"Thelma” leads “Ariki” past the Esplanade Hotel, Devonport. Auckland Anniversary Regatta 1907.
|The painting depicts the race, not long after the start, with “Thelma” (13) and “Ariki” (3) tacking past the recently built Esplanade Hotel and the Devonport wharf. A paddlewheel steam powered ferry, loaded with spectators, is just leaving the wharf to follow the racing yachts. (Yacht racing was a very popular spectator sport in 1907 and many bets were placed on the outcome of the race). A small open boat sails between the two racing yachts. “Thelma’s” bow is lifting out of a wave, causing the jackyard topsail to ‘luff’. Her mainsheet has been eased slightly to ‘drive’ her through the short choppy waves. Both yachts are wearing the numbers assigned to them for the regatta. ( The ‘A’ numbering system did not exist until 1922, when “Thelma’s” permanent number became A2 and “Ariki’s” A3.) “Ariki’s” crew are preparing to tack just to windward of “Thelma”.|
“Thelma”, in a very closely fought battle with “Ariki”, led the first class fleet from the start to the finish of the race.
Both yachts were designed by Arch Logan. “Thelma”( 59ft) was launched in 1897 and “Ariki” (54ft) in 1904. “Thelma” was brought back to New Zealand from St. Tropez, by the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust and restored in 2007. I presently skipper her in all the Classic Yacht Association of NZ races. “Ariki” is awaiting some minor restoration before racing again.
|Dimensions||24" x 36"|
|Media||Oil on canvas|