A 1950s race boat returns to its home waters
To understand the history of outboard racing in Hague on northern Lake George, we need to go back to the early days of the Lake George Regatta Association (LGRA), an organization founded in Hague in 1880 and originally called the Hague Rowing Club. The name was a misnomer as they also hosted diving, swimming, and canoeing competitions, along with inboard regattas, attracting competitors mainly from Hague and Bolton.
My grandfather competed regularly in his inboard race boats as did his older son, my Uncle Bob. They both did well, but were no match for Count Casimir Mankowski, who won the Gold Cup in 1913 at Alexandria Bay in his boat Ankle Deep, earning the right for the LGRA to host the 1914 race on Lake George. In 1933, George Reis won the Gold Cup with his boat El Lagarto, returning the race to Lake George, where he also won the Cup in 1934 and 1935.
My dad, Jack Henry, was too young to race the powerful, expensive inboards during those early years. But with a father and older brother who spent their summers tuning, repairing, and racing boats, it was pretty much predestined that he would also develop a passion for boats and speed. But with the advent of the Depression, the LGRA disbanded, and Dad never got to race.