Yacht Racing in the Victorian & Edwardian Era
"Yacht racing in the Victorian & Edwardian era", is a collection of photographs howing scenes of what was surely the premier sport in the area at that time. Many of these most elegant of craft, were built for the landed gentry of the area like Russell Colman (of Colmans Mustard) who commissioned "Castanet" to race simply for the prize money that could be won. The boats at that time were generally sailed for them by professional crew and the picture of the "Ames" family shows 3 generations who were engaged in this exalted position. "Billy Ames" was professional skipper on the Nathalie (later Maidie) from the day it was launched in 1904 till the day he died in 1943 for what was surely the majority of his working life. Coldham hall regatta in 1906 shows six of the biggest of these racing yachts in close competition for a first prize that would have been in the order of twice the average mans working wage.
The picture of the "Lateener Maria" shows what is almost certainly the oldest racing yacht in existence in the world today. Built 1826 and pictured here in about 1900 she still survives as a museum exhibit. Tragically many newer and much more elegant examples have not survived the ravages of the post war years, of all the yachts shown in "The start of the big fleet at Oulton 1905" only two remain in existence today. Infamous crack racers like the "Bonito" and the "Queen Mab" have all long since disappeared generally with any living memory that ever existed of them and now these pictures are all that remain. What has survived in good health today however are the principle regattas at Wroxham and Oulton, the scenes pictured of yachts competing in hard fought duels remain practically unchanged.