With rails under and a smart breeze whipping through the rigging a matter of measurements might seem the affair of a landlubber. But the unpleasantness which has marked the fishermen's races in the past has again made itself evident in the Columbia-Bluenose battle. Old salts on both sides seem to be salted down with suspicion. This perhaps, is justified, for neither appears above suspicion. In fact the whole competition seems to have degenerated from the ideal of true sport to the baser ideal of winning by any means, fair or fairly foul.
Although one race has been run off and the Bluenose has tightened Canada's grip by one notch on the trophy, the time has not yet arrived for the shouting. While doubting the correctness of the Columbia's reported qualifications, the Canadian boat consented to race--but on a kind of "heads I win, tails you lose" basis. If the Columbia happens to win the next two races and, consequently the series, she will then have to be remeasured under the stony glances of the Canadians. Needless to say the enthusiasm of a competitor who is not certain of getting credit for winning is likely to be considerably dampened. Yet while criticizing Canada, it is only fair to say that a well- founded belief is current to the effect that the Gloucester men have altered their boat to suit racing rather than fishing conditions.
People are growing weary of these annual, bitter bickerings. When international track-meets, horse races, and debates have by good-sportsmanship only confirmed Anglo-American harmony, one may begin to wonder if the two countries had not better disown their pugnacious fishermen. The races were instituted to develope a more efficient commercial schooner, not an eggshell yacht. When each race becomes a question of the validity of measurements before trustees of the international trophy, it no longer stands as a test of the best schooner in North American waters. There should be either less regulation and a more powerful committee, or a change in the object and name of the race.