The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 2, 1884

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The Yacht Race

The large number of people who witnessed the yacht race was a practical refutation of the assertion that no one went to a boat race. Those who went to the harbor were treated to one of the prettiest sights seen in a long time, notwithstanding the fact that only one foreign boat entered the race. The following boats entered:

First class - Garfield, Dr. Curtis; Hebe, Major Fairtlough.

Second class - Laura, T. McK. Robertson; Victoria, George Offord; Una, Geo. Power; Zeta, from Sackett's Harbor.

Third class - Yolande, G. Kirkpatrick; Amelia, Mr. Fisher; Merlin, Mr. Cartwright; Kelpie, James McNee; Hard Tack, A. McCorkell; and Emma, H.H. Tomlinson.

The course was from a buoy off Swift's dock to a buoy off George's barn, thence to a buoy off Garden Island and back to the city, thence to a buoy about half a mile off the head of Garden Island and return, a course of about 15 miles. The course was so laid out that the yachts were in full view all the time, and proved to be an admirable one. A very fine south westerly breeze was blowing, which gave promise of admitting of an excellent race. Commodore James Wilson, at 10:20, gave the word, when a standing start was made, and the fleet presented a pretty sight as it bore away towards Wolfe Island, every sail spread and each boat "walking the water like a thing of life." The buoy was soon reached and rounded by each of the boats in turn, the Garfield leading notwithstanding the fact that Captain Curtis yawed considerably from not being sure of his buoy. The tack to Garden Island was quickly made, the boats having separated, making a long procession of outspread canvas. Down to the starting buoy the fleet came with a rush, the Garfield showing the way. Dr. Curtis had none of his light canvas flying, and his jib was somewhat out of gear, yet the gallant commodore held his own round the home buoy. No time was taken here. The boats speeded onward, and on reaching the channel buoy the Laura forged ahead of the Garfield, and, getting to windward, led the doctor down the harbor. It was a pretty race between the Garfield and the Laura, but the latter, splendidly steered by William Baillie, rounded the shoal tower at 12:04, the Garfield following at 12:06, two minutes later. The other boats were from 15 to 20 minutes later, none of them rounding the tower. The race lasted about two hours and was well contested. The results are as follows:

First class boats - Garfield, first; Hebe, second.

Second class boats - Laura, first; Una, second, Zeta, third.

Third class boats - Merlin, first; Amelia, second; Yolanda, better known as Mackinaw, third.

The prize was $100, divided into three prizes of $50, $30 and $20. We understand that the winners have decided to donate the money to the yacht club funds, so that it may be able to offer handsome prizes at the forthcoming grand regatta on August 2nd. We believe the Zeta is matched with the Katie Gray, the race to come off soon. The Zeta showed very good sailing qualities, and the Katie will have to be well handled in order to win. Altogether the yacht race was one of the most popular of the day's sports.

Explosion Of The Frigate

The blowing up of the frigate Mohawk, which was located off Point Frederick, in the evening proved to be a great attraction. At 7:30 o'clock every available spot on the wharves and along the front of the water was taken possession of. The masts of vessels and the grain elevators were occupied, the market battery wall and the city hall steps were covered, every inch of them, by people anxious to get a good view of the star event. Rags, saturated with oil, having been put in the hold of the barge and on her deck during the day, were lighted at 7:50 o'clock. This was the signal that the explosion would presently occur. The flames spread until they enveloped the boat and rushed up the smoke stack and licked their way through the rigging. The Mohawk went in the air amid a cloud of smoke, through which the splintered timbers could be seen. When the smoke had cleared away all that could be seen of the barge was a few pieces of wood floating on the surface of the water. Sergt.-Major Bertles, of the Royal Military College, had charge of the explosion.

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Date of Original:
July 2, 1884
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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), July 2, 1884