p.2 Dominion Day - The Regatta
The boats were at the starting buoy punctually to the appointed hour, eleven o'clock, and ten minutes sufficed to make all ready and effect the start. This punctuality was as it should be, and Mr. Falconer, the commodore of the day, deserves much credit for redeeming the character of Kingston regattas in this particular. The following boats started:-
The Pride of the Wave.
The Go Safely (Gananoque).
The Maid of the Mist, and
The Grey Eagle.
The boats got away evenly, and without a baulk - the Pride of the Wave leading, Confederation second, and the Electric a close third. This order remained for a short time only, as the Go Softly, which had the weather stretch, shot quickly ahead, and gradually widened her distance from all the others, with the solitary exception of the Arrow, which kept close in her wake. After going about off Point Frederick, the order was thus, the Go Softly first, Arrow second, Grey Eagle third, and Pride of the Wave fourth, with the other boats nowhere. The only change in position effected from this was that of the Pride of the Wave, which took the place of the Grey Eagle, from some mismanagement on part of the crew of that boat. The first course was gone over in good style and fair time, the Go Softly rounding the starting buoy for the second course at 1 h. 3m., and followed two minutes later by the Arrow. Here one of those rubs of fortune which frequently occur to mar the fortunes of the most deserving, happened. A long string of barges had to leave the adjacent wharf just at the critical moment when the Arrow was within a few rods of the buoy; and with the pertinacity peculiar to the class of men who manage such craft, persisted in keeping their right of way. As barge after barge deployed from the wharf, in vain the little Arrow attempted to effect her rounding, and it was not till the last barge had passed, and four minutes of time had been lost, that the gallant little vessel got round and away after her more fortunate adversary. As soon as the Arrow got well away in wake of the Gananoque craft, upon which she was creeping hand over hand, the Pride of the Wave came third, and Grey Eagle fourth, while the Dreadnought, Confederation, and Electric followed in the rotation given , the remaining boats being out of the race. All the boats passed inside the martello tower in this stretch. At eleven minutes to 1 o'clock, the Go Softly arrived back and reached the winning buoy, followed by the Arrow exactly two minutes later, both boats taking the outside of the tower. The Pride of the Wave arrived two minutes past two, and the Grey Eagle a half minute later - the Electric and Confederation having relinquished the struggle, and the others being totally lost sight of.
Very few remarks are necessary upon the race, the fine steady breeze required no management of the boats beyond that of ordinary yachting skill, and this was fairly shown by all in the race. The captain of the Go Softly took out all the speed that was in his craft, and the Arrow was not a whit behind, and but for the miserable misadventure with the barges would, no doubt, have been victor. Some slight mismanagement on the part of the Grey Eagle lost her the third place, but as we did not see the occurrence we are unable to speak certainly as to its character. One thing, however, is worthy of notice - the absence of all dispute; there was no dispute, no wrangle throughout the whole race. It was a smart, prompt, spirited affair, and all concerned, both contestants and management, deserve the thanks of the public for this interesting feature of the day's amusement. The winning boat received $10, the second $5, and the third saved her entrance money. One remark before closing: by strict rules the Go Softly should not have been allowed to run with open boats on any terms, being to all intents and purposes a decked craft. However, as the whole race was almost an impromptu affair got up on the spur of the moment, and no one appears to have objected to her running at the time, it is not our business to raise the question now. During the whole race the piles of lumber on the wharves and the various vessels at their moorings, and every position commanding a sight of the boats contained numbers of spectators, and a sufficient interest was shown in the contest despite too the military show on the Common, to demonstrate plainly that the aquatic spirit is still alive and active among us, and only needs a slight stimulant to place it once more upon its old footing.
p.3 The Maid of Canada - ferry steamer seized for running without metallic life-boat on board. [Montreal Witness]