Good Sport, 1858

Chimera boat race

This race was perhaps more interesting in a local sense from the fact that the Chimera was lately built on novel and somewhat Yankee lines by Mr. Mansfield of Teignmouth. The Oriole being also a new boat attracted much attention although she has rather the appearance of a very powerful bad weather boat than that of a racer. Midge had sailed here on former occasions and proved herself to be a fast little craft consequently she possessed a host of admirers. The start was most admirably effected at 12h 49m Chimera occupying the most weathermost station led off followed by the Oriole and Midge. A good deal of jostling took place between the two first mentioned in the run down to Goodrington mark-boat. The Chimera although slightly ahead was to leeward and threw her competitor considerably out of her course by occasionally luffing across her bows. Meanwhile the little Midge was making a straight course for the mark boat and nearly succeeded in cutting the others off. The close proximity of the yachts at this point will be manifest when we state that the Chimera passed the mark at 1h 5m 0s the Oriole at 1h 5m 28s and Midge at 1h 5m 40s. The contest between the Chimera and Oriole continued with unabating interest and some miles they apparently ran bowsprit to bowsprit but before Berry Head the Oriole manifested her superior qualities in rougher sea by taking the lead and during the beat from the eastern mark she so materially distanced the Chimera that the record of the time at which the first round was completed shows her to have been five minutes ahead Oriole 2h 28m 30s Chimera 2h 33m 30s Midge 2h 40m. Throughout the remainder of the race she had it all her own way and the Chimera was ultimately beaten by more than half an hour albeit she was entitled to four minutes on account of tonnage. The Midge met with a sad disaster on the second round while off Brixham and during a sudden squall her mast went by the board making a clean sweep she lay like a log on the water and in this prostrate condition was taken in tow by a trawler that happened to be passing and brought to Torquay harbour The second round was completed by the Oriole at 4h 2m 28s and by the Chimera at 4h 26m 35s and the third by the Oriole at 5h 39m 30s and by the Chimera at 6h 11m 15s.

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