© Copyright 2011  Julianne Dodds Speedboat and hydroplane Championships 1921 - 1925 1923 Australasian Championship in Adelaide The previous challenge for the Griffith Cup had been held at Adelaide in the Port River near Torrens Island but the venue turned out to be quite unsatisfactory. There was not enough room for the spectators who, to the surprise of the officials, had turned up in the thousands to see this highly publicised event. So it was decided that the 1923 race would be conducted at Outer Harbour, to exploit the long wharf and easier access by train. Bear in mind that this was the most significant annual event in Australia for speed boat racing enthusiasts. Hundreds of keen supporters travelled from other States by motor car, train and steamship. Mac and his crew arrived from Queensland by train a week early and were invited by the Royal S.A. Yacht Squadron to attend the celebrated yachting event of the year – the Kintore and LeHunte Cups, held off Semaphore. In addition, a handicap motor boat race was also a feature. Finally the momentous day came for the Australian Motor Boat Championship race on Saturday 24th February 1923. The final entrants were: Tortoise (S.A.) owned by brothers, Arthur and Ernest Rymill. She was 28 feet in length and fitted with a 450bhp Liberty petrol motor. Meteor (N.S.W.) owned by Major Darcy Donkin. Also 28 feet long, she had two 3500 hp V12 Cylinder Rolls Royce Eagle VIII petrol motors with 24 exhaust pipes. Miss Brisbane (Qld.) owned by John McG Williams with a 450 h.p. Liberty aero motor. Millawa (S.A.) owned by George McFarlane. A hydroplane of Thornycroft design and fitted with a 6 cylinder 160h.p. Beardmore aero engine. Three other entrants, Miss Sydney, (N.S.W.), Miss Adelaide, (S.A.) and Nautilus, (Vic.) were absent. Miss Sydney had broken her propeller on a trial run in Sydney Harbour, Nautilus was damaged in landing and could not be repaired in time, and Miss Adelaide had engine troubles. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people made the long journey to the Outer Harbour. Every kind of craft imaginable joined in the great pilgrimage downstream. As well as large  steamers, smaller craft joined the procession –little launches, and even rowing boats, some of which boasted a little sail and a few bright flags for the occasion. Dozens of grimy, hard-working old ketches carried scores of spectators. Conditions were perfect for hydroplaning with a light breeze and pleasant temperature. Three heats were to be run to determine the winner but the promising start of the race ended in disappointment. During the second heat, Meteor ran into the Tortoise amidships, staving in several ribs, causing two 12 ft. splits in her side, and damaging an oil tap. Both boats continued on their way, but Tortoise was thereafter a “lame duck” and took in so much water that the Rymills retired after completing the lap.   Mac’s invitation to the annual yachting event. Williams Collection