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Queen of the Waves sash presented to Patricia Walden

Date: 1960-1970
102 x 2040 mm
Medium: Cloth
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Patricia Marsh
Object Name: Sash
Object No: 00001306

User Terms

    This 'Queen of the Waves, Rada Penfold' sash was presented to Miss Patricia Walden when she was a teenager. It is a memento of her crewing in the Queen of the Harbour and of the Waves annual fund raising races held by the two New South Wales 18 footer clubs. These races were held annually by the two respective clubs to 'give the girls a go' and to raise money for charity.
    SignificanceThese pennants represent the often invisible role of women in the 18 footer circuit since their activity was largely one of support. Ladies Day was the only active service they saw when each boat carried one woman or girl.
    HistoryRegattas were central to competitive boating in the 19th and 20th centuries 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.

    Women sailed one day a season to raise money for charity - one on each boat and were awarded sashes for entering and achieving a winning place. Women provided a support network for clubs and assisted fundraising by baking lamingtons and organising crews.

    The 18 foot clubs had raced annual regattas since the first club the Sydney Flying Squadron was established at Kirribilli by entrepreneur Mark Foy in 1892. Foy encouraged the bold antics of the working sailors, professional men and open boat sailors, in skiffs as large as 24 foot.

    After the turn of the 20th century the boats standardised at 18 foot and the racing grew in popularity - it was colourful sailing over a triangular course, with enthusiastic spectators and punters who followed the races in chartered ferries. The skiffs had coloured sail emblems on their mainsails which made them easier to identify.

    In contrast to the more leisured class of yacht sailors, the open boat crews were mainly composed of working men from the waterfront who sailed in summer and played football (league) in winter. In the early 1930s the NSW Sailing League was established at Double Bay as the second club devoted to open boat sailing, alongside the Sydney Flying Squadron. Both clubs sail today.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Queen of the Waves, Rada Penfold sash awarded to Patricia Walden

    Web title: Queen of the Waves sash presented to Patricia Walden

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