Classic Boat

FROM GARDEN TO SEA

Boat-loving visitors to Tasmania might be distressed to drive past Helm’s Bay, about 30 miles south of Hobart, and see the broken wreck of an old yacht lying keel-less on its side in a waterside garden. But if they were to drive a short distance further north along the shores of Port Cygnet and look across the water, they might see a similar looking yet immaculate boat on a swinging mooring in a sheltered bay. And if they were to discover that boat – an 8-Metre – has the garden sculpture’s ballast keel bolted to her bottom and hear her story, their distress is sure to be alleviated.

Johan Anker designed a total of 40 8-Metres during his career, the majority of which were built at his own yard. Number 21 was which was completed in 1924 after two of Anker’s other 8s – and – won gold medals at the previous two Olympic Games. was commissioned by the Norwegian Larsen family, serial boat owners who seemed to alternately favour Anker and William Fife. It is thought that the Larsens brought her to the UK to race her in the Solent; she was certainly there from the spring of 1925 when she was purchased by RG Perry. That season she had more than her fair share of racing success, winning both of the Royal Yacht Squadron regattas in Cowes Week, for instance, but the and, while he had reasonable success with her during his first season, it was perhaps the lack of a win in Cowes week in 1927 that led him to replace with a new Fife 8-Metre, .

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