Yacht ZEPHYR on Sydney Harbour with (most likely) Miss Irene Pritchard at the helm

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Where: Unknown

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When: 01 January 1900

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This photo is part of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s William Hall collection. The Hall collection combines photographs from both William J Hall and his father William Frederick Hall. The images provide an important pictorial record of recreational boating in Sydney Harbour, from the 1890s to the 1930s – from large racing and cruising yachts, to the many and varied skiffs jostling on the harbour, to the new phenomenon of motor boating in the early twentieth century. The collection also includes studio portraits and images of the many spectators and crowds who followed the sailing races.

The Australian National Maritime Museum undertakes research and accepts public comments that enhance the information we hold about images in our collection. If you can identify a person, vessel or landmark, write the details in the Comments box below.

Thank you for helping caption this important historical image.

Object number 00002619, ANMM Collection Gift from Bruce Stannard


Owner: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8138
zephyr race racing sydney sydneyharbour williamhall williamhallcollection 8 footer irene pritchard irenepritchard hallladies

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    • 19/Jun/2013 23:48:24

    It looks a little short, and definitely undermanned, to be an 18 Footer. There were a range of skiffs, from 12 footers up to 22 or 24 footers in 2 foot increments, sailing on the Harbour. Now, there are 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.

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    robert carter oam

    • 20/Jun/2013 06:54:02

    I agree, far too small for an 18. Could even be a 6 footer. Robert Carter

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    • 20/Jun/2013 07:50:43

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/iansand] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] How about an 8 footer? With a female at the helm [*gasp*!] - see large size. If this is the right ZEPHYR, Miss Irene Pritchard received a specially loud cheer at the prize-giving for the 1899 Anniversary Regatta, which might not be this particular occasion. trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/14199199

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    • 20/Jun/2013 08:00:36

    More about Irene Pritchard and the ZEPHYR (and a photo - NB the diamond on the mainsail) - trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/71324600 - worth quoting -

    " The Zephyr, the flyer of the 8-footers, is quiet [sic] a new departure in boat building, her dimensions being 8ft long by 8ft beam, making her as long as she is broad. Not the least interesting feature about her is that she is piloted by Miss Irene Pritchard, who is the first on the list to represent the gentle sex amongst the tiny squadron. In seven starts the Zephyr has gained no less than five victories, one second, and in the remaining event had the misfortune to "turn turtle." This small craft was built by the well-known firm of Messrs. Pritchard and Company, boatbuilders, of Leichhardt. "

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    • 20/Jun/2013 08:50:51

    If it is an 8 footer it is the length of a Manly Junior or Sabot. It is a ridiculous size for adult crew and that much sail..

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    • 21/Jun/2013 06:46:02

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/iansand] I know almost nothing about boats, particularly how they are measured, but it seems to me that the bowsprit is very long (6 feet?) and must provide extra balance without drag. I imagine that they were experimenting with all different shapes and sizes then, as now. There will be a curator at the ANMM who will know ... [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] - CooEee!!

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    • 21/Jun/2013 08:29:12

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia/] beachcomberaustralia Bowsprits are not measured. They just aren't. The sole purpose of the bowsprit is to extend the length of the sail carrying platform. There is an interesting story about 12 foot skiffs. Until after WW2 they were hugely overcanvassed and carried huge crews as ballast. A bloke named Iain Oughtred designed a boat called a Gwen 12 - also 12 feet long, but lightweight with a planing hull and ballasted by crew on a trapeze (if you do not know what a trapeze is look at some of my photos of 18 footers. The guys on the wires are trapezing). The skiffies laughed at them, so the Gwen 12 sailors challenged the skiffies to a race, and cleaned them up. It was the beginning of the evolution of skiffs to their modern form. This should be a photo of a Gwen 12 - you can see the difference to a vintage skiff lostinablog.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/20110225-151323.j...

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    Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons

    • 25/Jun/2013 04:48:48

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/iansand] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Yes thank you! Bit of an oversight with this image, definitely not an 18-footer. Our vessels curator has gone on holiday (how could he?!) but the book 'Australian Wooden Boats Vol1' (1994) has an entry for '8-footer ZEPHYR'. "In a set of notes made by Harry Pritchard... he says: '1891. While chatting with his father Charles Pritchard who remarked whether the limit of a beam of a sailing boat had been reached, H.C. Pritchard made a scale model which so pleased them both that they decided to build it. She was ZEPHYR, 8' long and 8' beam, which was eventually sailed by Irene Pritchard on tiller, H. Pritchard on mainsheet and Fred Pritchard on jib'." Other useful details: ZEPHYR carried an 18' mast, 16' boom, a 10'6" gaff and a 10' bowsprit. Meanwhile, here's another image of ZEPHYR we prepared earlier... Yacht ZEPHYR on Sydney Harbour