Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Warehouse Sale

Mark Foy - The man behind the legend

by Frank Quealey on 1 Jun 2011
Mark Foy - Mark Foy Trophy Frank Quealey © /Australian 18 Footers League http://www.18footers.com.au
The Mark Foy Trophy regatta will be sailed at Sonderborg, Denmark from 6-11 June and will be contested by 26 teams from seven countries.

Mark Foy’s deeds are at the heart of 18ft Skiff Racing and his philosophy is still as valid today as it was in Australia 120 years ago.


The Foy philosophy is printed below and it’s amazing how similar it is to the popular Extreme Sailing ‘package’ of today.

Foy, regarded as 'the father of 18 Footer racing', was born in Victoria (Australia) in February 1865 and moved to Sydney in 1884 where he began business under the name ‘Mark Foy’ (which became one of the largest department stores in Sydney for 100 years).

His hobby was sailing but he soon became disappointed that, despite the beauty and location of Sydney Harbour, there was practically no public interest in sailing.

He came to the conclusion it was because yachtsmen did not cater for the public.

The courses meant that the fleet was out of sight for more than an hour and there was no attempt to entertain spectators while the competitors were out of view. Adding to this was a complicated handicap system which caused further delay while the winner was being determined.

As an entrepreneur, he was determined to popularize yacht racing and came up with specific aims to achieve his target.

The Foy method was:
Boats must be more colourful and more easily identified than by a number,
Racing must be exciting and faster,
Wins should be decided on a first-pass-the-post basis.

The major problem was producing a faster racer but Foy solved this with the first of the 18 Footers.

He catered for the enthusiast who liked to follow the racing by introducing coloured emblems on the mainsails, and a triangular course of about three miles which was in full view of the public for the entire race.

He chartered every available ferry to carry spectators to Clarke Island on Sydney Harbour, which was a natural grandstand to view the course. He hired bands to entertain the crowds and whipped up enthusiasm with high-pressure publicity.

On the Australia Day Regatta day in 1892, Clarke Island was packed to capacity, moored ferries were crowded as was every major vantage point along the harbour foreshore.

The crowd was unprecedented in Australian yacht racing yet most of the spectators knew little about the sport. The vast majority of the crowd was there to thrill to the excitement that Foy had promised, but by evening they were the forefathers of the 18 Footer enthusiasts, competitors and spectators of today.

Foy had demonstrated that 18 Footer racing was the most exciting competitor and spectator sport ever seen on Sydney Harbour - a status it still holds on the harbour to the present day.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

Through the efforts of the Australian 18 Footers League, the sport has been promoted to USA, UK and Europe and the 2011 Mark Foy Trophy regatta is just the latest step in the development of the class as a world sailing class.

More than 20 countries have contested the Giltinan Championship since 1938 and the Mark Foy Trophy will no doubt extend the number over the coming years as it travels to different continents each year.

The 2011 Mark Foy Trophy will have TV coverage, live tracking and full media coverage, including video, photo graphics and race reports.

2011 Mark Foy Trophy Entries:

18ft Skiffracing Bodensee (Germany)
Asko Appliances (Australia)
Bodotex (Denmark)
Breeze (Hungary)
CST Composites (USA)
CT Sailbattens (New Zealand)
EuroLink (Germany)
Gleitzeit (Germany)
Hyde Sails (UK)
Investec (UK)
Liberty Sailing Team (Hungary)
Maersk Line (New Zealand)
Magic Marine (Germany)
Mosquito (Germany)
Original Chia (Denmark)
Panasonic (Australia)
Pica (UK)
Raiffeisen (Hungary)
Remember the Days (Germany)
SLAM (Australia)
TMF (UK)
WSCW/ProRainer (Germany)
Yamaha (New Zealand)
Yandoo (Australia)

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

18 Footers website
www.flying18s.com" target="_blank">Flying 18s

*Mark Foy founded Australia's oldest Open Boat Sailing Club, the Sydney Flying Squadron, in 1891. Ed
Wildwind 2016 660x82NaiadBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 1
The Day 1 of VR Sport.TV Intl 14 Worlds was a demonstration of why this is most popular development classes in the world 2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championship - The first day of the 2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championship was a demonstration of why this is one of the most popular development classes in the world. Just under eighty boats are registered and with strong contingents from across the globe including Australia, USA, Germany and the UK.
Posted today at 8:10 am
2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 3
Boats were quickly rigged, and rigorously checked for any signs of wear which could lead to a breakage. The Carnac Yacht Club was filled with a sense of purpose this morning. Boats were quickly rigged, and rigorously checked for any signs of wear which could lead to a breakage. Whilst all this was going on, whitecaps were beginning to develop across the bay, and the conditions were shaping up for what would later be referred to by Andrew Perry as a “big boys day”.
Posted today at 6:56 am
2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 2
It was a day of two halves here at the VRsport.tv International 14 World Championship 2016 in Carnac. 2016 VRsport.tv International 14 World Championship - It was a day of two halves here at the VRsport.tv International 14 World Championship 2016 in Carnac.
Posted on 28 Aug
VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA - Day 1
73 boats have signed on for the 2016 VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA in Weymouth. Seventy-three boats have signed on for the 2016 VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA in Weymouth. With the odd lightning strike off Chesil Beach and a huge storm over Dorchester, the fleet were released to leave the shore once it was deemed safe enough to sail in Portland Harbour, with racing getting underway just 20 minutes after the scheduled 1pm start time.
Posted on 27 Aug
2016 Sail Canada Senior Championships - Day 4
After not sailing on Sunday due to heavy winds, sailors returned to the water today at Sail Canada Senior Championships 2016 Sail Canada Senior Championships - After not sailing on Sunday due to heavy winds, sailors returned to the water today at the Sail Canada Senior Championships at Cork OCR. Today’s conditions were ideal, with a breeze of 18-19 knots from the southwest, and sunny skies.
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship – Final report
Team Trouble saved their best for Sunday’s knockout rounds and rallied to win the historic George R. Hinman Trophy 2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Team Trouble, comprised of Charles Higgins (Norfold, Va.), Johnny Norfleet (New York, NY), Isabel Strachan (Annapolis, Md.), Matt Allen (Hamilton, Mass.). Gabriel Smith (Annapolis, Md.) and Arielle Darrow, saved their best for Sunday’s knockout rounds and rallied to win the historic George R. Hinman Trophy at the 2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship, hosted by Sa
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 Samson North American Championship - Day 5 - Final day of racing
The forecast was dismal for racing, but the PRO Hank Stuart and the Race Committee showed great patience. 2016 Samson North American Championship - The forecast was dismal for racing, but the PRO Hank Stuart and the Race Committee at the Rochester Yacht Club showed great patience. The fleet went out in a light breeze and were held in postponement for about an hour.
Posted on 22 Aug
Park's pride as Brits leave Rio Olympic Sailing as top nation
With 17 countries claiming the 30 medals from 10 events between them, Park thinks Rio lived up to its reputation With 17 countries claiming the 30 medals from 10 events between them, Park thinks Rio lived up to its reputation as one of the most difficult places in the world to sail. At London 2012 the same numbers of medals was spread between 15 countries.
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Epic 470 medal races bring six days of racing to a climax
Racing got underway in a frisky 17-21 knot breeze featuring plenty of leaderboard moves as different teams took the edge Pao de Acucar, the medal race course, positioned close to Flamengo Beach and the 396-metre tall Sugarloaf Mountain is surrounded by a landscape which plays tricks on the wind. No lead is safe, no amount of leverage without risk. The unpredictability of the race track was evident in both 470 Women and Men races, with rollercoaster position changes for some.
Posted on 19 Aug
Patience and Grube leave Rio Olympic Sailing on high
Luke Patience and Chris Grube believe they showed their “true qualities” after ending their Rio 2016 in fifth overall After vowing to end the regatta on a high, the Brits were true to their word finishing third in today’s double points Medal Race, as Croatia’s two-time World Champions, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic wrapped up gold.
Posted on 19 Aug