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The Glenelg Regatta, which took place in commemoration of HRH Prince of Wales' birthday 9 November 1855

Date: 1855
Overall: 460 x 580 mm, 0.2 kg
Medium: Colour lithographic print on paper.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00016856
Place Manufactured:Adelaide

User Terms

    This hand coloured lithograph illustrates the finish of the Glenelg Regatta in Adelaide, Australia, held on 9 November 1855 to commemorate the birthday of HRH the Prince of Wales. The flagship HMAS YATALA fires the gun marking the end of the race and flies the white ensign and an unidentified red swallow tail flag The winning yacht ALMA is trailed by VICTORY. It was printed by Penman & Galbraith in Adelaide, Australia. The lithograph was copied from a watercolour by John Deering. The original watercolour was given to the wife of Governor MacDonnell who held the office from 1855 to 1862.
    SignificanceThis lithograph is representative of colonial yachting in South Australia during the 1850s.
    HistoryRegattas were central to competitive boating in the 19th century and functioned as a social and sporting event, as well as a marker of official anniversaries in a public aquatic spectacle. Civic leaders, politicians and merchants offered patronage and sponsorship. This community regatta often featured several races, including rowing, sculling and sailing events usually for professional watermen and amateurs.

    The Glenelg Regatta took place on 9 November 1855 to commemorate the birthday of HRH Prince of Wales. The ALMA won the race and VICTORY was second. It was one of the earliest boating regattas held in South Australia. There were no yacht clubs in the young colony and pleasure racing was an informal sport, largely consisting of match racing between one or two boat owners. The first Glenelg Regatta took place soon after foundation in South Australia in 1836.

    Regattas were occasions for public spectacles and celebration. The Prince of Wales' birthday represented a focus for colonial celebrations and in 1855 on 9 November it was declared a public holiday. There were four races including the premier event for vessels of greater than 20 tons, and races for life boats. The prize money was the considerable amount of 160 pounds.

    The flagship of the regatta was the naval vessel HMS YATALA which is featured in this lithograph. Royal Navy vessels and personnel had a high profile in colonial yachting and the navy was pre-eminent in colonial society. Naval vessels were often active in regattas which included races for ship's boast with naval crews.

    The South Australian Regatta of 1855 was covered by the eastern newspapers. The Sydney Morning Herald reported, ' The Governor honoured it with his presence and nearly four thousand persons from the city and suburbs flocked down to the beach to enjoy the sea breeze and witness the spectacle. The day was fine, but towards sunset the wind changed, and one of the most furious wind and dust storms swept over the country'.

    The artist Jown W Deering dedicated this work to the Governor's wife, Mrs MacDonnell. Governor Richard MacDonnell and his wife arrived in the colony in June 1855 and he built a reputation as a keen sportsman who identified himself with many literary, artistic and philanthropic organisations.

    Deering was a water colourist and lithographer working in Australia from the 1850s. In 1858 he won a prize at the second annual exhibition of the South Australian Society of Art. In the early 1870s he was living in Melbourne and exhibited several watercolours at the NSW Academy of Art Exhibition in Sydney, which were highly commended. In 1872 he was listed as an amateur of Melbourne and then moved to NSW soon after.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: The Glenelg Regatta which took place in commemoration of HRH Prince of Wales' birthday 9 November 1855

    Primary title: The Glenelg Regatta, which took place in commemoration of HRH Prince of Wales' birthday 9 November 1855

    Related People
    Lithographer: John W Deering

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