the Garfield. Next came the Cygnet, Gracie and Cricket. After passing the buoy the Cygnet had difficulty with her balloon jib, and the Gracie ran by her. The Katie Gray increased her lead over the other boats on the stretch to the northward buoy, and the Ella and Garfield made it interesting for each other until within a short distance of the buoy when the Ella fell behind.

The Buoy Was Passed

in the following order: Katie Gray, Garfield, Ella, Laura, Cracie, Cygnet and Cricket. It was evident that it was not the latter's day, and she gradually fell behind. On the way back to the home buoy the Ella chased the Garfield at close quarters, and the Laura and Gracie did some splendid sailing. The Katie Gray continued to gain steadily and rounded the buoy fully five minutes ahead of the next boat, and it was plain that she would win the race. The other boats rounded the buoy in the following order: Garfield, Ella, Gracie, Laura, Cygnet and Cricket. The race up to the westward buoy was close and exciting.

Splendid Sailing.

The Garfield gained on the Katie Gray, and the Gracie rapidly overhauled the Ella, rounding the buoy only 30 seconds behind her. The Laura and Cygnet also made it hot for each other, there being only 20 seconds difference in turning the buoy.

The scene presented on the race back home again was grand. The Ella and Gracie, carrying everything, strained every nerve for third place, but the latter slowly forged ahead. The Garfield held her own with the Katie Gray and the Laura and Cygnet were about side by side. The home buoy was turned in the following order, with the Gray about three minutes ahead of the Garfield, the Gracie 40 seconds ahead of the Ella, and the Laura 30 seconds in advance of the Cygnet, with the Cricket not far behind.

The boats now sped away to the northward buoy for the last time and they were sailed for all they were worth. After they rounded the buoy and started on the last stretch homeward, all the tug boats and the yachts not in the race began to gather in the vicinity of the home buoy and the new harbor presented a lively appearance. The piers, fort bank and the bank along the harbor were black with spectators.

The Katie Gray was the first boat in, and as she rounded the stake for the last time she was cheered from the shore and saluted by the tugs. The other boats finished in the following order, but the time allowance changes their positions somewhat: Garfield, Gracie, Ella, Cygnet, Laura and Cricket.

Putting In A Protest.

After the race, Mr. Roy, of the Gracie, entered a protest. After hearing both sides, at length, the judges after a long consultation, rendered the following decision:

"The judges very greatly regret that there should be any question to mar the harmony of the occasion, but after a careful consideration are forced to conclude as follows:

"Rule 15 is the only rule that can possibly apply to the protest in question, but the rule is made to apply rather to rounding a stakeboat or buoy required to be turned during the race, than to the starting buoy. It is a well established rule that it is the duty of all yachts to do everything possible to avoid a collision. In this case the Gracie had partly passed the buoy, and, according to the testimony of the scrutineers, was very close to the buoy. The yacht General Garfield was not justified, in our opinion, in trying to enter between the Gracie and the buoy, in reality before having crossed the line, and thus compelling a foul, or that the Gracie, which had the right of way, should take a leeward position. There was abundant opportunity for the Garfield either to pass to the leeward, or to come about and make a fresh start, which she had plenty of time to do, and we think it was her duty to have done so. We are forced to decide:

1) - That the Gracie had the right of way, and was justified in keeping her course.

2) - That the Garfield was not justified in trying to enter between the buoy and the Gracie at the evident risk of a foul, as the accident could have been avoided, without detriment to the Garfield. According to all precedent she should be ruled out.

3) The prizes are accordingly awarded as follows: First prize, Katie Gray; second prize, Gracie; third prize, Laura; fourth prize, Ella.

The Captains of the winning boats were then called forward and paid their money, amounting to $200.

Dr. Curtis' Grievance.

Dr. Curtis feels that he has a right to complain, and that he has not been fairly treated by the Oswego people. The foul, he holds, was unavoidable on his part. In making a flying start the Gracie had the lead, but was hotly pursued and quickly overtaken by the Garfield, which had a great spread of canvass and caught a fresh breeze that made her fairly fly through the water. Just as the Gracie passed the buoy she luffed, and passed immediately in front of the Garfield. To avoid a foul the Garfield would have had to run upon the buoy, and, according to the rules that would have disqualified her at the very outstart. DeClaus at the helm - and a better man there is not in Ontario - did his best to avoid casualities, but despite his skill the bowsprit of Curtis' boat punched a hole in the after part of the Gracie's mainsail.

It is contended that the foul was caused by the Gracie; that, seeing how close the Garfield was behind her, she should have continued on her course, that when the former quickly curved about the buoy there was no room for the latter to luff; that the sailing master of the Garfield warned the Captain of the Gracie to be careful of what he was about; that yet he adopted tactics that were apparently designed to force a foul either with the buoy or the yacht. In the Club house afterwards some evidence was taken, and the Garfield was ruled out and deprived of any money. Some of the officials remarked that the Garfield should have come about and made a fresh start. Such could not take place under the circumstances, and besides, when the time had been taken, as it admittedly was, it would be unfair to expect the yacht to incur a delay of perhaps five minutes.

Action Of The Judges.

Of course the judges' decision was final and emphatic, but it did not prevent Dr. Curtis from saying that it was contrary to any rules under which he had ever sailed the Garfield in previous regattas, and he felt satisfied that his position would be that taken by any authority in aquatic matters. The foul was witnessed by several Canadian yachtsmen, who declared that it was occasioned by the Gracie, and that she, not the Garfield, should have been ruled out. Capt. Cuthbert did not see the collision, but when the circumstances were explained to him, he said without hesitation that D. Claus had acted precisely as he would have done under the circumstances.

Proving A Dark House.

At the sale of pools on Monday evening the Cygnet, of Toronto, and admired so much when in this harbor last week, and the Cricket, Oswego's new boat, were the favorites. Few thought the Garfield was so good, even in a light wind, and, therefore, she surprised the people mightily. The owner of the Cygnet was especially taken back at the speed exhibited by the Kingston craft. Some days ago he wanted to make a match with Curtis. He offered to bet $100 that in the Oswego race the Cygnet would defeat the Garfield. The Dr. had not his crew chosen, had some doubt about getting those he desired to sail the yacht, and so was not prepared to say that he would be able to go to Oswego at all. On Sunday morning the Cygnet and Garfield left port together. The latter had gained a lead of about five miles when only half way across the lake, and would have gained as rapidly upon her opponent for the balance of the distance had an accident not occurred. The throat halyards block gave way, and to fix it, the canvass meanwhile being lowered, an hour and a half was consumed. Oswego was reached at 9 p.m.

Opinion Of Other Gentlemen.

Three gentlemen of this city who saw the race assert that the yacht Gracie was in the wrong. She luffed up upon the Garfield, a thing she had no right to do. The foul was more injurious to the Garfield than to the other yacht, as she was thrown out of her course considerably. It would have been an easy matter to rule the boats out when the accident occurred, as the yachts were just crossing the imaginery line. The judges were of the opinion that the Gracie was at fault, but instead of deciding in the matter they allowed the Club to do so. Admitting the foul what right had the Club to rule the Garfield out? Why not give her third place? She was twelve minutes ahead of any other yacht in the course except the Katie Gray, and the Club's action is therefore mystifying. The only surmise is that the Americans do not like to see all the prizes going to Canadian yachtsmen, and by putting the Garfield out of the race altogether got the Ella in. The only American yacht to win anything was the Laura, formerly of Kingston.

Miscellaneous Notes.

A considerable sum of money changed hands on the result of the race.

The Garfield returned to the city yesterday, having had an excellent passage across the lake.

The Gracie did not take second money on her merits. She was only thirteen minutes behind at the close of the race.

Dr. Curtis will give $100 to an Oswego charity if a competent authority decides that the Garfield was to blame for the foul.

The course of 20 miles was not a good one, in consequence of the awkward tacks which had to be made within the long pier.

The right man to sail the Ella has not yet been found. Cuthbert says he can take her and beat almost anything on the lake.

The Cygnet carries an immense spread of canvass. When her big square sail was first set up it astonished some of the boys.

Ross Cummings, in the city today, said he sold the yacht Katie Gray, sailed in the regatta by Capt. Cuthbert, for $400 to Mr. Phelps, of Oswego.

De Claus handled the Garfield with his usual skill, and he had an exceedingly able seaman in Marks, of Brighton, well known here as one of the former sailors of the fast yacht Ina.

The Garfield is entered for the Belleville regatta on the 28th, and will likely sail in it. If she does De Claus will be at the tiller. At Oswego the sailing master of the Garfield was approached, and asked to sail another yacht, but declined to do so. De Claus was not that sort of man.


The schr. Manzanilla will load iron ore for Ashtabula.

The schr. Shandon cleared for Chicago with 300 tons pig iron.

The schr. E. Fitzgerald, from Chicago, with 20,017 bush. wheat, arrived in port this morning.

The schr. Forest Queen has been loaded with stone at the penitentiary for Charlotte. She clears this evening.

The schr. A.G. Ryan, Charlotte, 217 tons of coal, is discharging at Queen street wharf for R. Crawford.

The tug Active clears this evening for Montreal with four barges, carrying 70,000 bush. wheat and 100 tons phosphate.

The Maud made the run from Kingston to Belleville in six hours and five minutes. Very fast time, says the Intelligencer.

The prop. Nashua, from Ogdensburg, passed West yesterday. The prop. Glenfinlas, Milwaukee, lightened 7,206 bush. of wheat and left for Montreal.

The schrs. L. Seaton, Mary Lyon and Mediterranean bring wheat from Toledo to Kingston at 4 cents, and the schrs. Home and Leadville from Chicago at 4 1/2 cents.

The wrecking expedition at work at the steamer St. Catharines, succeeded in placing chains under her and are ready for pontoons. A tug will be sent at once to tow the pontoons into position.

The charges extorted on the Welland Canal, for towing vessels through it, and first exposed in the columns of this paper, are causing quite a sensation. The matter should be investigated and a remedy applied if possible.

A telegram announces that the schr. Florida, owned by a number of citizens, including A. Gunn & Co., has been sunk in 80 feet of water, about 18 miles from Port Colborne. The crew has been saved. The Captain is J.G. Smyth, an old Kingstonian. The vessel, from Cleveland, was on her second trip with coal for Toronto. She was not insured, and had not been at Kingston from the time she left it in the spring. The schooner was built at Batiscon by C. Magney in 1875, was 386 burden, valued at $5,000, and rated B 2. She must have sprung a leak. There is little hope of her being raised.

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Aug. 24, 1882
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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), Aug. 24, 1882