Race to the Pole Reaches Berlin

Le Monde 7 March 1910 – After only a week, the world has learnt what every Frenchman already knew – that our Ganys are trés magnifiqué! Since leaving Paris on the fifth, the Clarion has surged ahead of its competitors, arriving in Berlin nearly a full day ahead of the English and German entrants. Capitaine Miles has proven to the world the dominance of the Fleet de Voleé, and his lead seems unassailable.

The hated British were overtaken by the Germans after one of the Indefatigable’s electroid tanks ruptured as the Race moved past the German border, severely hampering the English leviathan’s speed. By contrast, the German Flugboot has maintained a constant velocity for nearly the entire race and at the moment looks to be the Clarion’s main rival, even as the fleet moves into the arctic skies.

Perhaps the most surprising story of the Race so far is the lack of progress by the Americans. Possibly relying too much on its captain’s previous experience to gain an advantage, the American vessel has not yet produced a show of speed to threaten the frontrunners. However, Admiral Peary’s experience should not be discounted, and the Camp Teller may surge ahead as the fleet moves northward.

Not surprisingly, the Russian entry has failed to impress, barely matching speed with the American competitor. As it limped into Berlin, the assembled crowd was audibly disparaging the battered vessel’s appearance. As the Race moves toward St Petersburg, however, the Krimskaya Borzaya is sure to pick up speed as its captain takes it through familiar skies.

Of significant interest is the large deployment of Kaiserliche Luftmarine leviathans north of Berlin, emphatically enforcing the exclusion zone that the German kaiser insisted upon prior to allowing the Race to fly over his country. As a show of force it is impressive—even if the competitors have no military ability whatsoever.

Tomorrow the Race gets underway again, this time heading for St. Petersburg. For the moment, the tricolor flows gaily from the mast of the Clarion, and the French nation follows with glad hearts!

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