The Armoury of St. James’s

Pirate Yacht Club Silver Prize Box, 1896

Available

The Armoury of St. James’s

Pirate Yacht Club Silver Prize Box, 1896

Available

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  • Mr. Haggitt Colbeck (1866-1934) was a Yorkshire solicitor and a member of the Pirate Yacht Club, an offshoot of the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club (RYYC). Prior to 1896 the RYYC was the preserve of the wealthy and the upholder of a 20 Ton Rule which precluded any gent not owning a yacht of a minimum of 20 tons from becoming a member. The upwardly mobile Colbeck joined others in recognising the iniquity of this rule, and protested against the club with the suggestion of racing small one-design boats to level both the social and sporting playing field. In 1898 eight 25-foot Yorkshire One Design (YOD) boats were delivered to the renegade RYYC members who formed themselves into the Pirate Yacht Club. The boats were originally known by numbers only but in 1898 Colbeck renamed his boat ‘Southern Cross’, in honour of his younger brother’s achievements as an Antarctic explorer on the Southern Cross Expedition, otherwise known as the British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900. Together with the Norwegian expedition leader Carsten Borchgrevink, the younger Colbeck man-hauled a sledge to a record furthest south of Lat 78 degrees 50 minutes - the sledge flying the burgee of the Pirate Yacht Club, showing a black skull and crossed bones on a red ground.

  • Unmarked bespoke silver. The hinged lid inscribed ‘Presented to the PIRATE YACHT CLUB by Mr H. Colbeck, Jany 1896’. Width: 2.5in (65mm).