The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 2, 1878

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The Regatta

The conditions which are requisite to the success of a yacht race are seldom as completely fulfilled as they were yesterday. The weather was clear and bright, and a smart sailing breeze, which continued pretty steadily all day, blew from the southwest. Eleven boats entered for the second class race, and the start was one of the most picturesque sights that could easily be imagined. The fleet contained the best boats of the kind on the lakes, including those of Kingston, the Bay of Quinte, and the American shore opposite, and so well were the best of them matched that the interest in the contest was sustained till the end. But, however successful it may have been in other respects, the day's performance was certainly unfortunate for Kingston craft. In the second class race the foreigners held no less than the first four places, while in the third class no home boat was even prominent. The cause of this seems to have been for the most part the light weather which prevailed all day, since the Laura, Emma and Zitella are built for safety and heavy weather, and the bay boats are better calculated to walk along with a light breeze. However this may be, the unpalatable fact remains, and can only be atoned for by better behaviour under a more favourable state of the weather at some other time. The boats were got into position at about 9:30 a.m., when they were sent off by a signal consisting of a long whistle and a short one. The start was without any fouls, and beautiful. The Merlin, Laura, Eclipse and Zitella seemed at first to have the best of it, but Cuthbert's boats, the Kathleen and Katie Gray, of Belleville, and the Surprise, of Trenton, as well as the American craft, the Victorine of Alexandria, soon drew forward and came to the front, and the Garden Island buoy was passed in the following order:

Hours Minutes

Kathleen 10 1

Victoria 10 2

Surprise 10 3 1/2

Laura 10 4

Katie Gray 10 5

Emma 10 5 1/2

Zitella 10 8

Eclipse 10 8 1/2

Idler 10 10

Merlin 10 11

Maud 10 11 1/2

The rig of most of the yachts consisted of a mainsail, topsail, jib, watersail, and balloon jib.

The six which led the fleet at the first buoy did so throughout, their relative position being only slightly altered. Kingston was again reached in the following order:

Kathleen 10 17

Victorine 10 19

Laura 10 21

Katie Gray 10 21 3/4

Surprise 10 22

Emma 10 23

The Katie Gray gained a minute in the stretch to George's Barn, and passed just ahead of the Laura.

Kathleen 10 36

Victorine 10 37 1/2

Katie Gray 10 40

Laura 10 40 1/4

Surprise 10 40 1/2

Emma 10 42

On the run back to Kingston the Laura again fell behind, allowing the Surprise to get before her. The harbour buoy was passed as follows:

Kathleen 10 55 1/2

Victorine 10 57

Katie Gray 10 59

Surprise 11 00

Laura 11 01

Emma 11 03

In going up to Simcoe Island a still further gap was made in the rear of the procession, while the Katie Gray succeeded in cutting out the Victorine, leaving the position and time as follows:

Kathleen 11 43

Katie Gray 11 45

Victorine 11 47

Surprise 11 48

Laura 11 54

Emma 11 57

The course from Kingston to Simcoe Island and back was traversed twice, but as no change took place in the position of the boats the figures need not be given. The race was closed by the yachts rounding the home buoy in the following order:

Kathleen 1:28

Katie Gray 1:32

Victorine 1:33 1/2

Surprise 1:35 1/2

Laura 1:55

Emma 1:57

Considering the light wind which prevailed during the day, 28 miles in four hours is pretty good sailing. The Kathleen was very well sailed throughout, and the slight difference between the times of the first four will show that she had smart competitors. More was expected from the Zitella, as she had a large crew on board and was sailed by Lynch, who formerly sailed the Ina.

Third Class Race - This race was also a well contested one, the principal struggle being between the Wideawake of Trenton and the Comet of Chaumont Bay. The wind did not allow of much seamanship being displayed, as the sails which the boats carried when they started they kept up all the way round. The Comet carried a mainsail, jib, squaresail, balloon jib and watersail. The Wideawake had nothing but her sheet. Captain Cuthbert states that as he arrived late in Kingston he had no time to prepare for the race; and went into it with every disadvantage. The Mystery, which has most interest for Kingstonians, was unfortunate enough to have her bowsprit broken at the very commencement by the Ramsay. This accident put her out of the race. The Minnie A. would also have made a better show had it not been for a mistake she made in stretching for George's barn on the first tack instead of the island buoy. When the mistake was discovered she was too far to leeward to pick up easily, and it is creditable to her that she came as she did. The Wideawake led in rounding the first buoy, but in coming back her lacing broke, and she fell away behind. She gradually picked up, however, and made it interesting for the Yankee Comet, which showed such a smart pair of heels. Captain Cuthbert claims that he could beat the Comet out of sight in a stiff breeze, if he had any time to get things about his yacht in good trim. The yachts were started at 12 minutes to 10 and came in as follows:

Comet 12:42

Wideawake 12:43

Eclipse 12:49

Minnie A. 12:50

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July 2, 1878
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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.
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 2, 1878