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Trophy kettle awarded to PLEIADES for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Commodore Handicap on 20 January 1883

Date: 1883
Overall: 38 × 19 × 23 mm, 1.6 kg
Medium: Silver, wicker
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Dr David Lark
Object Name: Trophy
Object No: 00037815
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This trophy, in the form of a tea pot kettle on a silver stand, was awarded to the yacht PLEIADES for coming second place in the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Commodore's Handicap on 20 January 1883. The trophy provides information about the vessel along with the names and descriptions of three other placeholder vessels, MABEL, IONE and DORIS.
    SignificanceThis trophy is representative of competitive sailing in Australia during the late 19th century.
    HistoryThe Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, initially known as the Australian Yacht Club was formed in 1862. Within a year it was granted an Admiralty warrant and Royal patronage as the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. In 1881 the RSYS introduced a system of handicapping, based on tonnage modified by performance, in order to promote club racing. This enabled all yachts in the RSYS to be eligable to race for the Commodore's Cup, donated by Commodore Gilchrist. The inaugural race held on 22 January 1881 was won by MAGIC with OITHONA second and PLEIADES placed third.

    PLEIADES was as 9-ton cutter designed and built by W Langford at Berry's Bay, Sydney in 1874. It was owned by E W Knox, son of the manager of Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd (CSR). In 1883 it was owned by RSYS member FB Lark.

    Regattas were central to competitive boating in the 19th century and functioned as a social and sporting occasion as well as a marker of official anniversaries in a public aquatic spectacle. Civic leaders, politicians and merchants offered patronage and sponsorship. Community regattas often featured several races, including rowing, sculling and sailing events usually for professional watermen and amateurs. The regatta was not just a means for exercising competitive sport but also a focus for social and recreational entertainment in Sydney. Sites around the foreshore provided a place for spectators to gather and have picnics, while night time entertainment was provided with dances and recitals.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Royal Sydney Squadron Commodores Handicap 20 Jan 1883, 2nd prize, won by PLEIADES

    Web title: Trophy kettle awarded to PLEIADES for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Commodore Handicap on 20 January 1883

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