The First Outboard Meeting of the Season.

THERE is no doubt that the East Kent Motor Yacht Club are a band of real enthusiasts. At the first Outboard race meeting of this season, held at Tankerton on Sunday, April 13th, the weather was anything but inviting, and the fact that 12 boats arrived for racing on such a thoroughly bleak day is sufficient proof of the amazing fascination of this sport.

The star turn of the meeting was Mr. R. D. Weatherell in his Speedcraft boat, ” Itsit VII.,” who made fastest tine of the day. He had bad luck, however, in the unlimited class race, as after two very fast laps (lf miles each) in 2m. 54secs. and 2m. 51secs. respectively, he hit an extra large wave which swamped his engine completely, and compelled him to withdraw from the proceedings. His craft has a most unconventional appearance, “rather like an overgrown carpet slipper,” as some flippant spectator remarked, but sound proof of the efficiency of the design is given by its excellent performance. It is, in fact, one of the first hulls which has been designed with a view to correct streamlining to reduce wind resistance, a point which is becoming increasingly important as the speed of outboards gets higher, and one which has

received all too little attention in the past.

The first race of the day was for ” B ” class engines, and attracted 5 entries. Mr. C. T. Lewis in ” Comet ” started well, but experienced engine trouble during the second lap, letting Mr. C. Bettles into first place, followed by Mr. W. Pitt in .” Tishy.”

The Class” C” race also produced 5 entries, but considerable trouble was experienced by competitors, and the race ended in a walk-over for Mr. Weatherell, who finished alone. There were 7 starters in the ” Unlimited ” race, and Mr. Weatherell

led off the mark till he experienced trouble as mentioned previously, and Mr. Betties in “Lido Lady” scored another win. ” Tishy ” again ran second, and “Blue Peter,” in the hands of Mr. Wood, showed a turn of speed which belied the very standard appearance of the hull, and finished third.

The final race was a boat handicap, for which 6 entries were received, and resulted in Viscount Kingsborough’s ” Itisntit,” driven by Mr. C. J. Turner, finishing first, and Mr. A. Wood in “Blue Peter” second. The times were not remarkable in themselves, but in view of the conditions were really very creditable. Fastest time of the day was made by

Mr. Weatherell in the Class ” C ” race in %mins. lOsecs. for the 4i mile course, though his lap times in the race were slower than in the ” Unlimited ” class, in which he had to retire. As is the way of things, the conditions improved rapidly from the time the last race finished and by the time the boats were packed up ready for transport, were quite good! This sort of thing, however, does not deter competitors in the least, and the meeting was distinctly successful.