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Inward correspondence of Mark Foy

Date: 1895 - 1939
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mary Shaw
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0200

User Terms

    This archive series numbered [001] - [032] consists of inward correspondence collected by businessman, entrepreneur and keen sailor Mark Foy. It includes invoices, notes and receipts from Westley Bundock in London and an invoice for the yacht SOUTHERN CROSS. In addition are 26 letters to Foy from B J Bryhn, the crew of HO-HO, W Hyslop, A Staples, Lancelot O'Meagher, Albert Angier, Herbert Cobb, P G Holmes, James Mackery, Bert Dexter, W L Wyllie, P G Homes, W H Wright and Frederick Simms. The material was donated by Foy's granddaughter Mary Shaw.
    History"Who cares who wins when no-one knows? And the kernel of this sport is always wasted, not only to the spectators but to the competitor... who cares what the boats are doing when they sail out of sight?"

    In 1895, entrepreneur and founding Commodore of the Sydney Flying Squadron Mark Foy (1865-1950) wrote this about the manoeuvres of the big yachts in regattas. He preferred the potential of Sydney's smaller open boats. Open boats, or skiffs, were beamy boats with huge sails - and large crews of waterfront workers for ballast. Based on workboats from six to 24 feet (1.8 - 7.3m) long they were a spectacle on Sydney Harbour. Skiff racing was a tough working-man's sport.

    Foy introduced rules to make the sport more lively - coloured emblems for the sails, a short triangular course with handicapped stat, large prize money and spectator ferries with punters following the races. By the 1920s the open boats were standardised as 18-footers and were racing in Western Australia and Queensland.

    In 1898 he challenged the Medway Yacht Club in England to a match race series entitled the Anglo Australian shield. Unsuccessful, he challenged again in 1898.

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    Web title: Inward correspondence of Mark Foy

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