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AKARANA racing SIROCCO on Sydney Harbour

Date: 1889-1890
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Bruce Stannard
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00002012
Related Place:Sydney Harbour,

User Terms

    The 1888 gaff-cutter AKARANA races SIROCCO in the Anniversary Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour, 26 January 1889. The Orient Company's steamer OROYA was flagship for the day and is seen in the background. AKARANA was then owned by New Zealand boat builder Robert Logan and SIROCCO by E W Knox. AKARANA was awarded first place with the time allowance, beating SIROCCO by ten minutes, although SIROCCO actually crossed the line first.
    SignificanceThe Hall collection of photographs provides an important pictorial record of recreational boating in Sydney Harbour from the 1890s to the 1930s – from large racing and cruising yachts, to the many and varied skiffs jostling on the harbour, to the new phenomenon of motor boating in the early twentieth century . The collection also includes images of the many spectators and crowds who followed the sailing races.
    HistoryWilliam Frederick Hall (1855-1943), formerly a butcher from England, became a well-known photographer whose photographic career in Sydney spanned a number of decades. He was a fingerprint expert at Long Bay Gaol and set up a photographic studio in Sydney in 1890. He and his wife, Caroline Asimus, had a son William James Hall (1877–1951) who followed his father's lead and became a photographer.

    Although neither the father nor the son were sailors, both developed a keen interest in sailing and sailing craft. During the late 1880s and early 1890s, William Frederick Hall documented the weekend sailors and yachts of Sydney Harbour. William James Hall took over the tradition until the early 1930s, capturing photographs from his motor boat.

    A number of photographic studios were established by William F Hall and William J Hall. Known at different times as Hall Studio, Hall & Co, W F Hall and Hall W, the businesses were located variously at 7 Castlereagh Street, 39, 44 and 70 Hunter Street, 91 Phillip Street and 21 Bligh Street in Sydney city from 1890 onwards. Their images of sailing, yachts and motor launches on Sydney Harbour and nearby are extremely well-known and highly respected for their composition and the detail they have recorded.

    Yachting was a major pastime on Sydney Harbour, and well-established by the mid-1800s. A number of clubs were formed, catering for all classes and types of sailing vessel, and for their owners from different backgrounds. Yachts tended to belong to successful businessmen, and their clubs such as the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron reflected the class structure of the time. Races were held throughout summertime, and in Sydney most were restricted to Sydney Harbour and other enclosed waterways, with occasional short offshore events. It was popular with the public who came to watch many important races when they were held on the harbour, gathering on the foreshores or watching from ferries that followed the races. Races were widely reported in the media as well, including drawn illustrations of the yachts, which were later replaced by early versions of photographs.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: AKARANA rennt SIROCCO am Hafen von Sydney

    Assigned title: Akarana raced SIROCCO op Sydney Harbour

    Web title: AKARANA racing SIROCCO on Sydney Harbour

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