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TO-DAY'S GREAT RACES.

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TO-DAY'S GREAT RACES. PREVIOUS RECORDS OF THE PREMIER YACHTS. PRINCE OF WALES'S CRACK BOAT. GRAND RACING EXPECTED. MAP OF THE COURSE. BRITANNIA'S FORMER SUCCESSES. BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. ] Mr G. L. Watson, the famous Clydo designer, has drafted many fast clippers in his day, but it is open to considerable doubt whether he will ever turn out a better boat than the Britannia, the Prince of Wales s crack cutter, which has for the past four seasons more than held its own with all competitors, and though now that a greater light in the shape of the Meteor has come upon the scene, there will always be a good many yachts- men who will look on the Royal yacht as the best boat of the century. What a good, all-round craft she really is still we find by the way she occasionally saves her time from a bigger rival, built specially to evade the provisions of the new rating rule, which was drafted to provide us with a better class of boat, but which, so far at least as the smaller classes are concerned, seems likely to icive us a worse type than wo have had for a goodly number of years. The Prince of Wales has been the owner of many well-known yachts in his time, his first being a little 27-ton cubter, the Dagmar, built at Wivenhoo in 1865. Lord Alfred Paget, himself an enthusiastic yachtsman, was associated with the Heir to the Throne in this venture, and it may safely be said that it was to Lord Alfred that the Prince owed his education as a yachtsman. Afterwards the Prince went in for a big racing schooner, the Hildrgarde, of 290 tons Thames measurement, and this fine boat was in turn ollowod by the crack cutter Formosa and the well-known schooner Aline, which is now the property of a Turkish official of high degree. Both the Hildegarde and tho Formosa were capital prize winners, and several important prizes were won by them for their Royal owner, the Formosa's record including a Qusen's Cup at the Royal Yacht Squadron Regat" and the Town Cup at Cowes. To return to the Britannia, which will un- doubtedly be the centre of attraction at Swansea to-day. She was built at Glasgow by Messss Henderson, who have turned out such other famous craft as the Valkyrie and Meteor, also, by fche way, designed byMrG. L. Watson, and in her first season met with an extraordinary amount of luccess, as will be seen by the following record :— Number of starts, 43; first prizes, 24; other prizes, 9 total prizes, 33; total value, 21,572, which, by the way, did not include the Royal Alfred Challenge Cup (value LIOO), or the German Emperor Challenge Cup (value £150). What a really grand boat Britannia is can be seen by reference to the following table, which shows the various yachts which hav3 won over SI,000 in any one season since the year 1878 :— Prize Yacht. Designer value. 1878 Juilanar Boiitall £ 1,085 1879 Latona Fife, sen. 1,160 1880 Vanduara Watson 1,080 1881 Samcena Richardson 1,405 1882 Aunasona Fife, jun. 1,512 1882 Miranda Harvey 1,445 1885 Samcena Richardson 1,315 1885 Irex Richardson. 1,210 18S5 Marjorie Watson 1,005 1886 May Watson 1,065 1887 Irex Richardson 1,750 1887 Genesta Webb 1,335 1887 Neptune Fife, sen. 1.109 1888 Yaraua Watson 1,530 1889 Yarana Watson 1,225 1890 Thistle Watson 1,030 1391 Iverna Richardson 1,ObS 1892 QueenMab. Watson 1,187 1893 Britannia Wateott 1,572 1894 Britannia Watson 2,799 1894 Carina Watson 1,010 1895 Britannia Watson 2,900 1695 Ailsa Fife. jun. 1,720 1895 Isolde Fife, jun. 1,140 It will thus be seen that the Britannia has a record which has never been equalled by any yacht, and it is more than probable that when the returns for the present season are made up she wiii have another four-figure innings to her credit. As a matter of fact, with her prizes in the Mediterranean she is well on the way towards the coveted amount already. Much of the success of the Britannia is due to the capable manner in which she is handled. She is under the command of Captain Carter, one of the best skippers that ever handled the tiller, and ii) is quite a common saying among brother skippers that what Carter does not know abont saihng is not worth knowing. Carter has associated with him Mr William Jameson, of Iverna fame, one of the best Corinthians that ever stepped on board a yacht, and the two, in combination with a picked crew, are well nigh invincible. Meteor, which is attended by Lord Lonsdale's steam yacht Evangeline, as everybody knows who takes the most superficial interest in yachting, was built this present season for the German Emperor by Messrs Henderson, of Glasgow, Mr G. L. Watson, the designer of the Britannia, being responsible for her lines. In appearance she greatly resembles the Prince of Wales' cutter, though she has a rather prettier stem and a noble cut off counter, while she is considerably larger than her predecessor. It may be mentioned that from the truck of the topmast to the water-line on which she sails she measures 168 feet, while the boom to which her mainsail is laced is over 100 feet in length. A good ideal of misconception exists as to the nationality of the Meteor's crew, and in several of her best victories she has finished in a dead silence, the crowd not wishing to cheer what they obviously imagined was a German crew. It is in reality nothing of the sort, the Emperor being much too wide awake to entrust such a grand sailing boat to German sailors, who whatever they may be on a man-of-war are certainly not cracks at yachting. As an instance in point, we may mention the case of Mr Howard Gould's 20-rater Niagara and the boat of the same rating owned by the Baron Von Ledtwitz, and known as Isolde. Both boats are identical, baing built to the same design by the celebrated Yankee draughtsman, Nat Herreshotf, who turned out Vigilant and the De- fender. One sailed by a British and American mixed crew carried everything before it. while the other manned by Germans hardly ever got among the prizes. But to return to the Meteor's crew, it is composed of 39 Englishmen, three Scotchmen, and one German. Captain Gomes, who commands, is an English- man, and was in the service of the Emperor on the Thistle, which was the first Meteor, and is now known as the Comet. Mr Charles Day Rose's big cutter the Satanita is the hard weather boat of the fleet. When the stormy winds begin to blow this fine craft, which was designed by a Southampton draughtsman, Mr J. M. Soper, can show the way to the fleet, hub in light winds she makes a very poor show. Visitors to the regatta to-day will have no difficulty sn distinguishing Satanita, which has a rather stunted looking stem as compared with the spoon bows of the other big racing boats. Satanita, it will be remembered, ran into the second Valkyrie, owned by Lord Dun- raven, at one of the Clyde regattas a couple of years ago, and sank the unfortunate America's Cup challenger. Mr A. D. Clarke, who then owned the big cutter, has since retired from yacht racing. Mr Rose, the owner of Satanita, JS also the owner of the twenty-rater Penitent, which was also designed by Mr Soper, who is now busily engaged laying down the lines of another big boat for Mr Rose to take the place of the Satanita next season. Mr Rose, after the failure of Valkyrie in the America's Cup races last season, issued a challenge to the Americans, bub owing to the strong feeling among yachtsmen that Lord Dunraven had been badly treated, he withdrew it. By the way, a peculiarity about all Mr Rose's boats is that they are named after his well-known race horses. The only big Fife-designed boat is the Ailsa, which, when it came out a couple of years ago, gave promise, which was never fulfilled, of making the Britannia take a back seat. Young Willie Fife, Ailsa's designer, has never turned out a really good boat in the big class, his previous effort Calluna being only a moderate success. Ho, however, is much more at home with 40 raters, and his Isolde is one of the best racing boats that ever floated, as she last year won over £ 1,000 in prizes for her owner, Mr Peter Donaldson, a well-known Clyde yachts- man. The Saint, Mr F. B. Jamieson's fine 20 rater, which has been defeating the crack Niagara so often during the season, is really a miniature Isolde, being built to the same lines on a reduced scale of course. Niagara is of course a second yearns boat, and has done fairly well, although in fight weather she in no match for either The Saint or the Penitent. In conclusion, those who wish to understand bow the rating ef the various boats is arrived at, wili gather all the information they require from the following comparative table, which gives all 4h9 principal dimensions and embraces all the okments of the now rating rule LWI. Beam 0-75 girth 0*5 sail Bating Yacht. ffc ft fZ area. feet Meteor 88-95 24-28 34 98 55 54 101*87 Visa. H9-25 25-75 33-12 52-10 lOO'll flotanita 93-05 24-63 2640 50-11 99*59 Britannia. 88-24 23 60 31-20 50*90 96*97 Oonair 59*25 14*55 21*39 32-88 61*03 Carina 60*38 15*94 22-98 31-41 65*35 Isokte 59'56 17-05 23-20 31-64 65*72 «Csaint.; 46-34 12*20 17-58 27*27 51-94 VeuitenJ) 47*90 12 52 15*78 27-66 51-95 COURSES FUR RACES NOS. 1, 2, 3. AND 4. Race No. I-Twice Round and Distance to No. 1 Mark Boat and Back. Rice No. 2—Twice Round. Ruco No. S-Once Round and Distance to No. 3 rt-brk Boat and Back. I Race No. 4-0ncc Round. I

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