The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), May 25, 1876

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p.2 The Queen's Birthday - The Regatta - A sailing match for second place boats took place in the harbour, the boats entered being Mr. M.W. Strange's Zitella, Mr. G. Offord's Emma, and Mr. T. Robertson's Laura. The prize was a silver cup, value $30, which has to be won three times successively to become the property of the winner. The course was as follows: From starting point, opposite Swift's wharf, to buoy off foot of Garden Island, thence to buoy off Portsmouth, thence to Shoal buoy, between Snake Light and Four Mile Point, to starting place and repeat. The race began at 10:25, when a good start was effected, the boats rounding the Garden Island buoy in the following order: Emma, first; Zitella second; Laura, third. On this tack the Laura tore her mainsail. The buoy off the Penitentiary was then made for, which was rounded in the same order, and shortly after this the jib of the Laura split, throwing her out of the race. Four Mile Point buoy was rounded in the same order, and on the home stretch the Zitella pulled up on the Emma, which shortly after sprang her bowsprit. Coming down the Zitella passed the Emma, and rounded the home and Garden Island buoys first, Emma giving up the race. The Zitella went round and won the cup. The time was about 3 h. 50 m. There was a strong breeze blowing from the southwest, and a pretty heavy sea was on, which tested the capacities of the boats very fairly. Another race will likely take place soon.


"Fair play is a jewel." This is an old and familiar saying, but one which the New York Yacht Club does not seem to appreciate. We referred on Monday to the decision arrived at by the Club named refusing to name the yacht to contend against the new Canadian yacht, the Countess of Dufferin, until the morning of the race. Several leading New York journals condemn the action of the Club as sharp practice quite unworthy of honourable men. Referring to the proposed action of the Club the New York Times recently said: "If the Queen's Cup were a fort, the stern determination shown by the members of the New York Yacht Club to hold it at all hazards would be worthy of unqualified praise. As it is, there are grave doubts where the course pursued by the Club towards the wicked Ashbury, and the most resent but presumably equally wicked Gifford, does not show rather too much zeal for maintaining possession of portable property in the shape of a prize cup. Of course the cup is valuable in spite of the depreciation of silver, but there are cases in which loss of a very large amount of silver would be preferable to its retention by means which savour more of the Tombs shyster than of the ideal yachtsman." The Times then proceeds to refer to the disadvantageous circumstances under which Mr. Ashbury's yacht ran, and to the "sharp practice" of the American yachtsmen during the race. It proceeds: "It is evident that the same plan is to be used to secure the defeat of Mr. Gifford's yacht, the Countess of Dufferin. That gentleman has challenged the New York Yacht Club to a race for the Queen's Cup, and the Club has decided to accept the challenge, but to reserve the right to name the yacht to be matched against the Countess of Dufferin until the day of the race. Of course this dooms Mr. Gifford to the same fate as Mr. Ashbury, and secures the Club in the continued possession of their cherished cup." The Times concludes its very fair article as follows:

"If the New York Yacht Club has fully determined that no foreign yachtsmen shall have any possible chance to gain the Queen's Cup, that determination should be formally announced. In such case the best plan which the club could adopt - and one which is not prohibited in the "deed of gift" - would be to bury the cup at Sandy Hook, and to plant a battery of artillery over it with orders, if any foreign yacht should enter our harbour, to sink her on the spot. This frank avowal that no English yachtsman can attempt to carry away plate belonging to the New York Yacht Club and live would put an end to all troublesome challenges with presuming Britons with fast yachts. As for the course which the Club has actually taken in this matter, it is wholly at variance with what is usually regarded as fair dealing between chivalrous yachtsmen. It is scarcely courteous in the club to assume that Mr. Gifford or any other Englishman who sends them a challenge, must necessarily be a peculiarly obtuse variety of idiot, and to thereupon propose conditions to him which only an idiot would accept with any possible expectation of gaining the cup. And it is simply absurd to call a race sailed under such conditions anything more than a farce, discreditable to one party and insulting to the other. New York has hitherto been proud of the Yacht Club, and desires to maintain the pride in that organization. It will, however, be impossible to do so if the Club shows more anxiety to retain a trophy than to treat an antagonist fairly. Either Mr. Gifford should be given a fair chance to win, or his challenge should be declined for the avowed reason that the Club refuses to run any risk of losing the cup. If the majority of the members will only give this matter their consideration it is scarcely possible that they will refuse Mr. Offord's challenge in the spirit of true yachtsmen. If, however, they really desire to adhere to the precedent in the case of Mr. Ashbury, they had better give Mr. Shearman a handsome retaining fee, and employ him henceforth to manage their yacht races with foreign yachtsmen."

It is no wonder that Mr. Gifford has refused to compete in consequence of the decision of the New York Yacht Club, whose unfair terms are being strongly condemned by the most influential journals. Writing to the Mail, Mr. Gifford says: "I may state that on the 17th of May I wrote to the New York Yacht Club, respectfully declining their condition of naming of yacht of their own on the morning of the day of each race. I then offered to sail them on the days and over the courses specified, provided they named, on or before July 1st, 1876, one competing yacht from their own squadron." Owing to the contemptibly selfish policy pursued by the Club, we may take it for granted that the race will not come off, as Mr. Gifford or any one else would be very foolish to sail on such one-sided conditions.

p.3 Marine Notes

There is not much doing in the harbour, a halt having been called by the grain men of the West.

At the Montreal Transportation Company's dock the schr. Garibaldi arrived from Port Whitby with 8,000 bush. wheat. The tug Glide left with barges Colborne, 21,000 bush. wheat; Glengarry, 16,050 bush. wheat; Montreal, 19,100 bush. wheat; Corncrib, 18,100 bush. wheat.

At Swift's dock, the Corsican arrived from Montreal, the Oswego Belle from Oswego, Corinthian from Hamilton, and the Water Lily left for the Rideau Canal.

Collins Bay, May 24th - departures - S. Neelon, Anna Craig, Fanny Campbell, Alexander, Mary Battle; Arrival - Mary Ann Lydon

Collins Bay, May 25th - Arrivals - Mary Merritt, Jessie Scarth. Departures - Jessie Scarth.

Oswego, N.Y., May 25th - The schr. Speedwell, bound to Toronto, light, collided with the schr. Guiding Star last night, two miles above this port. Speedwell arrived back to this port. Damage to her will amount to $1,000.

Port Colborne, May 24th - Up - schr. Myesotis, Oswego, Milwaukee; Rob't Gaskin, Kingston, Cheboygan, light; Magellan, do., Bay City, do.; America, do., Detroit, do.; J. Bigler, do., do., do.; Ella Murton, Hamilton, Cleveland, do.; J.C. Woodruff, Kincardine, do.; M.F. Merrick, Clayton, Courtwright, do.; Cecilia, Collins Bay, Romney; barge Adirondac ?, Ogdensburg, Chicago, do.; Dashing Wave, do., do., do.

Down - schr. Cataract, Kincardine, Kingston, wheat.

In Harbour - schr. Magellan, America, Cecilia, Russian, J.C. Woodruff, steambarge Swallow and barges, Pittsburg and barges.

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May 25, 1876
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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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Daily News (Kingston, ON), May 25, 1876