Full-blown sails on Sydney Harbour – Photo of the day
Published by Paula Bray on December 9, 2010 in Photo of the day.
Full-blown sails on Sydney Harbour
This photo (by an unknown photographer) captures two eighteen-foot sailing boats racing side by side, their sails filled with wind. It’s easy to imagine that Joern Utzon was inspired by such a scene when he sketched his first drawings for the Sydney Opera House.
Retailer Mark Foy was the mastermind behind 18-foot skiff racing. He bankrolled the first regatta, on Sydney Harbour on 26 January 1892, and set the rules that made it a popular spectator sport. The rule that traditionalists disliked was the use of a distinctive coloured symbol on the mainsail of each boat, which made it easy for spectators to follow the action; the symbol on one of the boats can be seen in the photo. Smaller and more agile than earlier racing skiffs, the 18 footer is the fastest single-hulled sailing boat. From its beginnings on Sydney Harbour, the sport spread around the world and is still popular today.
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Post by Debbie Rudder, Curator
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