Miss England II.
THE future career of Miss England II has for some time been a matter for conjecture, but it has now been definitely decided that she will appear again to represent Britain. and that her pilot will be Mr. Kaye Don. Once the decision had been arrived at that the boat should be repaired and once more placed in commission. the question of a pilot to replace the late Sir Henry Seagrave was one of the greatest difficulty.
Motor car racing is naturally looked upon to supply a driver for this class of work as it is the only field where similar speeds are attained to that of Miss England. The choice of Kaye Don must be generally agreed to be a wise one, as apart from the fact that he is one of our greatest exponents of straightaway racing, being the holder of the Brooklands lap record at over 1.37 m.p.h., he is not without previous experience of the water.
With the advent of outboard motor boat racing to this country he took it up at once, not so much as a business, for his normal activities hardly allowed the time, but just to get additional experience of motor sport in another of its various phases. This, combined with some cross-channel attempts in thoroughly uninviting weather, have proved his keenness, and everyone who has witnessed his car performances, will have every confidence in his handling of the world’s fastest I otor-boat.
At Buenos Aires.
He will compete in the International regatta at Buenos Aires, which is being organised in conjunction with the British Trade Exhibition, the latter being the real reason for Lord Wakefield’s Consent to Miss England being run once more. This takes place in Mari-.11 next but the exact date of the regatta will not be known until after the next meeting of the I.M. V.1′. Council. At this regatta it-is hoped to make an attempt to raise the record speed once more, and there are many factors which make the success of this attempt very probable. It is generally considered, that on the occasion of the disastrous record run at Lake Windermere, the first two runs, which actually broke the record, were not made at full throttle, and that on the third rim the speed was considerably higher just before the accident. Subsequent examination has proved that the machinery did
not fail in any way and that the disaster was entirely due to striking some floating object.
This shows that the design, although in many ways’ original, was sound, and there is no doubt that the Rolls Royce engines, as developed by the Schneider Trophy, are ahead of anything else in this or any other country. Add to this, the fact that recent research has still further increased the power of this amazing engine, and our chances at Buenos Aires seem distinctly rosy.
Large v. Small Again.
The merits and importance of the large outboard were advocated in a recent issue of MOTOR SPORT, but there are some people apparently who would like to carry this a little too far in the racing business, and abolish the 350 c.c. class altogether. This is, of course, ridiculous. As we pointed out before in these pages the really light outboard which is portable—the 1000 c.c. job is transportable but not very handy—is a very important class indeed. Apart from the sport of racing these little engines, which are cheap both to buy and run, there is a very large market for a service edition of this -class, as it proved by the increasing number in use on yachts, tenders and other small craft. The big outboard is getting more use now on the various small cruisers which are being built to take this type, and there should be a good future for this sort of craft if it is developed on the right lines,
Outboard Racing Prospects.
Following the recent announcements in the daily press concerning Britain’s successes in world’s speed records, it is interesting to note the renewed activity in this country to regain the record for outboard motorboats. For some time past Mr. Philip Turner has been preparing for an attempt which he will make on the Medina as soon as weather conditions permit. The craft, powered by a 996 c.c. Elto Quad, is only 8ft. in length, and weighs but 190 lbs. complete. which, it is claimed gives a better power-weight ratio than any other boat past or present. regardless of class.
Theoretically, a speed of approximately 58 miles per hour should be obtained after having made liberal allowances for propeller slip and prevailing conditions. The record is at present held by Ray Pregenger, who recently regained it for America from the Italians with a. speed of 50.9 miles per hour. None of these records
is subject to confirmation, as I understand the necessary reference to the International governing body is rather a lengthy process, but these records are recognised by contestants in all countries, as shewn by the fact that Mr. Turner is attacking a record which he himself holds officially at a much lower speed than that recently recorded in America under quite reliable conditions.
Mr. Harrison for Mr. J. H. Shillan is reported to be making an attempt in the near future, while Mr. R. D. Weatherall is due to attack the International C Class (500 c.c.) record shortly.
Next Year’s Classes.
It is significant that at the show held at the end of October only one example of a hydroplane was exhibited. The decline in this type of racing has continued steadily during the past season, and officials are wisely considering the development of an entirely new kind of racing instead of bolstering up the sprint event, in which reliability is sacrificed for sheer speed, and which is developing the engine in quite the wrong directions, from the point of view of the man who has an economic use for an outboard.
The new racing class which has been very well supported, although only in its infancy at present, is popularly known as dinghy racing. The International Motor Yachting Union is at present meeting at Brussels with a view to establishing dinghy racing as an international standard class. Among conditions which have been approved is the one that bars the use of a fin, the steering fulcrum being provided by a built-in keel, and that which rules that all boats should be able to be beached.
The question that is causing the chief difficulty is whether the hard chine semi-displacement type of boat should be admitted to the class ; as this is a type of boat open to a great deal of development and which is quite seaworthy, it would seem a short-sighted policy to exclude it, especially as the planing surfaces of the latest speed dinghies approximate to those of the hard-chine type. The objection is that hard-chine boats cannot be rowed, but anyone who has had to row a speed dinghy any distance will realise that the exclusion on this ground is merely futile. It seems the ide a of many is that the new class of boat should be of such a nature that it can be slung in davits, used for every purpose a dinghy is normally put to, and then be dropped into the water ready to be raced at a moment’s notice. Admittedly the present hard-chine craft is more unsuited to such work, but it seems to be swaying the pendulum too much in the opposite direction away from hydroplane racing to expect the racing craft to become a maid of all work.
What is of greater importance than the utility of actual racing craft is to foster development and incorporate the ideas in actual utility jobs, in much the same way that car racing gave four-wheel brakes to the general motoring public. Obviously, to gain useful lessons, the production of freak boats must be prevented, and a scheme was brought to my notice recently which I believe has worked well in other branches of sport. It was put forward that minimum values should be
allocated for length, breadth and height in each class, but to conform to regulations, the measurements of competing craft must multiply to give a greater figure by a fixed amount than the three minimum values multiplied together. Thus, if a designer has worked down to minimum length and minimum breadth, the height must be correspondingly great to give the regulation figure for that class. Clearly much scope is given to the boat-builder, and if this method be adopted, stagnation in design would undoubtedly be prevented.
Given craft that are capable of withstanding a certain amount of weather, the work of the organising official, whose chief duties at present consist of arranging dates for postponed meetings or finding another venue at the last moment, will be greatly simplified. The competitors for one important event this year have assembled on four separate occasions, and the race has still to be decided. The resultant chaos, owing to coincident dates with other events, is hardly beneficial to the sport. Even the enthusiasm of an outboardist fades while the general public, who have no eye for nice technicalities, are apt to regard outboards as nothing.
Another point which has disappointed many who hoped to continue with the sport is the expense. Boosted in the early days as the poor man’s hobby and sport, as a result of standard engine regulations, this happy state of affairs has fallen through somewhat. If there were no restrictions on engine tuning, the owner of an old engine could get good sport by working on his engine, just as a car or motor-cycle racing man gets the utmost out of his motor.
However, sprint racing has only a limited appeal, and the new proposed dinghy class will immediately bring the interest round in the direction of long-distance events. This will, of course, develop reliability, which, it must be admitted, has not shown up any too well in the various classes this season. As the hulls will have to conform to a standard class, there will be less reason for restricting work on engines. The standard class engine being retained will ensure the absence of freak designs, but the restrictions hitherto imposed ought certainly to be eased off, otherwise it will encourage the certainly to be eased off, otherwise it will encourage makers to bring out new types with distressing frequency, and so favour the man with a lot of money.
At present there is no rule as to size of fuel tank ; at least, auxiliary tanks are allowed. This favours the large engine with a high consumption. In sprint racing consumption does not matter. To the prospective utility owner it certainly does. If standard tanks are made compulsory without auxiliaries, the heavy consumption motor will be its • own handicap in a long distance race, as more frequent pit stops will be required.
It will be obvious from the most cursory examination of the present state of affairs that the present position is full of obstacles, but if only the governing body of outboard racing can restrain their prejudices, and endeavour to co-operate with the actual competitors, there will be more chance of next season atoning for the mistakes of this one.—S.S.