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Barnegat Bay Sewell Cup Racing, circa 1900

The following is an adaptation of an article from The Rudder. It appears this was a periodical that covered nautical topics, everything from news about different races to the latest technology used in building large ships. The article about the Sewell Cup race on the bay in August of 1900 was published in February 1901. This was the first race for the cup and it was won by a boat from the Island Heights Yacht Club.


The gala event of the yachting season on Barnegat Bay occurred Saturday, August 9th, 1900. The Sewell Cup is presented in honor of the late United States Senator William J. Sewell and is a perpetual trophy to be sailed for annually by the yacht clubs of Island Heights, Seaside Park, and Bay Head, N. J. In a snapping breeze from W. N. West, with the twelve contesting yachts laboring under single and double reefs, on a course five miles to windward and return, the Island Heights Yacht Club carried off the honors by winning the trophy with the catboat Bouquet, owned by William G. Hartrauft.

At the starting point, off Seaside Yacht clubhouse, the waters were covered with gayly decorated craft and docks lined with exuberant supporters of the favored yachts.

Owing to results of a recent race, Lazy Jack, of the Seaside Park Club, was the pronounced favorite, but on the first beat to the windward mark she was shown a clean pair of heels by the Bouquet, and added further to her loss by taking the ground for a few seconds.

In this contest for the Sewell trophy (which has attracted wide attention along the Jersey coast) no professional sailors were allowed aboard, the contesting boats all being manned by amateurs. But the time made and the handling of several of the leading boats, notably the Bouquet, Mina and Lazy Jack, showed skill equal to and far more exciting in results than was witnessed two weeks ago, when the crews were made up of professional men.

Promptly at 1.30 the signal gun caused the whole fleet to plunge away, largely bunched under a wind that later carried away two masts and gave evidence that it was to be a battle royal, both for speed and endurance.

The Lazy Jack crossed the line first. Before the first leg was half over the contest had narrowed down to the Lazy Jack, Bouquet and Mina. Bouquet, while starting fourth, was the first to round the turning stake, and as the fleet came down the stretch before the wind the Bouquet, to the astonishment of many, was well in the lead, with Mina second and Lazy Jack third, the balance of the fleet making an inspiring sight as they closely followed, rocking and at times rolling heavily in the half gale that was blowing.

The boats finished in the following order (with corrected times):
H. M. S. Bouquet, I. H. Y. С 2.14.11

Mina, ” 2.17.2

Lazy Jack, S. P. Y. С 2.i/.i6

Mary E., I. H. Y. С 2.18.41

Edith, ” 2.25.54

Nemo, S. P. Y. С 230.9

Meta ” 2.38.59

Señorita, I. H. Y. С dismasted

Petrel, В. H. Y. С did not finish

Vim, ” dismasted

Nelly Bly, S. P. Y. С did not finish

Lizard, did not finish

The perfect handling of the Bouquet caused much favorable comment. She was captained by Albers Mulford, a crack sailor of the Island Heights Yacht Club, his crew consisting of Wm. G. Harfrauft, the owner; Howard Goldsmith, Ed. Woodward, Jr., M. Middleton, Chester Bryant, Wesley Lyon, W. Abbot, Chris. Golby, all of Philadelphia and Camden.

The handling of Mina by Harry Gifford was superb, while the crew of the Lazy Jack worked nobly.

The Sewell cup now remains at Island Heights for one year. On the arrival of the fleet at Island Heights it was found that the news of the victory had preceded them. The cottages along the river front were gayly decorated, and the fleet, with the disabled Señorita in tow, was enthusiastically received, amid the firing of guns, cheering, waving of flags, etc.


Interesting to think what the bay, and Long Beach Island and Barnegat Peninsula, must have been like to visit during that time.