This 1913 PUPS Class Season Championship Trophy was repurposed in 2013 as the trophy for the new Intercommittee Challenge. Raced in the club’s Sonar one design fleet, the history of this trophy makes it an appropriate choice.
List of Winners
In 1912, the Chicago Yacht Club introduced a new one-design boat to Chicago. This was the Pup class designed by Crowninshield and built by the Milwaukee Yacht and Engine Company. The boat was 20’ 2½” long with a beam of 5’4” and a draft of 3’3”. The Pup had a fin keel with 803 lbs. of ballast and carried 231 square feet of sail.
Three of the boats were owned by the Chicago Yacht Club and available to the membership for racing. Others were privately owned with records indicating a fleet of 6 boats. Interestingly, one of the privately held Pups, Seventy Seventy, was owned by the crew of Amorita, the longtime holder of the Mackinac Race speed record. A reasonable guess is that the small size of these boats is why their fleet gained the name Mosquito. Some of the membership must have thought of these small boats as a swarm of meddlesome insects buzzing around their more stately craft. According to the Mosquito Fleet rules for 1912, their races were to be held over a 5 mile course. There were two series per season with a minimum of 5 races in a series. Colored pennants were awarded for first (red) and second (blue) places in each race. For the series, the first prize was to be a silver cup or suitable trophy with a value of $50.00. Second prize was to be a suitable trophy valued at $25, and third prize a suitable trophy valued at $10. That $50 first prize value would be about $1,100 today.
Apparently, this new fleet raised enough interest to bring in at least one new member. The Pup “Fido” was owned by Arthur C. King and Roy A. Lippencott. Roy was a member at the beginning of 1912, but Arthur first shows up on the membership list during the spring of 1912. King and Lippencott were effective racers by 1913, as in the second series of that year they took first place in the 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th races of the series. I’m sure that was good enough for the series championship and a silver cup.
Why is all of this of interest to us today? During renovations of the race committee room at Belmont Harbor, Lloyd Karzan found a trophy behind a wall. The year—1913. The boat—FIDO! The Sterling Cup had been through a lot, containing at least three noticeable dents. We’ll never know how it was lost, or even when, but it instantly becomes one of the oldest trophies in the club’s collection.
As a side note, the Pup class boat was deemed appropriate for a lady skipper race as part of Chicago’s second annual water carnival in 1913. The Chicago Tribune referred to the women as ‘Skipperesses.’ The Pup fleet also made the Tribune in June of 1913 when a “northerly gale” interrupted one of their races. There were only 4 boats entered and they started the race with three reefs. The winds were so strong that the small craft had difficulty coming about. One boat, Giddy Gaddy, was dashed into a pier and sunken in ten feet of water. Two more, Terrier and Cisco, were disabled, and a fourth, Seventy Seventy, was driven into shelter at Twelfth Street.
One final note of interest about this fleet, these boats were used in a melon race. The race committee dropped a number of watermelons in Monroe Harbor. The small boats headed out and the crew that gathered in the largest number of melons won the race. This is something we might want to try today in Belmont Harbor with adults out in Optimists. Anyone game?