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Commemorative booklets of the Sydney Flying Squadron

Date: 1891 - 1941
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mary Shaw
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0207

User Terms

    This archive series includes two commemorative booklets collected by businessman, entrepreneur and keen sailor Mark Foy. The first booklet was reproduced in 1935 for the Jubilee dinner of the Sydney Flying Squadron, illustrated with a sailing boat and shoreline. The second booklet was reproduced in 1941 for the 50th Anniversary of the Sydney Flying Squadron 18ft Sailing Club and to commemorate the visit of the American Fleet on 20 March 1941, illustrated with a photograph of FLYING FISH sailing. 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

    Web title: Commemorative booklets of the Sydney Flying Squadron


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