At The Poughkeepsie Mark, 1907

Poughkeepsie At The Mark, 1907

A Power Race To The Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, PYC member’s boat “Minnie I” serving as the mark boat.

The telephone in the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club rang at frequent intervals all morning long on Wednesday September 23, and all asked the same question: "What time will the races be here." The Poughkeepsie yachtsmen were very much interested, and as the time drew near for the races to arrive a fleet of motorboats circled around in the river just below the high, spider-web-like structure of the railway bridge, waiting to see them round the mark boat that was anchored above the bridge in the middle of the river, opposite the old whale docks—for at one time whale ships sailed from Poughkeepsie. The “Minnie I”, owned by Mr. Al Traver, of Poughkeepsie, acted as mark boat this year. She is a 37-foot cabin launch, more easily seen by the races than the small 12- foot skiff served that purpose last year, and she was easily distinguished form the spectators by a large, square, red flag with the white letters "R. C." meaning Regatta Committee. Past the clubhouse she came, fairly flying up the river; tugs and steamers at the docks whistled a welcome; under the bridge the time on the mark boat wrote down her time as 1 hour, 55 minutes, and the counted the seconds as the dashing little "Vim", made a long easy sweep. Her owner, George H. Baker Jr., who was steering her, waved a greeting to the timers. 1:55:40 was the official time. As she crossed the starting line off 14th Street at 11:00:13, her running time up the river, a distance of 69.91 miles, was 2 hours, 55mins, 27 seconds.

A better day for racing such small boats could not have been made to order, so far as the water conditions went it was absolutely dead calm most of the day an in some paces a very faint southerly air... A toy boat could have made the trip. Twenty minutes had almost elapsed when another boat "Speedway 1920" handled by Mr. Patterson came in 2:15 flat. She looked very pretty with her polished brash hand rails and clean white hull. The third boat was “Elco”, steered by Irwin Chase, which made the mark at 2:26:05. “Macon” Rounded next fourth at 2:50 flat. There was one more boat expected. The Mercury had started according to the timers and four men waited for her in the mark boat and gave her up at 4PM. The anchor was raised, flag take in and back to the clubhouse went the Minnie I. To their surprise however wide open went the throttle and at almost 12 miles per hour Mercury raced back. However it was not Mercury after all, it was learned afterwards that Mercury was disabled by a piece of driftwood and was forced to give up. — Condensed from original article written by C.G. Davis 1908.