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[From Our Special Correspondent.]

London, September 20.

Tho great professional swimming mutch between Ernest Cavill and Joseph Nuttall, which took phci in the Doncaster public swimmiDg bath on Wednesday evening, turned out like most of these much-boomed affairs—a bitter disappointment to all who took the trouble to go down to the northern town to witness it. They at least expected a good race, with Nuttall on top at the finish; but instead, they had a procession for half of the distance and a one-man exhibition for the rest. To pub the matter, in a nutshell, Cavill was a beaten man before a quarter of the arranged journey had been accomplished, and, seeing the hopelessness of his task, got out of the water after traversing rather more than 270 yards. The race—if I may so miscall it—proved nothing with regard to Cavill, and cannot be taken as a fair test of his real abilities. He was not exactly ill, or even unwell, but he was certainly not iu his tip-top form, having suffered considerably from colds during the p»st few weeks. In regard to Nuttall the swim proved one thing. He is, fit and well, still a marvellously fast man, but we are no nearer to a correct estimate of his utmost capacity than we were four years ago, when he walked away from the American (M'Cusker) and knocked the mile record into smithereens.

The Doncaster Bath—not a particularly good one from the " gate" point of view—was crowded on Wednesday night with the supporters of every branch of sport, racing men, owners, trainers, jockeys and bookmakers predominating. The bookies of course came to do business, if possible ; but, as a matter of fact, speculation on the race was not indulged in to any extent. What money was forthcoming was all for Nuttall, and those who backed the Englishman were required to lay 8 to 1 on their fancy. Nuttall himself offered to bet Cavill " the gate" that he won, but Ernest declined to risk his share of the admission fees. The bath, when fiually measured on Monday, had proved to be 30yds Ift in length, so the men, having mutually agreed to swim seventeen lengths in order to obviate the use of a pole, had to negotiate 515 yds 2it instead of the SCOyds for which the match was originally made. To prevent all chance of fouling, a rope was fixed down the centre of the bath. Nuttall won the toss for choice of sides, and naturally selected the right hand, which, in the event of a close finish, would give him the advantage of seeing his opponent in the final length. Precisely at nine o'clock, Mr R. Watson sent the men away. Nuttall was very smart off the mark, and had the best of the plunge. He rose slightly ahead of Cavill, and, getting quickly into his stroke, at once began to draw away. At the end of the first length (18sec) he was two to the good. Goiug well within himself Nuttall drew farther and farther away. At the end of the second stretch (39isee) he was three yards to the good, at the third (lmin lsec) a yard more, and by the time he had negotiated four in lmin 25sec he was leading Cavill by a good half-dozen yard?. The Australian had swum fairly well up to this point, but then began to labor, and the leader increased his advantage so rapidly that at the end of the eighth length there was a gap of nearly twenty yards between the competitors. In the tenth length, which Nuttall completed in 3min 533 ec, Cavill retired, he being then close upon a length of the bath to the bad. Nuttall went on in a comfortable fashion, but continued to get through the water at a great pace. At the end of the fifteenth length he was timed 6min lsec, and in the seventeenth passed the 500 yds mark in 6min 38i3ec, thus beating his own record of 6min 43f-sec made at Lambeth in 1890. He completed the full journey in 6min 50seo. Had Nuttall been pressed there can be little doubj but that he eoudl have done much better than this, but after the fourth length he made no particular effort to improve his position in relation to his pursuer. How fresh he was at the end of his journey may to a certain extent be gauged by the fact that he swam the final in 23Jjec.

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Bibliographic details

CAVILL V. NUTTALL., Issue 10453, 25 October 1897

Word Count

CAVILL V. NUTTALL. Issue 10453, 25 October 1897

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