The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 12, 1837

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Barriefield Regatta.

On Monday this Regatta should have taken place, but the rain was so continuous, as to cause a postponement until Wednesday, passing over Tuesday, July 4th, for prudential motives. On Wednesday the weather was suitable and delightful, and the sports of the day came off in great style.

About three o'clock P.M. the candidates assembled on the north side of the Cataraqui, where several tents were pitched, and the concourse of spectators being immense (for the size of the place,) preparations were made for the starting. Twelve candidates had entered their names, but owing to a slight trial of strength on the preceding Monday, and the sight of two very beautifully built (apparently Yankee) skiffs, three of them withdrew their names from the list. In order to gratify a greater number of spectators, the site of the race was slightly changed, being from opposite the tent to a boat moored off Bell's Island a mile and a quarter's distance - the race course being direct and in full view of every observer. At four o'clock everything being in readiness, the start was given, and away went the nine boats in fine style. They turned the moored boat in six minutes time, and in twelve minutes exactly the leading boat passed the prize wherry, closely followed by two others, the remaining six were not distanced, but it was evident none of them had a chance. The competition was therefore between the three first, who came in as follows: 1st - John Lambert, of Long Island, in a beautiful white skiff; 2nd Robert Duke of Ernestown, in a large and somewhat heavy red skiff; and 3rd James Eccles, of Long Island, in a yellow striped American built skiff the most light and elegant eyes ever beheld. Although this boat came in third, yet it was evident it was so by design, in order to raise the interest, and increase the bets. This, however, was so apparent, that the betting was feeble, and little of it took place. After a rest of half an hour, the second heat was called for, and six boats started for. The event was expected: - James Eccles in the yellow striped skiff came in first, with ease, and the second place was won by John Lambert, beating Robert Doke only by a length. Had the latter been in a lighter skiff, the result would have been different, as with his heavy boat he made great play for one of the prizes. John Lambert and James Eccles, having each won a heat, the prize lay between them, and after half an hour's rest, they again started, but the race excited little interest, it being evident James Eccles could win easily, which in fact he did, in eleven minutes time, John Lambert giving up half way home. The Prize Wherry was therefore awarded to Eccles, and a purse of six dollars given to Lambert. The winner is a young Englishman, born in Belfast, hardly sixteen years of age; Lambert seems of German extraction. The race went off without a wrangle (as was anticipated) and the conduct of the Stewarts and Umpire in permitting the suspected American built boats to be entered for the prizes, was highly praised for liberality. In consequence of the absence of J.B. Marks, Esq., at Toronto, his place as Umpire, was supplied by Mr. Robert Duff.

So much satisfaction has been afforded by this Regatta, that it is already determined to continue it annually; and the inhabitants of Kingston not wishing to be behindhand with their suburban neighbours, are imagining a Regatta, to take place in Kingston waters early in September. We shall be happy should this prove the case, because we participate in the disappointed feelings of the competitors who lost the race, owing to the build of their boats, and who are determined to have proper skiffs on the ground, should another race be offered. The names of the persons already mentioned as managers of the Kingston Regatta are G.W. Yarker, Esq., as Umpire, and T. Kirkpatrick and J.R. Forsyth, Esqrs. Stewards. [Whig]

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July 12, 1837
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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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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 12, 1837