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[By Staysail ]

The weather for tho opening ceremony being unsettled only about a dozen yachts ventured out. A temporary lull just before the start tempted the Helma to shake out her reefs only to take them in again later on. Most of the others sailed close reefed. On beating in to the Victoria wharf a stiff equall, accompanied by a shower, caused the Anonyma to strike her jib in quick time.

The Thelma crew seemed to have their work cut out to avoid overhauling the commodore's craft.

The manoeuvres were carried out as well as could be expected under the circuuv stances.

After the procession the yachtsmen adjourned to the D.A.B. shed, where they entertained their friends at a concert. Afternoon tea was handed round, and altogether a very enjoyable afternoon was spent. I see no reason why the Yacht Club should not throw in an afternoon's evolution between the club races during the present season. It would be a far more interesting sight from a spectator's point of view than class racing, where the time allowance is in some cases known only to the officials. On Sunday morning, there being a good stiff S.W. wind, the Leader, Thelma, and White Wings went down the Victoria channel. The White Wings went through the Cross channel into Broad Bav, the others going on to the Heads. Broad Bay looked quite lively last Sunday with all the yachts there. Most of them left about 3.30, but I noticed the Rover and Volunteer leave later on.

Bill Lane was quite defeated with the way the White Wings came up. The Carina could not resist having a go with her old rival, and she must have rather surprised the Thelma crew by passing her before she reached Port, although she started behind her.

While trying to cut the corners off too close the Carina s~uck fast on the bank, or, I think, by the time she reached town she would have been a long way ahead. She has had her mast shortened this season, having some 7ft cut off, and the mainsail cut and fitted with a gaff. She seems to be going much better. The mainsail seems to have more driving power than when it was rigged as a Bermuda. Mr B. Davis, sen., ia making a new suit of sails for her this Season. I notice several of (he old yacht 3 afloat again this season. The Seabreeze was out for a spin last Tuesday. This yacht has underfone some big alterations lately. She has een purohased by Mr Sproul, and has had her keel taken QUt and a new one put in and

fitted with; t*htreboard/ by Mr B. Davis, jun. Sho has new sails and rigging, which seem to have made her much handier, as Bhe v. a i very s'tiErgish as a keel bolt; • The Volunteer's erew must have got a surprise on Monday morning to find their craft Bunk at her mooring. They had taken the false keel off, and had missed plugging up one of the bolt holes, with the above result. • •■•«

__ The Leader has bad the hollow forefoot failed up with wood to give her more grip forward. Mr Baker thinks thiß will make her carry her big jib in a breeze, but the knowing ones think Tom has made her more sluggish in stays. Mr B. Davis, jun., is at present repairing the Huia, she having got a bit of a shaking through falling over on her bilge while propped up at Pelichet Bay. She has been purchased by Messrs Patterson and Eustace, and is to race in the third class this season. •

- The Mirage is afloat again, but her owner is rather slow in having her fitt-'d out. Mr Wood's time seems to be more taken up with the model yachts this season. I hope to see her racing in the third class again. During the visit of the Sunbeam to Brisbane Lord Brassey presented a cheque for £lO to the Queensland Yacht Club, to be devoted to a race to be styled the L%dy Brassey Prize. In a readable article on * Yachting and its Coats,'contributed by.Clive Holland to the ' Ludgate'for Aogust, the author gives some interesting information concerning the large sums expended in Great Britain in building and maintaining its pleasure fleet. Dealing with the racing boats the writer says :—" Of late years the smaller races, of 5, 10, 20, and 40 tons (now 36, 42, 52, and 65 footers respectively), have increased in popularity, though the tendency of last season and this would appear to be in the direction ot boats of even smaller dimensions. •The 18, 24, and 30-footers are very expensive to build, as omrared with their size; a 30-footer (roughly equivalent to a two and a-half tonner),- costing, by a good builder, not much less than £4OO, as compared with a sum of £SO per ton (or £125 to £150) for a first-class modern cruising yacht; and, of course, the expense is proportionately increased in the case qf the larger boat*, such as Meteor, Ailsa, Britannia, Valkyrie, and Vigilant. These, with their racing crews of forty to fifty hands, at an average of £1 to 303 per week per man, with a bonus equal, in some cases, to the week's wages for each win, are, indeed, costly hobbies, and soon mn away with £I,OOO for wages alone. The account for.the heavy expenses entailed by the wear and tear of gear and the cost of repairs will, if the boat is at all unlucky, soon run well into three figures." In the tame article it is stated, on the authority of a statistician, that the yachting bill of the British Nation amounts to not less than £6,000,000 per annum, taking nothing into account for owned yachts as regards a sum for their hire.

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Bibliographic details

YACHTING., Issue 10464, 6 November 1897, Supplement

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YACHTING. Issue 10464, 6 November 1897, Supplement

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