Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Warwick Brookes 1875-1935, yacht racer.

I have already mentioned on his home page that Warwick 1875-1935, businessman and M.P. had an interest in yacht racing, detailing his (brief) ownership of "Westward". Here is an extract from a report in "The Observer" newspaper of June 13th. 1920 detailing his entry in the historic Nore to Dover races.

The Royal Thames Yacht Club arranged two races from Nore* to Dover, (although the actual course on this occasion was to be Southend Pier to Deal, even though the historic name was adhered to). One race was for yachts over 70 tonns Thames tonnage, and the other for yachts between 35 and 70 tonns.

Entries were received for both events, but it was found impossible for some yachts to complete fitting out in time, and only one of the entrants for the bigger event was able to start. To avoid a sail-over, the sailing committee arranged with the owners to start all the vessels in one race.

The schooner "Suzanne" made her first appearance under the racing colours of her new owner, Warwick Brookes. She was scratch boat, (the fastest boat in the fleet with no time allowance), and allowed Mr. J.W Cooke's cutter Thanet 19 mins. 51 secs., and Colonel S.G.L. Bradley's yawl Celia 32 mins. 21 sec.

There was a nice sailing breeze from the East North-East when they started at 11.00am and Suzanne was over the line 14 seconds after gunfire, Celia, 3 seconds later. Thanet was 50 seconds late. They made a reach on the port tack to the Nore, and from there to the Tongue lightship. Suzanne maintained her lead and Celia held on to second place. From the Tongue it was a free reach on the port tack to the Gull lightship, and a run from there to Deal. At the finish it was Suzanne (second prize), 3 hours 54 minutes; Celia (winner), 4 hours 17 minutes and 20 seconds; Thanet was not timed.

The schooner Suzanne

* Nore is an area in the Thames estuary, adjacent to Sheerness, <Click>. This alternative course had been run previously when, in 1909, Dover harbour was under construction.


Anonymous said...

Awesome story! I was wondering if there was any other information about the sailing/racing history of Suzanne. I believe she was designed by famed scot, William Fife III. I have seen other places, such as the Frank Beken photograph spell her name Susanne, and I'm trying to find some more history on the boat. Thanks!

Peter and Margaret said...

Sorry for the delayed reply to your comment, I have been away. Unfortunately, at this time I don't have any further information about the yacht Suzanne, but am constantly researching the life and times of the Brookes family, so if anything does come up in the future, I will publish it here.

Peter and Margaret said...

On 9th May 2012 I added a new post detailing the family lives of Warwick Brookes 1843-1929, the photographer. This includes information about his son, also Warwick, owner of the yacht Suzanne, as well as details of where to obtain more information from a biography written in 1983.