1924 International Championship - Western Long Island Sound
When the mist hanging over the waters of Long Island Sound the first week of September was finally lifted by a gale the velocity of which has seldom been equaled in that section, and the seas quieted down, there appeared on the yachting horizon a new World’s Champion of the Star Class. John R. Robinson today wears the coveted crown which is the goal of Stat sailors the world over. Although the veteran Fleet again successfully defended its title with a boat flying the Bayside Yacht Club burgee, the boat and the man at its helm were new. Jack and his Little Bear fought their way through a fleet of the finest boats and best skippers that challengers could offer.
This classic event is the most representative yachting test of the age, a test which is calculated to try the mettle of boat, skipper and crew as no race ever did or can. The entries are the survivors of elimination races conducted through the year in all districts and are the recognized local champions of the largest class in the world. Even the man who finishes last in the International series deserves no end of praise, for his entry alone signifies that he has defeated more yachts than the skipper in the average class is called upon to meet in a lifetime.
were slower in arriving than in former years, but by Saturday, August 30th, the
clans had gathered, for with the contestants came many ardent supporters as
well as delegates from Fleets not represented in the Series, the latter to
attend the Association meeting. The “Audrey” was the last of the challengers to
arrive, and in all justice to Skipper Watterson, it must be said that he did
not have a chance to tune up his boat. That fact alone accounts for the Lakes’
showing in the 1924 tussle, and even “Red” Carey could not push the truck to
An open regatta on the Sound on Saturday was won by California with Stella Maris second and Rhody third and as there were twenty-one local Stars starting, among them some of the best, the challengers’ stock took a decided jump. That night the Knickerbocker Yacht Club entertained the entire Association thus officially opening the 1924 series. The opening session of the annual meeting was held on Sunday and after an informal supper at the Port Washington Yacht Club, the visitors retired early.
The First Race—September 1, Start
At the convoy with Stars in tow wound its
way across the Sound through a thick Summer fog. The wind was light and the
boats just drifted across the line when the starting gun was fired at . The course was laid out to provide a beat
and a run twice around totaling ten nautical miles, but owing to the numerous
shifts of wind (when there was any), windward work prevailed for three-quarters
of the race. Rhody and
The Second Race—September 2, Start
Yacht Club committee sent the boats over a triangular course, twice around for
a distance of 10 ¼ nautical miles. Starting with a stiff S.W. breeze,
California led on the reach and run but failed to maintain the lead on the
windward leg, Little Bear rounding first with Rhody and Sunny following in that
order. On the second round, near the finish Inslee worked up to Robinson and
they engaged in a thrilling struggle which ended with the defender crossing 2
seconds ahead of Inslee although the latter had taken his wind and passed him
immediately after crossing the line. The finish was so close that none but the
men on the committee boat could tell which had crossed first.
The Third Race—September 3, Start
gale sent the boats flying over the starting line when the Bayside Yacht Club
committee designated a windward and leeward course, twice around totaling 10
nautical miles. Porpoise, the
The Fourth Race—September 3, Start
The Port Washington Yacht Club committee started the boats in a light S.E. breeze which barely carried the boats along. It took them nearly three hours to complete the first round of the 10 ¼ nautical mile course and the time limit expired when they had finished little more than the first leg of the second round. Robinson was then leading with Inslee second.
The race was
resailed on Friday morning, in a strong S.W. wind which caused many to reef. At
the end of the first round Robinson was leading and increasing his advantage so
that he won handily. The last leg of this race marked the turning point of the
series for Rhody beat Inslee for second place thus giving Robinson for the
first time the lead in the series with Sonny and Rhody one point behind in n
tie for second place. South Wind and Sayonara were fourth and fifth with
The Fifth Race—September 5, Start
A S.W. gale
which had gained a good start by the time the boats had finished the fourth
race was whipping the water into a white fury only slightly abated by a
continuous downpour of rain when the committee of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club
hoisted the starting signals. The starting gun found only four boats crossing
the line, with Porpoise making up the quintet which finished the race by
starting three minutes late. An unfortunate misunderstanding as to the starting
time of this race marred an otherwise perfect series. Several of the
tail-enders quite sensibly withdrew rather than risk lives and boats in such
terrible weather for a possible seventh or eighth place. Rhody took the lead on
the first leg, a run of 2 ½ N.M. and maintained it on the beat back as well as
on the second time around. Little Bear was second all the way, neither
threatening Rhody nor being threatened by the others. Porpoise gave the
old-timers a start by carrying full sail all the way and carrying it
beautifully to finish third over
Jack Robinson had a hard task before him and deserves no end of praise for his gallant fight in gaining his victory after a poor start. Rhody was ever threatening and a hard contestant to beat, whose luck was not breaking right. Weston, after being out of a Star for a long time, made several bids for honors, which were serious enough to bother any contender. Inslee, sailing a new boat, was under a great disadvantage, but looked like the winner for the first half of the series and was an easy fourth. McHugh showed several times during the series that he could not he trifled with and “knew his stuff” as well as the next man. The Porpoise and Sayonara did surprisingly well for newcomers in the game and show signs of being able to put up an even better fight next time. Purvis’ chances of placing high were ruined by the foul in the fourth race, while Doc Watterson’s performance must be excused on the ground of lack of time to tune up his boat. Col. Waite, sailing the Dot, should not try to finish better than tenth, for no man could do that nearly so gracefully and cheerfully as he.
This marks the close of another chapter of Star History and this series will go down on the pages as one of the most hotly contested and most evenly matched trials which could be imagined, providing enough thrills and close finishes to satisfy even hardened sea dogs.
No. Yacht Skipper Crew Fleet Pts.