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Scenes of sailing events and spectators

Date: 1898-1938
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mary Shaw
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0203

User Terms

    Description
    This archive series numbered [001] - [063] consists of photographs collected by sailing entrepreneur Mark Foy of family, friends, launches, yachts, yacht crews and regatta crowds.

    It includes 16 nitrate negatives depicting various racing skiffs and 18-footers, race spectators at wharfs and on crowded ferries such as the LADY CHELMSFORD, and moored vessels. There are 49 photographs depicting similar scenes, along with the sloop VIKING, bark STAR OF LAPLAND, the Perth Flying Squadron, scenes at Benbridge Isle, the IREX and MAID OF KENT and their crew, the Anglo Australian Challenge, skiff FLYING FISH and motor launch MARIONETTE. 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.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: PHOTOGRAPHS OF FAMILY, FRIENDS, LAUNCHES, YACHTS, YACHT CREWS AND REGATTA CROWDS COLLECTED BY MARK FOY

    Web title: Scenes of sailing events and spectators

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