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-  Skipper Lemon Cranfield & Colne crew

 GAFF RIG, by John Leather, 1970


“In 1872 Boag, also of Fairlie [Ayreshire, on the Firth of Clyde] built the 36 foot cutter Cloud for the 10 ton class, and a lanky young Essex man named Lemon Cranfield, from Rowhedge, was appointed captain. He raced her with such success that two years later he was selected to race Neva, just launched by Fife [yacht designers and builders, also of Fairlie] to challenge the big class. Lemon brought a crew of fellow villagers with him and made her name a legend for speed. At Rothesay in 1876 Neva raced Cuckoo, sailed by Jack Wyatt of Hythe, with a Hampshire crew, and beat her by one second. Lemon used his wonderful judgment in tacking to fetch the mark exactly, within a foot. During 1877 he won £1,335 in prize money and became the acknowledged genius of yacht racing in which no man, before or since, has had such spectacular success. His five younger brothers were also top racing captains.”



Official Number; 71685

Name of Ship; NEVA

No., Date and Port of Registry; No.53/1882. Glasgow.

Signal Letters - International Code; W.J.D.V.

Previous Registry; “No.137/1874 Glasgow, as it was afterward sold to a foreigner. Foreign name the same”

Whether British or Foreign Built; British

Whether a Sailing or Steam Ship; Sailing Yacht

Where Built; Fairlie, County of Ayr

When Built; 1874

Name and Address of Builders; William Fife & Son, Fairlie

No. of Decks; One

Number of Masts; One

Rigged; Cutter

Stern; Square

Build; Carvel

Galleries; None

Head; None

Framework; Wood

Length from fore part of Stem under the Bowsprit to the Aft side of the Head of the Stern Post; 70ft

Main breadth to outside of plank; 14ft. 55 tenths

Depth in hold from Tonnage Deck to Ceiling at Midships; 9ft. 75 tenths

Gross Tonnage; 39.06 - Cubic Metres; 110.54

Owner in 1882; Lachlan Cowan of Glasgow

Shares; Sixty four Shares- 64.

Dated at Glasgow the 4th Day of May One thousand eight hundred and eighty two.

Signed by the Registrar of Shipping.

“Vessel broken up. Cancelled and Registry closed 1st June 1898. Signature of Registrar, Port Glasgow.




Name of Ship; NEVA

Official Number; 71685. Port of Registry; Glasgow

Port No. and Date of Register; No.137. 10th December 1874

Registered Tonnage; 39.6/100

Managing Owner; Robert Kerr Holmes, 27 Park Circus, Glasgow

Master; Lemon Cranfield, East Donyland, Essex. No Certificate

Date of Commencement and Termination of Half-year; 1st July 1874 - 31st January [1875]

“1st July. Laying at the moorings at Largs. Pleasure Sailing, and racing, around the coasts of England and Scotland, until the 15th October when we laid up the yacht at Roseneath and where she now lies”



LEMON CRANFIELD age 35, born East Donyland, Essex. Last served in; BEATRICE of Colchester. Discharged from such Ship; 14 Jany 74 at Colchester. Joined this Ship; 1st March 1874 at Colchester. Master. Remained on board.

TABOR CHEEK age 42, born East Donyland, Essex. Last served in; SWEDENBOURGH (sic) of Colchester. Discharged from such Ship; 10th March 74 at Colchester. Joined this Ship; “Not known”. Mate. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

JOSEPH EAGLE age 25, born Brightlingsea. Last served in; MARCH of Colchester. Discharged from such Ship; 10th March [74]. Joined this Ship; “Ditto” [Not known]. Steward. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

JONATHAN CUDMER age 26, born Bures, Essex. Last served in; H.M.S. PENELOPE. Royal Naval Volunteer’s Certificate; 45993. Discharged from such Ship; 25th Feby. 74. Joined this Ship; “Ditto” [Not known]. Cook. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

JAMES SYMONDS age 23, born East Donyland, Essex. Last served in; ADA of Colchester. Discharged from such Ship; 11th March [74] at Colchester. Joined this Ship; 15th Sepr. 73. A.B. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

GEORGE ROSE age 27, born Tolesburey (sic), Essex. Last served in; JAMES & MARGARET of Colchester. Discharged from such Ship; 11th March [74] at Colchester. Joined this Ship; 15th Sepr. 73. A.B. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

THOMAS CHEEK age 42, born East Donyland, Essex. Last served in; “Not known”. Discharged from such Ship; “Not known”. Joined this Ship; 15th Sepr. 73. Carpenter. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

STEPHEN CRANFIELD age 28, born East Donyland, Essex. Last served in; RIVAL of Colchester. Discharged from such Ship; 10th March 74 at Colchester. Joined this Ship; 15th Sepr. 73. A.B. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

WILLIAM CRANFIELD age 20, born East Donyland, Essex. Last served in; GEORGINA of Colchester. Discharged from such Ship; 10th March [74] at Colchester. Joined this Ship; 15th Sepr. 73. A.B. Discharged; 15th Octr. 74 at Roseneath.

Received at Glasgow the 24th day of May 1875.

I Declare the above Account to be true. Signed Lemon Cranfield, Master.


This photo is said to have been taken in 1874. The above crew list and the registry certificate for Neva agree that she was built and registered in 1874. Although she raced in the 1874 season she was not registered until December of that year.

The crew list, however, maintains that some of her crew joined her in 1873 and while Lemon is noted as being master of Neva in 1874 he does not appear to be dressed as such in the photo.

There is the possibility that this photo shows the crew of Neva before Lemon took command. The crew list was finally handed in in May 1875 and although it stated that Lemon was master at that time it does not say in what capacity he joined the Neva or when he assumed the captaincy. After that length of time I suspect the crew list was quite inaccurate and lacked some information.

It cannot be assumed that the nine men mentioned in the crew list are the same nine men in the photograph as I have been told that the man, seated, far left, is Lemon’s brother George Henry Cranfield, George does not appear in the crew list although it is known he was a crew member at that time. William Wadley Cranfield is one from the left, standing, and Lemon Cranfield is far right, seated.

In his books John Leather quoted from the log book(s) of the Neva. Wherever they may be they could possibly expand on the above information  and lead to the identification of the men in the photo.

James Simons went on to become the first 1st Mate of the Prince of Wales’s Britannia.




THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, Monday, February 8, 1875

YACHTING - THE WINNING YACHTS OF 1874 (From Land and Water)


“Among the first-class cutters the Neva ranks highest, having won fourteen prizes and £500, exclusive of the Bangor Challenge Cup, value £100. She was exceedingly unlucky in losing several prizes by disqualifications, and by more than one prize slipping from her by a few seconds, or she would have without doubt increased her total very considerably. Every time she started she sailed so well that it is almost impossible to particularise her best performance, but we may mention as amongst the most striking, the first race she sailed in the South of England, when, in a very strong breeze of wind, she was only beaten by the Kriemhilda by a very few (22) seconds, whilst she saved her time from Cythera, Arrow, &c., and but for the wind falling towards the end of the race, would probably have taken a first prize. At the Royal Albert Regatta she won with plenty in hand from Kriemhilda, beating her again at Weymouth, and sailed a splendid although losing race against Oimara at Dartmouth. In her own class proper (the sixties) she had it all her own way, and won so easily that none of her tonnage had the least chance against her. No yacht was better handled or more judiciously sailed during the season than she was, and some at least of her marvellous success is due to the care and judgement of Cranfield her skipper, and the excellent manner in which one and all of her usually smart quiet crew worked together with a machine-like regularity and precision....The Arethusa proved herself a right good vessel, and next to the Neva was the best in her class.”

[Neva had twenty five starts during the season]


THE GLASGOW HERALD - 18 April 1874 - “FAIRLIE.- Yacht Launch.- A fine cutter, of sixty tons, was launched from Mr. John Fyfe’s yard at Fairlie, on Thursday (16th). She has been built for Mr. R. Holms Kerr of Underbank, Largs, and is a very fine-looking craft. Miss. Maggie Aitken, daughter of Mr. Aitken of Landour, Largs, performed the ceremony of naming the boat the Neva. Mr. Kerr intends to race the Neva during the coming season; and if she travels as fast as she looks well, she will make her name known before the season comes to an end.”


THE GLASGOW HERALD - 21 May 1874 - “THE YACHTING SEASON OF 1874 - .... The Neva, 60-tonner, launched by Fife quite recently for Mr. Holmes Kerr, is another notable craft, and should fill up the hiatus occasioned by the absence of the Fiona. This vessel is somewhat fuller than the Bloodhound, but quite a light weather craft beside the famous Fiona. She is a marvel of elegance, and, in the way of look, need not fear comparison with Mabel or Iona, or any of Ratsey’s fine vessels. She has been already doing satisfactory work under canvas.”


THE GLASGOW HERALD - Friday 22 May 1874 - “ROYAL NORTHERN YACHT CLUB - OPENING CRUISE. Yesterday, the yachting season on the Clyde was formally inaugurated with the opening cruise of the Royal Northern Yacht Club. The rendezvous was, as usual, Gourock Bay, and towards the hour of starting (noon) a large fleet of fine vessels had assembled. In absence of the Commodore, Mr. Tod, Rear-Commodore, was entrusted with the command on board his schooner Amy. On the signal for starting being given, upwards of 30 sail, consisting of schooners, cutters, yawls, and steamers, stood across the Firth towards Lochlong. The sight presented was very fine, a fresh breeze prevailing from the eastward. Two new cutters, built this year by Fyfe, of Fairlie, attracted special attention, viz., the Neva (60 tons), owned by Mr. Holmes Kerr; and the Cythera, (110 tons), belonging to Mr. David Richardson. The former vessel, under a fine spread of canvas, led the fleet to the Garrochhead; but it was evident that the large cutter was not pressed, her mainsail being only partially stretched. At the Garrochhead the signal was afterwards given for the fleet to proceed to Arran, where they would remain for the night. To-day, the cruise will be resumed.”


THE GLASGOW HERALD - 25 May 1874 - “OPENING CRUISE OF ROYAL NORTHERN YACHT CLUB - HANDICAP MATCHES.- Friday morning broke with a strong breeze blowing from the mainland into Lamlash Sound. The sombre morrains of the Holy Island were softened by a haze that dimmed the east and indicated a  breeze for the big cutters. The Mosquito had her white cross flying; the Neva’s new racing flag was sent aloft. Cythera’s red white and red went fluttering up. Baldy Wright had the Torpid’s bunting nailed up, and the Fiery Cross was flying from the schooner’s main. A schooner’s reach round the Cock to Campbeltown was the first thought, but the Committee arranged a change, and gave a first-rate course from Lamlash round the Little Cumbrae, and thence to other spit Loch Fyne. The Nyanza, Circe, Egidia, and other schooners got under weigh, and there was nothing to wait for but the gun. Mr. Tod, R.C.; with Mr. Hope Robertson, secretary; Mr. Samuel King, Mr. Bain, and other members on board the Amy started the races without delay. The matches were for:- A silver jug, value 25 sovs., presented by Mr. David Tod, R.C. of the club for yachts over forty tons; and a seconds prize of a silver jug, value 10 sovs., presented by Mr. Tod for yachts under forty tons - no balloon canvas allowed. The entries for first prize were:-

Nyanza, schooner, 200 (135) tons, Mr. Young

Egidia, schooner, 163 (86) tons, Mr. Graham

Zelia, schooner, 104 (65) tons, Mr. F. Reid

Cythera, cutter, 110 tons, Mr. D. Richardson

Neva, cutter, 60 tons, Mr. Holms-Kerr

Mosquito, cutter, 60 tons, Mr. Coats

Aeolus, cutter, 59 tons, R.N.Y.C.


The second race [for the first prize] was started at 11.20, the Neva taking the lead, followed by Aeolus, Mosquito, Cythera, Nyanza, and Egidia. With sheets aboard, the cutters were feeling the breeze, and Neva and Mosquito were showing how they liked it. The new sixty [Neva], with her new mainsail sitting like a card, was griping up; while Houston, with his mainsheet choked down, was trying for his weather. The Neva got about, and, after a short trip, was again on the port tack. The Mosquito and Aeolus followed, and for a time all three held their places, Aeolus falling fast out to leeward. Mosquito was running more water than Neva, but not hanging the same wind, and Fife on board the sixty was making trigonometrical surveys of the coast to test the comparative speed. Houston meant mischief, and every rally at the tackles was watched to see what would go. The Cythera’s canvas was not sitting at all, but she looked like getting a slant up the Brodick shore. Tim Walker was evidently nervous about the sixties, and stood off to join them. With everything on the shake, the cutter would neither look nor lay her wind; and Cranfield, of the Neva, was getting heart as the big one was sagging out to leeward. Old Ironsides was pegging across the tide, showing less of her puncheon bilge than any of them, and, if anything, held “Johnnie was marching home again” rather rapidly for Fife’s comfort. But accidents will happen, and after a heavy sweat on the jib purchase away went the bobstay, leaving Mosquito a retrousse bowsprit neither neat nor comely. The stick was as tough as steel, and easing the jib sheet Houston kept his boat going. Little was wanted to keep the spar in its place, and some of the crew out on it helped to take out the stave, although the berth suggested a sudden flight over the masthead to the venturesome fellows who were making repairs. The Mosquito was out of the race, and kept chumming with the Aeolus for the rest of the day.

Neva’s skipper was glad to have the Cross for a pilot ahead, but a shorter road than Jameson’s was found, and Neva went about to fetch Point Cross. Walker had missed the bowsprit end of the cutter, but crossed her stern and came about for the sake of company. Tim’s kindness was not appreciated in the Neva, as shown by another twelve inches of the mainsheet taken on board. The Cythera too much by the head was not driving, and a luff for the Neva’s quarter shook her canvas badly. The lee of Neva’s next tried but without any use, and the time was spent till Point Cross was reached in trying it on either side. The old castle and the wooded cliff looking pretty enough were not noticed in the excitement of the luffing match, but to every try Cranfield responded “Walker.” The ugly point of Cumbrae was on the lee bow of Neva, and Fife, doing pilot, was in the scuppers sharing in the new cutter’s baptism. With a tear both cutters went round, and with boom away to the rigging, Neva, followed by Cythera, made a “bee line” of it to Garroch Head. Hardening savagely the gusts came over Bute, and with head canvas filling, Neva would not brave the big one through her lee. Tim tried a rally at the sheets, and “missing” his cutter, as he knows how to do, got her by windward. Crossing to Donnochisle to the Inch the reach was broader, and the two vessels were travelling at a tremendous pace. The counter end of the Cythera, just under the bowsprit of Neva, was running through a roar of broken water. In the blasts the wake of the Cythera was a race for Cora Lynn, and from under the sole of her mainsail a tempest of foam was blowing down to windward. In the chains of the Neva fragile rainbows were forming and fading as the sun broke through the white drift flying in a cataract along the rails. Fife, who has had many a sail, never saw anything finer. Hundreds of miles are travelled to see sights not worth the looking at after such a spectacle as these two vessels rending up the grey waters of Loch Fyne. Thousands run to a racecourse to see dumb brutes driven by human cruelty, but none were present to witness this splendid triumph of human genius over scientific difficulties. Abreast of Laird Lamont’s point Lord Glasgow’s screw-steamer Valetta was running up to time the arrivals, and she set all her canvas to help her speed. But with ten miles an hour of speed the steamer was distanced three or four miles by the racing cutters. Up past the Skate, through Kilfinnan Bay, both vessels were going like mad, the big Cythera slowly dragging out her lead and showing her power and speed beside the Neva. With her sheet away, the Cythera’s badly sitting canvas did not hurt her so much, and on the wind with a longer course she would have her twelve minutes of the Neva and something to spare. The wind was freshening at the close, and the cutters ploughed through the narrows like steamers. Some difficulty was experienced in timing the yachts, but the following was given:- Torpid 5h.0m.38s.; Fiery Cross 5h.10m.37s.; Vega 5h.11m.

Cythera 4h.19m.13s.; Neva 4h.12m.44s.; Nyanza 4h.21m.30s.

By allowance given to Torpid and Neva, both win with something to spare. Besides the breaking of Mosquito’s bobstay, Egidia carried away maintopsail yard. On Saturday Neva left early for Largs.”


THE GLASGOW HERALD - Saturday 30 May 1874 - “OPENING CRUISE OF ROYAL CLYDE YACHT CLUB. On Thursday, the Royal Clyde opened its summer by a start from Hunter’s Quay to Rothesay.... A considerable fleet was under weigh off the anchorage.... but the Neva did not join the fleet.... The following are the results:- Private Match - Neva won, 6h.12m.27s.; Mosquito second; wind south light; calms in Inchmarnock; east pretty strong.”


THE IRVINE & FULLARTON  TIMES - Saturday 4 July 1874 - “Mr. Fyfe, the celebrated Fairlie yacht-builder, scored a series of triumphs at the regatta of the Royal Northern Club, held at Largs on Thursday. In the large-cutter match, his cutters Neva and Cythera, obtained the first and second places,”


THE TIMES - Saturday 8 August 1874 - “ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON REGATTA – [race on Friday 7 August 1874] ..... The remaining part of the squadron’s programme of the day’s racing was for the R.Y.S Prizes of £100, for cutters belonging to any Royal Yacht Club of not less than 30 tons (in two prizes of £75 and £25). Time race, R.Y.S. scale. Yachts to sail in sea-going trim. Old Queen’s Course. The yachts to start from stations off the R.Y.S. Castle. If ordered to the eastward, they will go round the Nab, pass to the southward of the Brambles (between the Shoal and Cowes), then round a flag-boat moored between the Lymington Spit Buoy and Hurst Castle on the north shore, back to the Castle, winning between the flag-boat and Castle Flag Staff, keeping outside all the buoys on the shoals (Peel included) except the Middle and Sturbridge, leaving the Nab and flag-boat between Lymington Spit Buoy and Hurst Castle on the port haul. If ordered to the westward the course will be merely reversed, still leaving the flag-boat between the Lymington Spit Buoy and Hurst Castle, and the Nab, on the port hand. In both cases once round. The committee will also decide, by signal on the morning of the race, which way the yachts are to cast, in order to avoid fouling when starting. Three to start or no race. To start at 10 a.m.

Station 1; Vigilant, 37 tons. 2; Arrow 115 tons. 3; Bloodhound *. 4; Kriemhilda 105 tons. 5.Glance *. 6; Cythera, 94 tons. 7; Neva. 8. Arethusa. * non-starters.

By the calculated scale of the time allowance the Arrow had to give – Cythera 1m 6s. Kriemhilda 2m 16s. Neva 15m 24s. Arethusa 15m 35s. Vigilant 26m 7s.

The six cutters were sent away to the westward, the wind being, as at the time of the start by the schooners for the Challenge Cup, about W. by S......At starting from their moorings, all canted in for the island shore under headsail to get up mainsails, and all with topmasts snugly housed to tackle to the work before them. Reefed mainsails and working jibs were also the rule....The Arrow took the lead down past Egypt Point, with the Vigilant second, the Kriemhilda third, Cythera fourth, Neva fifth, the Arethusa, sixth. The Neva under the island shore, clawed up wonderfully to windward, but the Kriemhilda was kept on in hot chase after the Arrow for the leading place.....The Neva, also with a jib-header aloft, passed [Cowes Roads] at 12h. 31m. 18s....The run out to the Nab and the return back to Cowes Roads took only a short time to accomplish, but the yachts were hid by rain, squalls, and mist. They finished the race in the subjoined times:-

Kriemhilda 2h.53m.43s. Cythera 2h.59m.32s. Arrow 3h.2m.32s. Neva 3h.12m.11s. Arethusa 3h.13m.0s. The Kriemhilda won the first prize, and the Neva the second. The latter lost the first prize to the Kriemhilda by 22 seconds.” 


THE TIMES - Thursday 13 August 1874 - “ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB REGATTA – There was considerably less wind and sea in the Solent yesterday morning at the time for starting the cutters entered for the three races down on the Royal Victoria Club programme for the day than was found by the yachtsmen the previous day, but there was a fairly strong sailing breeze for 20-tonners, with every appearance of the wind increasing rather than decreasing during the day...

Match for Cutters and Yawls between 59 and 65 tons, belonging to any Royal Yacht Club, for a prize of £60, presented by Mr. Thomas Broadwood, Commodore Royal London Yacht Club. Vessels over 60 tons must allow time (R.Y.S. scale) on their surplus tonnage, and if under must sail as 60 tons. Yawls to sail as cutters.

New Long Victoria Course. – Twice round – The start – If the yachts are to proceed to the eastward a white ensign will be hoisted at the club at a quarter to 10 a.m.; if to the westward, a blue ensign. Yachts to be under way, and ten minutes allowed to start in. A gun will be fired at the Club-house 5 minutes before 10, a second gun at 10, and the ensign hauled down; this is the signal for starting. All yachts must keep to the westward of a line between the flagstaff at the Club-house and the mark vessel if the white ensign is hoisted, until the second gun is fired and the ensign hauled down, and to the eastward of such line if the blue ensign is hoisted.

1. Neva, cutter rig, 62 tons, owner; Mr. R.K. Holms Kerr. 2. Arethusa, cutter rig, 60 tons, owner; Mr. J. Broadwood. 3. Mosquito, cutter rig, 60 tons, owner; Mr. J. Coats. Neva allows Arethusa and Mosquito 42sec........

The cutters were started in the order named for the races on the card – 1, 2, and 3 – and all were started to the eastward on the last of the flood, and with the wind at W.N.W.

In No.1 race the Neva and Mosquito went out with enormous spinnakers on the starboard side from topmast heads, the former, which led across the line, supplementing her spinnaker with a jib topsail and carrying a square-headed topsail.....The Nab was gybed round by the Neva at 9h. 54m. 45s., and by the Mosquito 3m. 20s. afterwards. One reach carried them in to the mark-boat off the Spit Shoal, when they went about, made a long leg on the starboard tack for the island shore under the Ryde Sands, and then stood away westward on hard beating work to windward for the mark-boat at the eastern end of Cowes Roads. The Arethusa had received some damage from collision on Monday evening, and was therefore unable to start,. As Mr. Broadwood gave the prize, the Arethusa most probably would not have started had she not been disabled......The Neva held her strong lead of the Mosquito in No.1 race, and passed eastward through Ryde Roads on finishing her first round, or 25 out of the 50 miles of her course, 4min. 29sec. ahead of her rival. She carried her jib-headed topsail in gybing round the Warner, and in her subsequent work round the Spit Shoal mark-boat and the mark-boat off Cowes Roads. The Mosquito had her topsail down.

The following are the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Sailing Committee’s times of the yachts crossing the line at the start, of arrivals at the finish, and of the time by which each race was won by the winning vessels:- No.1 Race – Crossing the line – Neva at 10h. 2min. a.m.; Mosquito, at 4h. 26min. 17sec. a.m. Neva won by 17min. 26sec. on the Mosquito.”


THE TIMES - Friday 14 August 1874 - “ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB REGATTA – A fall in the barometer brought with it a southing of the wind, and yesterday morning, when the yachts which were entered to compete for the Royal Victoria Yacht Club prizes got under-way in readiness to cross the imaginary line at the start it was blowing hard from south-west, with heavy rain squalls, and all objects at moderate distances hid in the driving rain and mist....The start was given to the eastward, out round the Nab, and the position of the wind reducing work to windward to a minimum point, gave schooners greatly the advantage over yawls and cutters.....Nothing was seen of them a few minutes after the start as they ran out for the Nab in the thick weather until about a quarter-past 11, when the cutters Arrow and Neva and the Corisande yawl emerged from the thick east of Ryde Pier-head with foresails down, the yawl with her bowsprit reefed, and brought up in the roads, having given up the race.”


THE TIMES - Wednesday 19 August 1874 - “ROYAL ALBERT YACHT CLUB REGATTA – The yachts which started yesterday had throughout the day a true wind from the W.S.W., as much as they could carry to windward with big sails and smooth water.....The number of races which were sailed – five – and the yachts being started in two divisions, necessarily mixed up one race with another, and to the uninitiated, no doubt, the whole was a somewhat complicated puzzle for a time....The Town Cups, value £60 and £40, with £20 added by the Club. Flying start. To start at 10 a.m. Course – twice round the New Albert Course. Time allowance – Albert scale. The New Albert Course is from the starting vessel at Spithead, round the Warner Lightship, thence round the flag-boat moored off Cowes, back round the mark-vessel, leaving all marks on the starboard hand. To win between the mark-boat and Southsea Castle....The times of arrival at the finish, as each yacht swept past the Committee boat before the wind was: Yawl Florinda at 3h.33m.12s, Cutter Kriemhilda 3h.45m.2s, Schooner Sea Belle 3h.45m.20s, Cutter Neva 3h.49m.35s, Cutter Arethusa 3h.53m.20s, Cutter Oimara 4h.4m.10s. The Florinda won the £60 prize. The Neva won the £40 prize. The Sea Belle won the third prize of £20.”



THE TIMES - Monday 17 May 1875 - “ROYAL LONDON YACHT CLUB – The want of wind on Saturday caused great disappointment to those who had expected to witness an interesting match between the English and Scottish cutters. Poor as the wind was, however, there is no doubt that the Northern craft did a very wonderful thing as, sticking close together throughout the day, they were always in front, and one of them eventually won. The Neva, although new to the Thames, proved by far the best boat of her class last season, and there is every indication that she will do so this. She did her best last season in strong winds, and it is sometimes a moot point if Arethusa, Vanguard, and Mabel were not as good in balloon topsail breezes; but, taken altogether, she was a good “all round” match sailer. The Iona has been lengthened , and she met Neva for the first time, and got a good beating....The two other that hail from the same port as Neva did remarkably well in the paltry weather – indeed, if the Neva had not been in the way it would have been very like what it used to be seven or eight years ago, “Fiona first, and the rest nowhere.”

Match for £100, for cutters above 40 tons belonging to the R.L.Y.C.; course from Erith to the Nore Lightship and return to Gravesend.

Veronica, 85 tons, owner Mr. Freke; Kriemhilda, 103 tons, owner Count E. Batthyany; Fiona, 77 tons, owner Mr. E. Boutcher; Hypatia, 45 tons, owner Mr. Gordon; Iona, 66 tons, owner Mr. Ashbury, M.P.; Neva, 62 tons, owner Mr. Holms Kerr. [others not recorded]

The yachts were signalled to start at 11.15, with a light wind, at W.N.W. – right over the stern. All got out spinnakers on the starboard side, and Iona, Neva, and Fiona sent up balloon topsails, while the others were content with large “workers”..... The breeze freshened, and Neva, taking a nice weight of it off shore, marched up to Fiona and Cuckoo.... Neva lost the wind before reaching the two leaders, Cuckoo and Fiona, and as they gybed to port tack for the run through St. Clement’s she, with Kriemhilda, Veronica, Hypatia, and Iona, all in a bunch, was driving with the tide. They drove into the Northfleet Hope, where all had to gybe back to starboard tack again. There was now just a show of wind off the Kentish shore, and it put Neva well down.... It was 2 o’clock before they got abreast of the Mucking Lighthouse, and the wind was still so paltry that the barges and jeddies going down the river were going nearly as fast as the yachts. A dreary half-hour of gybing and shifting spinnakers was spent at the top of Sea Reach, when a little better breeze came out from W.N.W. Cuckoo, Fiona, and Neva were close together, well nigh a mile ahead of Kriemhilda and Veronica.... at a quarter past 3, just as the last of the ebb stream was draining out, he [the Commodore] caused the Club steamer to be anchored off Southend. Here the yachts rounded her – Fiona and Neva at 3h.30m., Cuckoo 3h.32m.30s..... As Kriemhilda hauled round, Neva, who had reached past Fiona, was close in under the north shore, and here they picked up a nice breeze off the land.... The reach back to Gravesend showed us that Neva will be the most dangerous boat to encounter, as she was last year.... There was not the length of a bowsprit between them all the way up from Southend to Gravesend... The match ended at:- Neva 5h.45m.0s; Fiona 5h.45m.20s; Cuckoo 5h.47m.0s; Veronica 5h.56m.0s; Kriemhilda 5h.57m.45s. The Neva won the £100.”

THE TIMES - Wednesday 2 June 1875 - “ROYAL THAMES YACHT CLUB – The cutter match of this Club was sailed yesterday in a very fine breeze, which gave the yachts a dead beat out to the Mouse Light, 26 miles from Gravesend, and a run back.... The wind was a strong lower-sail breeze from the east, and on the ebb knocked up a considerable sea below Gravesend....

Match for yachts above 40 tons, for prizes value £100 and £30.

Kriemhilda, 106 tons, owner Count E. Batthyany; Cuckoo, 93 tons, owner Mr. H. Hall; Veronica, 87 tons, owner Mr. Freke; Iona, 68 tons, owner Mr. J. Ashbury, M.P.; Neva, 63 tons, owner Mr. Holms Kerr; Fiona, 51 tons, owner Mr. E.T. Gourley, M.P.

Course – from Gravesend round the Mouse Light and return to Gravesend; about 54 miles.

The strong easterly wind looked as if lower sail would be the correct canvas for the long turn down to the Mouse.... They were started at 11.55, and the Iona, as they filed off on the starboard tack for the north shore, stole out on the weather of all the others. On the second board the Neva and the Cuckoo weathered the Kriemhilda and worked down Gravesend Reach and through the Lower Hope ahead of the big cutter.... The big vessel was now fast throwing herself out on the weather of the Iona and Neva, but when she had fetched just below Leigh her main halyards burst, and lashing also, letting her mainsail down by the run.... The Kriemhilda accordingly put her helm up for home.... but with the Neva meeting her on the starboard tack with a look as if she would cross to windward. This she actually did and became the leading boat. But the Neva was not to walk away alone, and the Veronica, which had been picking up wonderfully in the broken water, came out to windward of her just below the Nore. Here, however, the Veronica met with some mishap to her gaff, and had to run back to Gravesend. A more serious disaster was in store for the Cuckoo, whose mast came down, breaking about 10ft. above the deck. After this the Neva held the lead unchallenged, and they made the Mouse Light at – Neva 3h.37m.0s; Iona 3h.43m.33s; Fiona 3h.51m.20s.

The Fiona lost some time a mile from the Lightship by her jib blowing to pieces. Running home under spinnakers and with the flood was very easy and fast work, the only excitement attending it being the bursting of the Iona’s spinnaker. They arrived off Gravesend at – Neva 5h.57m.30s; Iona 6h.8m.40s; Fiona 6h.14m.25s. The Neva won the £100, and the Iona £40.”




Port of Glasgow

NEVA of Glasgow. Official No. 71685. July 1st 1875 – December 31st 1875

 Port Number; Not given. Date of Register; Decr. 1874. Registered Tonnage; 39

Managing Owner; R.K. Holms Kerr, Esq., Glasgow, Scotland

Master; Lemon Cranfield of East Donyland, Essex. No Certificate

“This Yacht laid up October 20th 1875. Employed Cruising or Yachting”

All men “Same Ship Continued”, and all men, except Lemon, discharged Oct/20/75 at Rowhedge.

LEMON CRANFIELD age 34, born Rowhedge, Essex. Master. Remain.

STEPHEN CRANFIELD age 27, born Rowhedge, Essex.  Mate.

JOSEPH EAGLE age 26, born Brightlingsea. A.B.

JONATHAN CUDMORE age 28, born Bures, Essex. Royal Naval Volunteer’s Certificate; 45993. A.B.

GEORGE ROSE age 28, born Tollesbury, Essex. A.B.

WILLIAM SOUTHGATE age 26, born Rowhedge, Essex. A.B.

JAMES WATSON age 21, born Rowhedge, Essex. A.B.

Received at Wivenhoe 21st day of January 1876.

I declare the above Account to be true. Signed Lemon Cranfield, Master.

THE TIMES and other newspapers – 1876 SEASON– NEVA


THE TIMES - Friday 2 June 1876 - “ROYAL THAMES YACHT CLUB – The cutter matches of this Club were sailed yesterday, and resulted in some interesting contests. There was a nice sailing breeze from the eastward...”

The match for cutter yachts exceeding 40 tons included Neptune, Cuckoo, Iona, Vol au Vent, Fiona and Neva.

“In the large class Neptune led into Sea Reach, followed by the Neva, Cuckoo, Vol au Vent, Fiona, and Iona. As they got towards the Chapman Light Neva weathered Neptune.... Iona had not gone very well in Gravesend Reach and the Lower Hope, but now in the better breeze in Sea Reach was working up, and at 1.50, when standing off from Yantlett weathered Neva; however, the next time they met on cross tacks – Neva then being on starboard tack – Iona could not quite clear her, and a collision ensued. Neva lost her bowsprit, but Iona, excepting a small hole in the foot of her mainsail, was uninjured. Of course, Neva  had to give up the contest...” [Result- 1.Fiona £100. 2.Vol au Vent £40]



DAILY NEWS (LONDON) - Friday 2 June 1876 - “THE THAMES CUTTER MATCHES - ROYAL THAMES YACHT CLUB - The English yachting season of 1876 amongst large craft opened most auspiciously yesterday with the usual cutter matches of the above club, the oldest on our metropolitan river. A fine and warm atmosphere overhead was thoroughly appreciated by the company on board the Eagle, Lord Alfred Paget acting as officer of the day in the absence of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Commodore of the club. Racing owners, too, had no cause of complaint, as there was a nice sailing breeze throughout the day, calms - the bête noir of all yachtsmen - being conspicuous by their absence, and no anxiety was caused for spars, either by strong winds or lumpy water…. Neva began well, but when she got into the more open water fell fast to leeward, and was the cause of a protest on the part of the Iona… First-class cutters, any tonnage exceeding 41 tons. First prize, value 100l.; second, value 40l… Course from Rosherville round the Mouse Light and back, about 53 nautical miles.

Neptune, 50 tons, N.B. Stewart, Esq.; Cuckoo, 93 tons, H. Hall, Esq.; Iona, 66 tons, J. Ashbury, Esq., M.P.; Vol-au-Vent, 102 tons, Colonel Markham; Fiona, 77 tons, E. Boutcher, Esq.; Neva, 63 tons, R. Holmes Kerr, Esq.

There was a nice whole sail breeze from about E.S.E. when the starting signal was given a little before 11 a.m., and with the wind in this quarter it was evident it would be a dead beat down and a run back. Working sails were set all round with gaff topsails for upper canvas. Neptune, from the southernmost station, canted very quickly and drew out clear of all the others on the starboard tack, the Neva being second best, whilst Iona, Fiona, and Vol-au-Vent had some difficulty in getting clear of each other. Owing to the shipping brought up in Gravesend Reach, short boards were the order of the day. Off the Ship and Lobster Inn the Iona had to bear up for Vol-au-Vent and Cuckoo, which unfortunately threw her back last. By the bottom of the Reach Vol-au-Vent had worked into third place. Tacking into the Lower Hope, Neva had to bear up for Neptune, and the latter at once went about on her rival’s weather. As they stood off from the W. Blyth buoy, soon after they had a bit of a luffing match, whereof Neva had the best, and tacked well clear under Thames Haven pier. At this juncture Iona was unfortunately incommoded by the club steamer of all the craft in the world. Cuckoo had meanwhile weathered Vol-au-Vent, next to leeward of whom came Fiona. As Vol-au-Vent stood out from the Scar Beacon on the port tack, she was able to safely cross Neptune’s bow, and at once went about on her weather, Neva meanwhile being about half a cable to windward. In the next fling, off the north shore, Neptune tacked short to clear Vol-au-Vent, but had almost immediately to bear up for Cuckoo and then tried to blanket Fiona, who, however, presently forereached and drew clear. In the trifling lop of Sea Reach, with a freshening breeze, it was soon apparent that Vol-au-Vent’s turn was coming, and standing across from the E. Blyth buoy, she forereached Neva. The latter, however, kept the weather gauge for several boards, and her big opponent bore up once or twice when meeting on cross tacks. At length Vol-au-Vent was well to windward as she stood off from the Jenkin buoy and crossed the Neva, who now seemed in anything but her usual form, and was shortly weathered by Cuckoo and Fiona. In this leg to the northward Fiona stood almost on to the edge of the Shoebury sand, and lost what little ebb there was still making down. This allowed Iona to come up considerably; and as she presently met the Neva standing off from the Nore Sand buoy on her proper tack she failed to give way. Neva held on, struck Iona on the starboard quarter, but carried her own bowsprit away about half-way out. A protest ensign was at once displayed in Neva’s rigging, but of course her chance was hopeless, so the wreck was cleared, and she bore up for port….” [Match won by Fiona]



THE TIMES - Saturday 3 June 1876 - “ROYAL LONDON YACHT CLUB – There was even better breeze from the eastward on the river yesterday than on Thursday for the yacht sailing, and the beat down Sea Reach from Erith to the Nore was a very interesting affair. Vol-au-Vent again distinguished herself by fine weatherly qualities.... she was unable to save her time off the Neva... The entries were as under:-

First Class Cutters, exceeding 40 tons. Prize £100, course, Erith, round the Nore Lightship, and back to Rosherville. 50 miles.

Vol-au-Vent, 102 tons, owner Colonel Markham; Cuckoo, 92 tons, owner Mr. H. Hall; Fiona, 78 tons, owner Mr. E. Boutcher; Iona, 65 tons, owner Mr. J. Ashbury, M.P.; Neva, 62 tons, owner Mr. R.K. Holmes Kerr; Neptune, 50 tons, owner Mr. N.B. Stewart.

Second Class Cutters, 21 to 40 tons. Prize £80 [same course].

Bloodhound, 40 tons, owner Marquis of Ailsa; Eilida, 40 tons, owner Mr. R. Berwick; Britannia, 40 tons, owner Mr. W.C. Quilter; Myosotis, 39 tons, owner Mr. H. D. McMaster; Glance, 35 tons, owner Mr. E. Rushton.

Third Class Cutters, 14 to 20 tons. Prize £40. Course – Erith, round the East Buoy of Leigh Middle, and back to Rosherville, 45 miles.

Vanessa, 20 tons, owner Mr. F. Cox; Butterfly, 20 tons, owner Mr. J.F.G. Williams; Fleetwing, 20 tons, owner Mr. H. Little; Dudu, 15 tons, owner Mr. J. A. Sparvel Bayly;  Abeyron, 15 tons, owner Mr. F.W.C. Read.

They were all started from the same gun at 11.15 off Erith, and Bloodhound and Neva walked away with the lead... Bloodhound and Neva held their weather berths until well into Gravesend Reach, where the Vol-au-Vent headed them.... The Nore was weathered at low water at:- Vol-au-Vent 3h.24m.15s; Fiona 3h.31m.5s; Cuckoo 3h.36m.10s; Neva 3h.37m.17s; Iona 3h.41m.30s; Neptune 3h.47m.25s; Bloodhound 3h.51m.0s; Britannia 3h.55m.0s; Myosotis 3h.57m.0s.

All got spinnakers out on the starboard side for the run back to Gravesend. The rain, which had begun to fall just before they reached the Nore, beat down a good deal of the wind, and the run back was not a very rapid one. As they got above the Chapman light the wind grew more southerly, and all had to gybe and shift spinnakers over; beyond this the run “down wind” was uneventful, as such things usually are. The match ended at:-

[First Class Cutters] – Vol-au-Vent 6h.3m.8s; Fiona 6h.13m.15s; Cuckoo 6h.14m.43s; Neva 6h.14m.47; Iona 6h.22m.10s; Neptune 6h.27m.13s. Neva won £100, Bloodhound £80, and Dudu £40.”



DAILY NEWS (LONDON) - Saturday 3 June 1876 - “THE THAMES CUTTER MATCHES - ROYAL LONDON YACHT CLUB - Yesterday afforded another capital day’s racing under the auspices of the above popular club. If anything there was even a finer, and certainly steadier, breeze than on Thursday. All the hard close-hauled work was again done on the outward voyage, and there was a quick run home. Up to about 2 p.m. the weather was also favourable for the steamboat company, but at that hour rain began to fall, and became heavier as the afternoon wore on. Much importance, too, was attached to the matches, from the fact that they were the first of importance sailed under the new Yacht Racing Association rules, and everything passed off well, in fact not a single protest was lodged. Owing to the start taking place so high up the river, all the classes were terribly bothered by the inevitable fleet of large craft which came down on the first of the ebb, and in future it would perhaps be preferable to shift the course more outside. Vol-au-Vent again proved how almost impossible it is for such large yachts to give much time in the confined waters of the Thames, unless it happens to be a downright hard blow. Neva managed to ship a new bowsprit during the night, and retrieved her ill-luck of Thursday by carrying off the prize handsomely, after a neck-and-neck race with Cuckoo….

First-class Cutters, exceeding 40 tons. Prize value 100l. Course, from Erith round the Nore and back to Rosherville, about 49 nautical miles…

When the second gun was fired at 11h.23m.15s. a.m., there was a splendid whole-sail working breeze from E.S.E., but unfortunately an almost innumerable lot of large craft were bound down in charge of tugs. Neva was the only one who slipped away clear of everything, whilst Vol-au-Vent, Iona, and Cuckoo received a regular benefit from a large barque and her accompanying tug. All plain lower sail was set, with gaff topsails aloft. After being close-hauled through the Rands, they made a good leg on port tack from under Purfleet down Long Reach. At the end of this board Vol-au-Vent had to bear up for Cuckoo, but headed Fiona. Opening St. Clement’s Reach, they were more bothered than ever by a regular fleet of outward bounders, and Neva was put about by a screw collier. In the bight below the Worcester training ship the Vol-au-Vent slipped through the lee of the Neva, Fiona, and Cuckoo, but could not hold her tack on account of the impediments. Another long trip on port tack was feasible in Northfleet Hope, during which Fiona got on Cuckoo’s weather and forereached her, as they all went about under Northfleet cement works. They then worked down Gravesend Reach with sheets pinned in as close as they could be, till at the Ovens buoy all but Fiona shifted gaff topsails for jib headers in a freshening breeze. Vol-au-Vent was now fast weathering everything, and at the end of a long starboard board through the Lower hope was well to windward, although she presently was a long time in getting her jib header sheeted home off Thames Haven. Fiona was next standing up bravely to her square topsail, with Neva and Cuckoo just to leeward, whilst Iona was making but poor work of it in a by no means bad lop, and Neptune whipped in. As Cuckoo and Neva winded off Thames Haven pier the former got the weather gauge, whilst Fiona crossed the pair well to windward on the starboard tack. Although Neva always seemed to hold a better wind than Cuckoo she could not reach quite clear, and as she stood off from the Scar Beacon the Cuckoo crossed Neva’s bows. They did not hug the north shore any more, but worked down the edge of the Yantlet Flats and the Nore Sand by short trips, to get the last of the ebb. At the Jenkin Buoy Cuckoo and Neva had come up to the Fiona, who was only a cable to windward of them, till Cuckoo tacked very short, whilst the others held on a little to the northward. A nasty rain squall now piped up, after which the wind fell a little lighter off the Nore Sand Buoy, and Fiona again drew away from Cuckoo and Neva. Vol-au-Vent now made a long trip to the northward to shift her jib header for large gaff topsail for the run about; and on going about off the West Shoebury Buoy hit off the distance mark to a nicety. Fiona did not judge her distance well, and had to shake up till everything was aback. They eased off mainsheets round the Nore as under:

Vol-au-Vent 3h.23m.10s; Fiona 3h.30m.4s; Cuckoo 3h.35m.4s; Neva 3h.36m.11s; Iona 3h.40m.18s; Neptune 3h.46m.17s.

Spinnaker booms were quickly handed on the starboard beam, the wind being almost dead aft for the run home, but the atmosphere wet and decidedly cold for the month of June. Cuckoo had shifted for a gaff-topsail before fetching the mark, But Neva and Iona waited till sheets had been eased off, then bent in for balloon topsails, whilst the last-named added a water sail and ring tail to her inventory of flying kites. Neva, Fiona, and Vol-au-Vent thought second spinnakers on bowsprits would help them, and the last-named ran up to the southward of the others, along the edge of the Blyth. It may be mentioned that the time of rounding had been hit off beautifully just as the flood began to make up, and the lightship to swing. Jib topsails, water-sails, were more or less in requisition, whilst Cuckoo added a squaresail. As they neared the Hope a gybe was necessary, and presently spinnakers had to be handed from booms to bowsprits, and in some cases stowed below altogether. Vol-au-Vent succeeded in running Fiona a little, whilst Neva got on Cuckoo’s weather in the last half mile only, and finished a bowsprit’s length only in front of her. They had the wind on the port beam up Gravesend Reach, and they passed the mark amidst intense excitement as follows:- Vol-au-Vent 6h.9m.51s; Fiona 6h.12m.58s; Neva 6h.14m.29s; Cuckoo 6h.14m.30s; Iona 6h.21m.59s; Neptune 6h.26m.51s.

Vol-au-Vent had to allow Fiona 6min. 41secs., and Neva 12min. 23secs., whilst Fiona conceded Neva 5min. 42secs. The Neva accordingly took the 100l.”



                        “Royal  London Yacht Club - The Yachts Rounding The Nore Light Vessel”

THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Tuesday 18 July 1876 - “ROYAL ULSTER YACHT CLUB REGATTA - Bangor, Monday. The regatta was resumed to-day under the most favourable auspices. The weather was all that could be desired - bright and cheerful, with a breeze strong enough to bring out the best sailing qualities of the competitors. There could not have been a better wind for the larger craft.... In this respect it is very fortunate that the races originally fixed for Friday should have been postponed till to-day.... FIRST RACE - started at eleven o’clock, and was open to cutters, schooners, and yawls of 40 tons and upwards.... It will be seen that only eleven started out of the nineteen entered; notwithstanding that the wind was rather full, all [but two] started  with jib-headed topsails. Crossing the bay, and running before the wind, the fleet looked very attractive, every boat having its spinnakers set and being fully rigged out in canvas. The course was three times round the long course, and on the beat from Carrickfergus to Blackhead, in the first round, the Corisande took the lead and never gave it up.... [Neva is not mentioned in the first round timings].... There was nothing worthy of special remark in the course of the second round.... The race finished in the following order:- Corisande 4h.47m.9s; Latona 4h.52m.15s; Olga 4h.52m.38s; Cuckoo 5h.2m.13s; Egeria 5h.5m.31s; Neptune 5h.11m.37s; Iona 5h.13m.18s; Neva 5h.13m.24s; Fiona 5h.16m.30s; Melita 5h.20m.59s. The winner of the race is, therefore, by time allowance, the Neptune, which carries off the £250. The second goes to the Olga, and the third to the Cuckoo.”



THE TIMES - Thursday 3 August 1876 - “ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON REGATTA at Cowes - [race on Wednesday 2 August 1876] – The Squadron cutter match was sailed in weather the ideal of a racing day, a bright sun, clear atmosphere, and pleasant wholesail breeze from the south-west, showing the broad surface of the Solent to full advantage.... Cuckoo, Britannia, Myosotis, and Hypatia being absentees through loss of spars which time did not admit of replacing.... It was thought unlikely that the famous Arrow – whose owner, Mr. Chamberlayne, is lying dangerously ill – would hoist a racing flag, but at Mr. Chamberlayne’s express wish the yacht was started, and she sailed so marvellously fast that the modern cracks, Vol-au-Vent and Neva, received a most exemplary beating, and this in as true a race as the Squadron have on their racing records.... Starting on a strong ebb at 10 o’clock, the Arrow canted smartly, and, although the largest vessel, had canvas first hoisted and led on a close-hauled port tack with Vol-au-Vent, Neva, Iona, Christine, and Fiona following in the order named.... the Lymington mark... Arrow 10h.49m.55s; Vol-au-Vent 10h.52m.20s; Neva 10h.53m.0s; Iona 10h.53m.20s; Fiona 10h.55m.30s; Christine 10h.56m.30s..... Sailing as high as possible, they fetched just outside the Peel, Arrow stealing away from Vol-au-Vent, the only other phase being that Neva jumped away from Iona and Fiona..... The Noman Fort was reached by the Arrow at 12h.41m., Vol-au-Vent being about four minutes after, and the Neva about 12 minutes..... The Arrow ran up her spinnaker and drew away... The Neva got out a bowsprit spinnaker, but the old cutter kept her spinnaker on, and slipped down wind at a pace that gave little doubt about the destination of the prize long before Osborne was abeam..... Arrow (winner £100) 2h.46m.27s; Vol-au-Vent 2h.52m.39s; Neva 3h.11m.2s; Fiona 3h.20m.4s; Iona 3h.24m.30s; Christine 3h.42m.25s.”



THE TIMES - Wednesday 9 August 1876 - “ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB - [race on Tuesday 8 August 1876] – Third match, for cutters above 40 tons belonging to any Royal Yacht Club. Time race. Yacht Racing Association scale. Prize £50. Long Victoria Course – viz., from Ryde to a mark boat in Cowes Roads, hence to a mark boat off the Spit Fort around the Nab lightship, and back to Ryde. Distance, 50 miles. The competitors were:- Iona, 66 tons; Cuckoo, 92 tons; Neva, 62 tons; Vol-au-Vent, 102 tons; Psyche, 47 tons.

A very well-judged start was made at 10.30.... The Cuckoo made the first mark, then Vol-au-Vent, Neva, Iona, and Psyche, a very short distance only separating them.... The Vol-au-Vent soon weathered the Cuckoo.... the Iona being left by the Neva..... The Cuckoo made an unnecessary tack, as the rest fetched, and Neva thus cast her off.... The Vol-au-Vent held the lead, although Neva, Cuckoo, and Iona ran very close up... the tide carried them out to the Nab.... here a nice breeze came, and they turned in against the flood in the dark. Vol-au-Vent opened out a commanding lead, the Neva worked away fast from Cuckoo. The time of arrival was –

Vol-au-Vent (winner) 9h.23m.0s; Neva 9h.40m.30s. Cuckoo, Iona, Psyche not timed.”

Also – SOUTHAMPTON YACHT CLUB – “The Cutter prize of this Club was won by Neva, Bloodhound taking second prize. Coralie, Glance, Psyche, and Hypatia also competed.”



DAILY NEWS (LONDON) - Thursday 10 August 1876 - “ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB REGATTA - Ryde, August 9. The match for the Vice-Commodore’s Cup, commenced yesterday, resulted, as was anticipated, in a very unsatisfactory termination, the yachts, after having been becalmed for several hours, hauling down their racing flags shortly after sundown, and abandoning the race, which will be resailed at an early date.

The second day of the regatta was ushered in with a bright sun and light south-easterly breeze, which offered a pleasant contrast to the paltry weather of the previous day. The programme comprised three cutter matches for vessels respectively of twenty, forty, and upwards of forty tons, for prizes amounting in the aggregate to 120l... THIRD MATCH - For cutters above 40 tons belonging to any Royal Yacht Club. Time race. Y.R.A. scale. Prize, 50l.

Vol-au-Vent, 103 tons, Colonel Markham; Cuckoo, 92 tons, Mr. H. Hall; Neva, 62 tons, Mr. Holms-Kerr; Iona, 65 tons, Mr. J. Ashbury; Psyche, 47 tons, Mr. T. C. Garth.

The time allowance was according to the following scale: Vol-au-Vent allows - Cuckoo 2min. 48secs.; Iona 11min. 26secs.; Neva 12min. 37secs.; Psyche 19min. 28secs. Course: From Ryde to the westward round a flag-boat off Old Castle Point, thence to a mark off Spithead, thence round the Nab, and back to Ryde. Twice round; about 50 miles.

The 20-tonners were signalled away at 10 a.m., followed by the forties at 10.30, and all were soon bowling along for the western mark with spinnakers and jibtopsails, the wind being at starting about E. by S., though it drew out more southerly as the day advanced. Large square-headed topsails were the order of the day... [description of the racing of the first two classes].... Nearing Osborne Bay the leaders ran into a dead calm, and were aft for a few minutes, completely in the doldrums, but presently a light breeze sprang up, and after flying all round the compass, drew out about north-west. This brought in spinnakers, with a run, and all were soon close-hauled for the western mark, which they could barely fetch on the same tack. The three leading forties rounded in the order in which they had passed Ryde, and spinnakers became once more in general requisition, but the breeze was extremely partial and fluky, for while the forties and twenties were running up for the Spit mark with spinnakers and jibtopsails set, the Vol-au-Vent and Neva, the leaders of the big cutters, were reaching down to the westward as close-hauled as they could stick, and yet, strange to say, the Cuckoo, very little astern of the Neva, was actually going free on the same tack.

This brings us to the doings of the larger vessels exceeding forty tons, who had been started to the westward at 11 a.m., the tide being about half-flood. The Cuckoo was the first across the line, followed by the Psyche, Iona, Neva, and Vol-au-Vent, in the order named. They ran with spinnakers set to starboard, and large working topsails, for the Cowes mark, whence they worked up under the mainland by a short and long leg for the Spit, where they found the wind drawing out more southerly, and could just lay their course for the Nab. Nearing the light ship all had to make a short board to fetch the mark, round which the leaders gybed as under:-

Vol-au-Vent 2h.16m.0s; Neva 2h.28m.0s; Cuckoo 2h.29m.0s.

They ran back to Ryde, with booms to starboard and spinnakers at their bowsprit ends, without any change in position, the first round being completed at:-

Vol-au-Vent 3h.4m.15s; Neva 3h.20m.30s; Cuckoo 3h.21m.45s; Iona 3h.34m.30s. The Psyche was a long distance astern.” [No further mention of the bigger yachts]



THE TIMES - Friday 11 August 1876 - “ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB REGATTA – [race on Thursday 10 August 1876] – Another deplorable day of weather for match sailing has followed the Victoria Regatta, one-half of the course having taken eight hours to complete. Although the second round was commenced in a nice sailing breeze, it provokingly came dead on end, and with tide influences the match will last very late, if not until midnight. The heat has, perhaps, been more intense than on any day preceding this week of abnormal weather. The match of yesterday was the Royal Victoria Yacht Club prize of £120, for all yachts belonging to any Yacht Club. Time race, Yacht Racing Association scale. Schooners to sail at 3-5ths and yawls at 4-5ths their actual tonnage. First prize, £60; second prize, £40; third prize, £20. Long Victoria Course. The starters were – Olga, 215 tons, Schooner; Latona, 160 tons, Yawl; Australia, 207 tons, Schooner; Corisande, 145 tons, Yawl; Florinda, 137 tons, Yawl; Vol-au-Vent, 103 tons, Cutter; Corinne, 160 tons, Schooner; Cuckoo, 92 tons, Cutter; Iona, 65 tons, Cutter; Pantomime, 152 tons, Schooner; Neva, 62 tons, Cutter; Neptune, 50 tons, Yawl; Myosotis, 40 tons, Cutter.

A very close start was made in a light breeze from the N.N.E......With the wind in every direction but dead aft the tide carried them to the westward, Neva rounding the Cowes mark at 3.30, and the half course afterwards finished at Ryde thus:-

Vol-au-Vent 5h.49m.10s; Neva 5h.50m.45s; Pantomime 6h.4m.25s; Florinda 6h.7m.55s; Corisande 6h.9m.0s; Latona 6h.9m.30s; Cuckoo 6h.12m.25s; Neptune 6h.15m.50; Olga 6h.18m.0s; Corinne 6h.19m.25s; Australia 6h.20m.25s.”

Also - DAILY NEWS (LONDON) - “The yachts were signalled to the eastward, and the course was from Ryde round the Nab Light thrice to a mark boat moored off the Spit Buoy, and thence round a mark off Old Castle Point and back to Ryde. Twice round. About 50 miles. Time allowance….. The start was a very pretty sight, all the yachts being in a cluster just to the westward of the line at the moment the signal was given, at 10 a.m. …. [not much about the Neva]…. After rounding [The Nab] all ran one after the other into a dead calm, and for a time the match resolved itself into a mere drift with the Channel tide - but presently there were signs of a light air from the north-east, and the yachts were soon working by short boards under the island shore…. Off Sea View all headed away for the Noman, before making which  the Neva drew out to windward of the Vol-au-Vent… The leaders brought the Spit mark vessel abeam about 2 p.m. - the order of the yachts being as follows:- Neva, Cuckoo, Vol-au-Vent, Florinda, Corisande, Corinne, Pantomime, Latona, Myosotis, Australia, Olga, and Iona. A few minutes later the Vol-au-Vent again overhauled the Cuckoo and took second place a little astern of the Neva, the latter and the Vol-au-Vent both carrying their spinnakers at their bowsprit end…. A little later the wind, which had been very shifty all day came out about N.W., and freshened slightly whereupon the two leaders handed in their spinnakers smartly, and ran up jib topsails, it being now a dead heat for the Cowes mark. As the leaders neared it, however, the breeze again died away to nothing, and another wearisome drift ensued, but ultimately with the assistance of the west-going tide they managed to haul round the flag-boat. Here matters were, if possible, worse than ever, as the yachts were completely jammed by the tide, while the few faint puffs which each took in turn were insufficient to carry them over it, and for nearly two hours all lay hopelessly in the doldrums, the breeze being all up and down the mast. At last, about 4.30 p.m., the first of the ebb began to make, and about three-quarters of an hour later a smart breeze suddenly sprang up from east-north-east. The Vol-au-Vent, which had made a long cast over to the north shore…. was the first to take the north wind, and at once headed over for the quarantine vessels on the port tack, the rest of the fleet lying in the meantime completely becalmed off Old Castle Point. By degrees, however, the breeze gradually extended westwards, and the Neva, with her proverbial luck, being the first of the becalmed division to get the benefit of it, began to walk along at a tearing rate… “



THE TIMES – Saturday 12 August 1876 - “ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB REGATTA – Thursday’s race was not completed in time to give the result, and which is appended. Arrival:- Vol-au-Vent (winner £60) 9h.42m.10s; Florinda 10h.5m.0s; Pantomime (winner £40) 10h.8m.5s; Latona 10h.9m.40s; Corisande 10h.10m.15s; Corinne 10h.22m.0s; Neptune (winner £20 by time) 10h.24m.30s.

The Neva fouled one of the Dean’s buoys, and, swinging round, carried away her spinnaker boom, topmast crosstrees, and gaff. She was at the time about 9min. astern of Vol-au-Vent.”



THE TIMES - Wednesday 23 August 1876 - “WEYMOUTH REGATTA - [race on Monday 21 August 1876] – The Bay held as fine a fleet of yachts as ever was present at this annual meeting, but the sailing was not very exciting, through prevailing light and partial breezes.”

In the match for cutters of 30 tons and upwards, three times round Weymouth Bay, the times of arrival were:- “Vol-au-Vent 5h.41m.35s; Norman (winner £40) 5h.44m.35s; Bloodhound (winner £10) 5h.45m.5s; Neva 5h.48m.40s. The Iona, Myosotis, and Christine gave up.”

ALSO – Tuesday – “On the second day of this Regatta there was but a light breeze at the commencement of the first race; but within an hour afterwards a smart wind blew from the south-west.... The starters were as follows:- Cutters; Vol-au-Vent, 103 tons; Iona, 65 tons; Neva, 62 tons. Yawls; Latona, 160 tons; Florinda, 137 tons. Schooners; Olga, 215 tons; Corinne, 160 tons.

...Vol-au-Vent held a clear lead, with Florinda in her wake; then Neva, Olga, Corinne, Latona, and Iona. From the first mark to the Eastern boat off White Nose, a freshening breeze, with well-checked sheets, saw square booms as they sailed along the northern  margin of the Bay, and Corinne raced Florinda and Neva close...From the White Nose flag-boat to the Shambles, sheets were eased away again to a following breeze, but at 11.30 a change of wind brought in spinnakers, and they came close-hauled. At this time Neva had gone into second place... after making a long stretch of plain sailing, finished the first round thus:- Vol-au-Vent 12h.30m.30s; Neva 12h.34m.0s; Corinne 12h.34m.30s; Florinda 12h.35m.46s; Latona 12h.38m.40s; Olga 12h.38m.4s.

The second round was commenced with flowing sheets to the first mark, and spinnakers along the coast line to White Nose.... Florinda and Corinne passed Neva and Latona.... From the Shambles to finish the match a splendid breeze saw Olga travelling at marvellous speed, Florinda and Corinne, through a very vicious luffing match, losing their positions, as the finish of the match will show – viz., arrival: Vol-au-Vent 2h.27m.35s; Olga 2h.29m.5s; Neva 2h.31m.42s; Latona 2h.31m.49s; Florinda 2h.32m.57s; Corinne 2h.33m.25s.

The Neva won the first prize (£60) by time, from Vol-au-Vent; the Corinne the second from Olga, and the Florinda the third from Latona.”



THE TIMES - Saturday 26 August 1876 - “DARTMOUTH REGATTA – [race on Friday 25 August 1876]  – With a fleet of upwards of a hundred gaily dressed yachts, and under the influence of a bright sun the grand harbour of this old Devon town looked wonderfully picturesque on the first day of the annual meeting, and those who recognized the revelries as a yachting institution find no falling off in the holyday amusements this year. The race for the Dart Challenge Cup, open to yachts of any rig, was a very one-sided affair through the Raven getting round the first mark and away with a fair tide and breeze while the remaining six yachts were jammed by a contrary stream and lying helpless in a calm. The Raven won the Challenge Cup, easily, the Fiona being the last holder, and Neva, by an outrageous fluke, took the cutter prize from Vol-au-Vent, and the Olga.... Course, a triangular one round Start Bay; three times round. About 40 miles. The starters were:- Fiona, Cutter, 78 tons, owner Mr. E. Boutcher; Neva, Cutter, 62 tons, owner Mr. R.H. Kerr; Vol-au-Vent, Cutter, 103 tons, owner Colonel Markham; Neptune, Yawl, 50 tons, owner Mr. N.B. Stewart; Raven, Yawl, 60 tons, owner Lieut.- Col. Stirling; Olga, Schooner, 220 tons, owner Mr. J.A. Hankey; Anita, Schooner, 47 tons, owner Mr. H. Studdy.

The start was made at 10.30, and the vessels ran along the western margin of Start Bay before a light northerly breeze. Neva and Vol-au-Vent looked like running down the first side of the triangle in front, but Raven, who kept in a straight course while the rest luffed out to an unnecessary extent, was slightly in front when off Slapton..... After a wearying struggle, Neva got round second.... The stretch down to the start mark was done in a following northerly breeze, with spinnakers on booms, and the only alteration was that Vol-au-Vent ran past Neva, and led her by half a minute, Raven half an hour ahead.... The Vol-au-Vent forereached and weathered so fast on Neva that she soon had her time safe. A baffling wind was found as Vol-au-Vent came towards the harbour.... This was apparently disregarded, and Vol-au-Vent worked her tack out until Neva came looking up with the new wind. Both broke off again however, and this balanced matters until Neva picked up a free streak that sent her spinning home, while Vol-au-Vent had to make a long extra board to weather the mark. The Committee wisely decided to stop the race on the conclusion of the second round and the finish of this rather uninteresting affair was as follows:-

Raven (winner of cup, £30, and medal) 4h.27m.12s; Vol-au-Vent 4h.59m.55s; Neva (winner of £30) 5h.3m.50s; Neptune 5h.6m.0s; Olga (winner of £30) 5h.7m.28s; Fiona 5h.8m.15s.

The Neva’s backstay gear gave out at the moment of crossing the winning line and the topmast broke off short at the cap.



THE TIMES - Tuesday 29 August 1876 - “ROYAL TORBAY REGATTA – A breezy look in the sky, and heavy rain clouds yesterday demonstrated a break in the long summer time. There was a smart sailing breeze too, and yet the day was hardly one to bring out the best qualities of racing vessels.... Everyone, however, was pleased to see the pluckily-sailed Iona fairly beat the Neva, but we cannot help thinking this form too good to be true.”  [short article – winner Raven, second Corinne]

ALSO – ROYAL TORQUAY YACHT CLUB VASE – Off Torquay Pier to Berry Head, a mark-boat off Brixham, another off Goodrington, and finish off Torquay Pier – “A very fine start was made at 10.35 in a nice working topsail breeze from the westward....[after completing the first round] ....Neva and Iona going in for a desperate luffing match, in which Mr. Ashbury’s craft [Iona] came off victorious, and after getting round the sea-mark and having a try on the close jam, the Scotch cutter, being even worse served by Iona, actually gave up, Neptune soon after following suit, with Christine and Dolphin...”. [winner Raven]



TREWMAN’S EXETER FLYING POST - Wednesday 6 September 1876 - “TORBAY ROYAL REGATTA - SECOND DAY - Match for cutters of forty tons and upwards, belonging to any Royal or recognised yacht club. First prize £105. Entries: Cuckoo, 92 tons, H. Hall; Vol-au-Vent, 103, Colonel Markham; Fiona, 78, E. Boutcher; Iona, 65, J. Ashbury, M.P.; Neva, 62, R. K. Holms Kerr; Dolphin, 50, R. C. Smith; Christine, 40, C. Wagnelin; Norman, 40, Major Ewing; Hypatia, 44, W. Gordon; Bloodhound, 40, Marquis of Ailsa; Myosotis, 39, H. D. M’Master. Four times round the course. The Christine, Neva, Norman, Bloodhound, Myosotis, and Hypatia were scratched...”





Name of Ship; NEVA

Official Number; 71685. Port of Registry; Glasgow

Port No. and Date of Register; Blank

Registered Tonnage; 39.06

Managing Owner; Robert Barwick Esq., 24 Chiswell St., London

Master; Lemon Cranfield, East Donyland. No Certificate

Date of Commencement and Termination of Half-year; 1st July 1876 - 31st Dec 1876

“Cruising for pleasure”


All men last served in NEVA and were (except Lemon) discharged Nov. 11th at Donyland. No dates of joining NEVA.

LEMON CRANFIELD age 35, born Donyland, Essex. Remaining.

STEPHEN CRANFIELD age 30, born Donyland, Essex. Mate.

JOSEPH EAGLE age 27, born Brightlingsea, Essex. Steward.

JONATHAN CUDMER age 27, born Bures, Suffolk. Royal Naval Volunteer’s Certificate; 45993. Cook.

WILLIAM CRANFIELD age 20, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

JAMES WATSON age 21, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

JAMES SIMONS age 22, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

ARTHUR BARNARD age 23, born Bosham, Sussex. A.B.

JESSE CRANFIELD age 24, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

Received at Colchester the 22nd day of January 1877.

I Declare the above Account to be true. Signed Lemon Cranfield, Master.




THE TIMES - ROYAL THAMES YACHT CLUB CUTTER MATCHES - race on Wednesday 23 May 1877 – “Cutter racing is invariably the most attractive feature of metropolitan yachting, and yesterday, if not perfect from a landsman’s or sailor’s point of view, was infinitely better than many on the records of the Thames Clubs’ sailing matches. The same gloomy weather that has for a long time past prevailed was in the ascendant; there might have been a gleam of sunshine during the day, but it did not last long, and a north-easter made topcoats a most necessary adjunct to the personal comfort of spectators. The wind was not steady in direction, but there was a heart in it on the down passage, and a glorious thrash from Gravesend to the Mouse was enjoyed. On the voyage home, however, it lightened considerably and at times was paltry, and thus had the effect - as has often been the case in river sailing - of somewhat upsetting calculations as to the result of the matches. There were four entries, and, as will be seen, all were well-tried racing vessels, the following being names, conditions, &c :-

FIRST CLASS, for Cutters of any tonnage exceeding 41 tons. First prize, value £100; second prize, value £40, to second vessel if four start. Time allowance - 41 to 70 tons, 20sec. per ton; 70 to 105 tons, 15sec. per ton; 105 to 140 tons, 10sec. per ton. Starters:- Vol-au-Vent, 104 tons, Colonel Markham; Veronica, 87 tons, Mr. T.G. Freke; Fiona, 77 tons, Mr. E. Boutcher; Neva, 63 tons, Mr. R. Borwick.

The first class went away at 11.30, and were smarter than the forties in commencing their match. Vol-au-Vent, with weather berth, took every advantage of it, and after filling, headed, close hauled on the port tack, down Gravesend Reach, with Neva in her wake..... The forties all had second topsails and second jibs, but the big ships when their canvas came to be fairly set showed a divergence of ideas in weather casts, Vol-au-Vent having big jib and large topsail, Neva second jib and working topsail..... The first class reached down and joined company with the forties off Cliff Creek, Vol-au-Vent leading Neva a quarter of a mile.... The Vol-au-Vent weathered fast on her opponents, and Veronica commenced to show her ability by the wind as she got up close to Neva’s weather quarter.... The time they bore round the Nore was :- Vol-au-Vent 2h.55m.0s; Bloodhound 3h.8m.0s; Myosotis 3h.9m.45s; Veronica 3h.10m.30s; Neva 3h.11m.45s; Fiona 3h.13m.40s; Coralie 3h.15m.20s; Britannia 3h.32m.0s.

They commenced the run on the slack of the tide, and spinnakers came on all, Neva and Fiona setting ballooners.... At Southend Neva had ranged up close to Veronica, and at the Chapman the pair were about 14 minutes astern of Vol-au-Vent... the Neva certainly was favoured by getting the best of the breezes, and won a lucky match with 10sec. to spare, the arrivals being :- Vol-au-Vent 6h.45m.2s; Neva 6h.55m.2s; Veronica 6h.53m.6s; Fiona 6h.58m.30s; Bloodhound 6h.59m.6s; Myosotis 6h.7m.10s. Neva won first prize, and Vol-au-Vent second in her class...”



THE TIMES - ROYAL LONDON YACHT CLUB CUTTER MATCHES - race on Thursday 24 May 1877 - “It is sufficient, without rehearsal, to say in connexion with a Thames yacht match that “the wind was fluky” or that “the weather was paltry” to convey a meaning, without going into a very old story, and the Royal London cutter day would certainly in a mild form come within the meaning. It was another day of east wind, and a disagreeably keen wind, too, but the sun fairly showed his face, and this made some slight amends.... MATCH for First-class Cutters exceeding 20 tons. First prize, £75. Second prize, £25. Course, from Erith round the Nore Lightship and back to Rosherville. Distance, 50 miles. Starters:- Vol-au-Vent, 104 tons; Veronica, 88 tons; Fiona, 79 tons; Neva, 62 tons; Bloodhound, 40 tons; Britannia, 40 tons; Myosotis, 40 tons.... As is not frequently the case, they were started on the flood, and went well away, setting large working sails, the wind being light from the northward, and sky rather overcast. Neva, with a weather berth, went off with a lead down the Rands, and with spinnakers on the bowsprit on some, and jib topsails on others, they went with flowing sheets into Long Reach... The Neva, after leading for a while was overtaken by Vol-au-Vent at Gravesend reach and she maintained her lead to the end.... They had an uninteresting drag home in varying light airs and calms, and the match finished thus:- Vol-au-Vent 7h.20m.0s; Neva 7h.32m.0s; Myosotis (winner 1st prize) 7h.34m.8s; Bloodhound (winner 2nd prize) 7h.39m.43s.”



THE TIMES - NEW THAMES YACHT CLUB MATCHES - race on Friday 25 May 1877 - “(By Telegraph)” - “It is many years since a more tedious racing time has been experienced on the Thames than yesterday was, and this is to be regretted as the New Thames programme was the best of the Metropolitan clubs. There was scarcely an air of wind at the start or for some time afterwards, and a very light breeze to run home with.... Of the first-class cutters Vol-au-Vent, Neva, and Fiona started. The Neva led to Southend, where the Vol-au-Vent passed her and kept in front for the rest of the day. The Neva was never, however, shaken fairly off, and won by time from Vol-au-Vent....”



THE TIMES - Monday 28 May 1877 - (referring to the match the previous Friday) - “FIRST-CLASS CUTTERS of 40 tons and upwards. First prize, value £100; second prize, £40 (provided four start). Course from Gravesend round the Mouse Light vessel and back to Rosherville. Distance, about 58 miles.... Vol-au-Vent and Neva sent up big working topsails... They laid helplessly across the tide for a time, and at last moved off to a chilly breeze from the S.E., and which Neva was the first to pick up.... The breeze of the day came from the south-east... and Neva first trimmed in her sheets to it, and then, with jib topsails set, the Hope was got through on a taut bowline, and a yet better breeze found in Sea Reach... The run home was commenced with booms squared.... Neva drew up fast on Vol-au-Vent, and bringing up a little rally of wind, looked at one time like passing her.... They came close-hauled on the starboard tack up Gravesend Reach and finished in the gloaming, Neva getting a breeze that brought her home an easy winner... Arrival:- Vol-au-Vent 8h.29m.10s; Neva 8h.35m.20s; Fiona 8h.46m.0s.”



THE TIMES - NEW THAMES YACHT CLUB - CHANNEL MATCH FROM SOUTHEND TO HARWICH - race on Saturday 2 June 1877 - “The match on Saturday proved nearly all plain sailing. The wind was true, steady, reef-sail breeze, yet the water was comparatively smooth in the Swin till the Gunfleet lighthouse had been run to, when a rolling sea was felt. SECOND MATCH - Prize of £50 for cutters exceeding 41 tons. Regulations and course same as in the preceding match. [Flying start. Course from Harwich Harbour round the Shipwash Sand and Sunk Lightship and back to the Committee boat in the harbour]. The starters were:- Vol-au-Vent 103 tons, Colonel Markham; Fiona 79 tons, E. Boutcher; Neva 62 tons, R. Borwick. The official times of arrivals were:- Vol-au-Vent 5h.19m.30s; Neva 5h.23m.50s; Fiona 5h.26m.50s.”



THE TIMES - ROYAL HARWICH YACHT CLUB CHANNEL MATCH TO SOUTHEND - race on Tuesday 5 June 1877 - “Yesterday’s match from Harwich to the Thames was the grandest race that has been sailed this season, and the weather was most favourable...” The race was won by Vol-au-Vent by 12 seconds from Jullanar, with Miranda one minute behind. Neva finished twelve minutes behind Vol-au-Vent.



THE TIMES - ROYAL THAMES YACHT CLUB - race on Monday 11 June 1877 - “MATCH, open to vessels of any rig belonging to any recognized yacht club in the United Kingdom or the New York or Havre Yacht Club. Prize value 100 guineas and a prize of £50 to the first vessel within her time of each of the two other rigs, the first vessel in to determine the winner of the 100 guineas cup. Time allowance, a quarter of a minute per ton, to start from their own anchors in a line between the Nore and the Cant Sand... ordinary cruising trim... Course from the Nore to the Admiralty Pier, Dover... Yesterday, although better than many on record, was not the satisfactory racing time, the meeting being promising only for paltry weather, a clear blue sky and loomy sea haze being sufficient index of what was in store. The sailing committee exercised judgment in deferring the start until 11 o’clock, as until that time the flood tide would certainly have had mastery of the light wind. When they were started there was but a very light breeze, and so dead on that they had a dead beat of about 30 miles. The Vol-au-Vent and Florinda displayed their usual fine speed. After getting round the North Goodwin the wind came very partial, and was eminently in favour of the sternmost boats; in consequence of this, the Neva, with singular good fortune, took the first prize from the Vol-au-Vent... Vol-au-Vent 6h.23m.15s; Florinda 6h.26m.2s; Neva 6h.32m.28s...”



THE TIMES - ROYAL CINQUE PORTS YACHT CLUB REGATTA - race on Tuesday 12 June 1877 - “....commenced on Tuesday at Dover, the wind being very partial throughout the day. There were three matches, but all interest likely to be invested in the first race was lost through the absence of the Vol-au-Vent, who, in consequence of being crippled in the Royal Thames match from the Nore, was unable to be repaired in time to start....MATCH for CUTTERS exceeding 41 tons belonging to the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club. First prize, £60; second prize, Club gold medal. Y.R.A. rules and time allowances. Flying start. Course from an imaginary line drawn between the Club-house and a flag-boat moored in Dover Bay; thence round the north-east buoy of the Varne and the South Sand Head lightship; returning to the flag-boat in Dover Bay. Twice round; distance 50 miles. The starters were - Fiona, 79 tons, Mr. E. Boutcher; Neva, 62 tons, Mr. R. Borwick....[no race description]...Neva, winner first class [no time given].”



THE TIMES - ROYAL MERSEY YACHT CLUB - race on Thursday 21 June 1877 - “Light variable winds from south-east to south prevailed in Liverpool Bay, and the opening day of the annual regatta was not so successful as could have been wished. Lack of wind at sea prevented several of the yachts that were entered from making their passage in time to take part in the matches, and only two (sic) vessels, in consequence, put in an appearance in the 40-ton class... In the first class the starters were:- Cuckoo, Yawl, 92 tons, Mr. H. Hall; Chanticleer, Yawl, 123 tons, Colonel Gamble; Neva, Cutter, 62 tons, Mr. R. Borwick; Cythera, - , 110 tons, Mr. B. Richardson.

The prize was 70 sovs. For the first yacht within time, and 30 sovs. For the second. Course off Tranmere round the North-west Lightship and Horse Fairway Buoy and back (50 miles). The Neva led on the first run from the start to the North-west Ship, but, in a very partial breeze, the Cythera worked into first place before reaching Horse Ferry, and held the lead for the rest of the day, never, however, having the 14min. that she had to allow the Neva. The last named won in the end with 6min. to spare, the finish being:- Cythera 5h.43m.27s; Neva 5h.51m.28s; Cuckoo 5h.57m.58s; Chanticleer 6h.9m.0s. The Neva won the £70 prize and the Cythera £30, the second prize.”



THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Tuesday 3 July 1877 - “CHANNEL MATCH TO THE CLYDE FROM BARROW - The Jullanar, yawl, 126 tons, Mr. M. Leary, won the £50 Cup presented by Lord Dalkeith; Neva second.”

Also - “ROYAL NORTHERN YACHT CLUB - Rothesay, Saturday -  The annual regatta of this club opened this morning at Rothesay.... There are seven matches on the programme, and the entries, although not so numerous, include the smartest racing yachts in the country.... For the first-class cutter match - prizes, £70 and £30 -  there are only two entries - Cythera, 110 tons; and Neva 62.”



THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Wednesday 4 July 1877 - “ROYAL NORTHERN YACHT CLUB - The annual regatta of this club was opened on the Clyde on Saturday. The Earl of Glasgow was commodore, and the yachts were started from the club yacht Aeolus, moored near Craigmore Pier, Rothesay Bay. The course was the usual square from Rothesay to Mountstewart, thence to Largs, Wemyss Bay, and Rothesay.... First-class cutters, over 40 tons. Prizes, £70 and £30.

Cythera, 110 tons, David Richardson, R.N.Y.C., Fife [Designer].

Neva, 62 tons, R. Borwick, R.M.Y.C., Fife.

Cythera not making her appearance, being delayed at Barrow repairing, Neva started at 11, and ran over the course.”

Also - “GLASGOW, Tuesday - The second day’s regatta of this club, sailed on the Clyde, was fully more interesting than that of Saturday. The entries were more numerous, and the matches were more closely sailed. There was a fairly steady breeze of wind from the south-west. First-class yachts, of any rig. Prizes - First £100; second, £30, to first yacht of a different rig.

Australia, schooner, 297, Hughes, Thames; Corinne, schooner, 160, Wood, Thames; Lufra, yawl, 207, Houldsworth, Clyde; Jullanar, yawl, 126, M’Leay, Thames; Cuckoo, yawl, 92, Hall, Mersey; Cythera, cutter, 110, Richardson, Clyde; Neva, cutter, 52, Borwick, Mersey.

Previous to starting Corinne had her topmast carried away. Neva led, followed by Cuckoo and Cythera, the schooners came next, and the yawls were last. At the turning of the flag-boat Lufra and Jullanar were the leading boats. In running before the wind Cythera and Neva drew past Jullanar.... Neva and Cuckoo had a foul, and both schooners gave up towards the end.

The yachts arrived on the final round as follows:-

Lufra (winner £100) 4h.38m.33s; Cythera (winner £30) 4h.50m.6s; Jullanar 4h.51m.41s,”



THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Monday 9 July 1877 - “ROYAL CLYDE YACHT CLUB REGATTA - The second day’s sports of this club on Saturday passed off most pleasantly. There was a fine, steady breeze from the north-west, and the weather otherwise was most agreeable.... FIRST MATCH. First-class yachts of any rig. Prize, £60, and £20 to first yacht of different rig from winner. Entries:- Australia, schooner, 207, 125, W. W. Hughes, Thames; Corinne, schooner, 160, 96, N. Wood, Thames; Melita, schooner, 154, 93, David Tod, Clyde; Lufra, yawl, 207, 167, J. Houldsworth, Clyde; Jullanar, yawl, 126, 102, A. D. Macleay, Thames; Cuckoo, yawl, 92, 74, H. Hall, Mersey; Walrus, yawl, 100 tons, F. Blackwood, Thames; Cythera, cutter, 110, D. Richardson, Clyde; Neva, cutter, 62, R. Borwick, Mersey.

Corinne led away, with Cythera, Neva, Jullanar, Cuckoo, Melita, Lufra, and Walrus in the order given. Lufra gradually drew up into third, but Corinne and Cythera kept ahead of her round the two lee mark boats. In the easy reach up the river  Lufra headed Cythera and Jullanar, at the same time passed, Neva, Lufra, and Cythera on the easy beat to windward, weathering Corinne, and they passed on the first round Lufra, Cythera, Corinne, Jullanar, Melita, Cuckoo, Neva, and Walrus. The final round was most exciting, the yachts being so closely within time allowance. They arrived as follows:- Lufra 4h.6m.53s; Cythera 4h.12m.25s; Jullanar 4h.15m.21s; Corinne 4h.17m.41s; Melita 4h.22m.22s; Cuckoo 4h.24m.4s; Neva 4h.26m.9s; Walrus 4h.34m.8s.

Neva took the £60 prize, after deducting time allowance from Cythera, by only 31 seconds, and Jullanar, being the first yacht of different rig, took the second prize of £20.”



THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Tuesday 10 July 1877 - “CHANNEL MATCH FROM THE CLYDE TO BANGOR - Glasgow, Monday.- The channel match from the Clyde to Bangor, for prizes valued at £100.... started from Hunter’s Quay yesterday morning. The weather in the morning was wet and stormy, but the wind westering it became more moderate. The entries were unusually numerous, and the prize money was divided into three classes. Yachts above 40 tons. Prizes - 1st, £30; 2nd, £15. Melita, Corinne, Norman, Coralie, and Walrus did not start.

Neva led away, at ten o’clock, with Myosotis second. The yawl Jullanar was next. Then followed the schooners Australia and the big Selene, 270 tons, the property of Mr. T. Henderson, of the Anchor Line. Jullanar passed Myosotis about two miles from starting point, and for the next three miles had a luffing match with Neva. Being unable to pass the Neva to windward, Jullanar eased off considerably to leeward, and when about nine miles down the yawl gained the lead; but when last seen the two schooners were almost up to her.”

Also - “BANGOR, MONDAY NIGHT - SPECIAL TELEGRAM - Up to a late hour to-night the yachts which left the Clyde this morning to take part in the Royal Ulster Yacht Club regatta are not visible from here. There is a head wind and slight fog prevailing. The regatta begins to-morrow, when there will, no doubt, be a large fleet of yachts in the bay.”



THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Thursday 12 July 1877 - “ROYAL ULSTER YACHT CLUB REGATTA - The annual regatta in connection with this club was commenced yesterday at Bangor, to which a large number of visitors had been attracted in consequence.... The wind was W.N.W.; at times pretty strong - quite enough for the smaller boats, but not enough for the yachts entered for the large race. Generally the day was a good one for yacht racing. The rain fortunately kept away, a fact which was at least a matter of congratulation amongst those on shore; and, except a slight shift to the N.E. at the entrance to the lough, the wind remained steady as to direction during the day.... FIRST RACE. Started at 10.30 a.m. Open to cutters, schooners, and yawls of 40 tons and upwards. First prize, £80; second prize, £40. The rig of the first yacht in to determine the rig to receive the first prize; the next yacht of a different rig in, to determine the rig to receive the second prize. Entrance £2. 10s. Distance, three times round the long course.

The yachts starting were:- Neva, cutter, 62 tons, R. Borwick; Jullanar, yawl, 127 tons (reduced to 101 tons), Alex. D. Macleay; Cuckoo, yawl, 92 tons (reduced to 74 tons), Henry Hall; Vol-au-Vent, cutter, 104 tons, Colonel Markham.

A pretty good start was effected, the entrants keeping well together. The boats had to beat from Bangor flag-boat round the one off Carrick, and from thence down along to Blackhead, spinnakers and jib topsails being set. A reach across from Blackhead brought the boats to a flag-boat off the brigs at Groomsport, from which they had another beat up to the flag-boat at Bangor. Vol-au-Vent led all round the course, on the third round Jullanar and Neva taking second place alternately. The rounds were as follows:- FIRST ROUND - Vol-au-Vent 12h.57m.14s; Jullanar 1h.1m.11s; Neva 1h.4m.13s; Cuckoo 1h.4m.30s. SECOND ROUND - Vol-au-Vent 3h.38m.30s; Neva 3h.43m.55s; Jullanar 3h.44m.41s; Cuckoo 3h.47m.14s. THIRD ROUND - Vol-au-Vent 6h.24m.12s; Jullanar 6h.29m.21s; Cuckoo 6h.32m.54s; Neva 6h.33m.54s.

Although the Vol-au-Vent arrived first, the Neva took the first prize for cutters, as she had to get 12min. 52sec. from the larger cutter. The Cuckoo took the first prize for the yawls, having to get 7min. 44sec. from the Jullanar. It might be interesting to mention here that the Jullanar yawl in form differs considerably from ordinary yawls, her stem being raked like that of a schooner, ornamented with a gilt eagle for a figure head; while her stern is still more peculiar, being formed with the intention of avoiding all drag, especially in rough water. She draws little water at bow and stern, and amidships 13 feet 6 inches. Her ballast is entirely lead; the load-water line extends abaft the stern post, giving her a clean run, and, having a forehanging counter, she has the appearance of being double-bowed. She is fitted with all modern improvements, and has hot water apparatus for heating the between decks.”

Many Rowhedge men sailed on Jullanar.


THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Friday 13 July 1877 - “ROYAL ULSTER YACHT CLUB REGATTA - Bangor, Thursday. The regatta of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club was continued to-day. The wind during the forenoon was very light, but towards the afternoon it turned out to be a nice whole-sail breeze from the south-west, though it was not strong enough to enable the boats in the first two races to go three times round the long course, as was arranged, and, accordingly, the races terminated with twice round. The Vol-au-Vent went ashore at Greypoint when going up in the first round of the first race. She remains at the place, but it is to be hoped that she will get off at high water at eleven o’clock to-night.

FIRST RACE - Open to yachts of any tonnage or rig. Prize - The Bangor Challenge Cup, value 100 guineas, presented by the Earl of Dufferin, Lord Bangor, and R. E. Ward, Esq., with £50 added by the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, provided the Cup be not won by the present holder; the Cup to become the property of any vessel winning it twice in succession; present holder, yacht Neva.

The following were the craft that started:- Neva, cutter, 62 tons (R. Borthwick), R.T.Y.C.; Jullanar, yawl, 127 tons (Alexander D. M’Cleary), R.U.Y.C.; Cuckoo, yawl, 92 tons, (Harry Hall), R.M.Y.C.; Vol-au-Vent, cutter, 104 tons, (Colonel Markham), R.Y.S. The Corinne and Australia were entered, but did not sail. At half-past ten the race was started, and as we have stated the Vol-au-Vent unfortunately went ashore at Greypoint. The race concluded at the termination of the second round, which was as follows:-

Neva, 5h.8m.28s; Cuckoo, 5h.11m.22s; Jullanar, 5h.20m.47s.

The owner of the Neva accordingly becomes possessor of the Bangor Challenge Cup, but the feeling in the yachting world against a cup of this kind has become so strong that no regret will be felt that the present one now disappears from the programme of the R.U.Y.C. The winners of the cup have been as follows:- 1871, Enid; 1872, Vanguard; 1873, Iona; 1874, Neva; 1875, Cuckoo; 1876, Neva, and now again by the same boat. This is no less than the thirteenth victory of the Neva this season, out of eighteen starts.”



FREEMAN’S JOURNAL (Dublin) - Thursday 19 July 1877 - “THE KINGSTOWN REGATTA - Yesterday the Kingstown Regatta - or, as it has been so often called in the newspapers, the great aquatic carnival of the Dublin season, took place.... The weather opened sufficient to try the temper of any yachtsman.... The sky was quite murky, but not a breath of wind stirred the flags to show the distinguishing colours of the several yachts.... The breath of air that prevailed was southerly. The day was splendid for the landfolks, some thousands of land sailors being mixed up with the large number of petticoats along the East Pier... Every inch of available canvas being set aloft, at 10.30 the competition commenced for- HER MAJESTY’S CUP, value £100; open to yachts belonging to members of any Royal Club.

The competitors were:- Corinne, schooner, 60, 96; Cuckoo, yawl, 92, 74; Chanticleer, yawl, 122, 98; Neva, cutter, 62 [only]; Cythera, cutter, 110; Australia, schooner, 207, 125; Lufra, yawl, 207, 157; Jullinar (sic), 126, 101; Tamesis, schooner, 138, 83.

The Columbine did not start... Every available inch of canvas was spread on both yawls, schooners, and cutters at the outset. The lot were started outside the harbour. On the announcement to go being given Cythera was the first to cross the line, Jullinar second, Corinne, Neva, Cuckoo, Lufra, Tamesis, and Australia in the order named... Neva and Australia were out in the bay, and had to go about on the port tack when getting up to the start... The lot continued on starboard tack. Jullinar, Australia, and Tamesis ran out into the bay before going about, while the others ran into Scotsman’s Bay. Some beating took place before the Muglins flag-boat was rounded, after which the lot then got into order, and settled down, with the Cythera in first place... It was then a close haul for the Kish Lightship, which had to be rounded three times before the conclusion of the match. From the Muglins flag-boat to the Kish it was an easy reach, and the cutters continued to leave the schooners in the rear. Cythera rounded the Kish at six minutes and eleven seconds after noon, Lufra being ten minutes and eight seconds behind her, Jullinar next in order, then Chanticleer, after which came Neva, the schooners pulling up the rear. Spinnakers were got out on the starboard hand after the Kish was cleared for the run to Rosebeg mark, the Cythera increasing her lead. Balloon sails were then stowed for the reach to the South Bar mark. It then became a matter of beating to get in by the East Pier mark-boat.... the East Pier being passed in the following order:- Cythera 1h.46m.42s; Lufra 1h.56m.43s; Neva 1h.57m.47s; Chanticleer 1h.58m.28s; Jullinar 2h.1m.57s; Cuckoo 2h.3m.10s; Australia 2h.9m.45s; Corinne 2h.20m.2s; Tamesis 2h.27m.10s.

The four latter were completely out of the match. The others, after beating out, hugged the land in order to escape any effect the ebbing tide might have on them. On the second round the wind freshened up, bringing with it a drizzling rain, which continued only a short time. The same tactics were continued, the wind getting more favourable for the big ones, but they were unable to overhaul the Cythera. The second round was finished at:- Cythera 3h.46m.22s; Lufra 3h.57m.32s; Neva 4h.4m.20s; Jullaner (sic) 4h.7m.50s; Chanticleer 4h.9m.40s; Australia 4h.12m.25s; Cuckoo 4h.16m.20s.

No change from this took place; the concluding time being:- Cythera (winner) 6h.3m.19s; Lufra 6h.14m.10s; [No time given for Neva] Jullanar (sic) 6h.27m.43s; Australia 6h.39m.0s.

The Neva made third place, but went about and ran into harbour before crossing the line, she being close behind Lufra.... The winner had to credit the Neva with 14 min. 15 sec. for difference of tonnage, so she had not very much time to spare.”



THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Friday 20 July 1877 - Adds... “On Tuesday evening the greatest precautions were taken on board all the vessels entered for the different events, to overhaul their spars, standing and running rigging, and to make all things ready for the coming fray. When night set in thousands promenaded the pier and jetty to enjoy the genial atmosphere... and attractive sights.... in the countless lights shown by the yachts at their moorings. It was a regular “Feast of lanterns,” as all the harbour was lit up like a ballroom. In the clubhouse ashore, and in the yachts afloat there was great festivity... In the fleet assembled in the harbour not less than a million sterling was represented, and also the results of skill, science, and of active rivalry. The sun rose on Wednesday morning in clouds of vapour, with a light breeze coming from the southward. All on board the yachts to go out in the several races were up betimes, and were hard at work getting up and setting sails, until walls of canvas were to be seen rising in the western side of the harbour.... At ten o’clock the yachts entered for the Royal Cup contest let go their moorings and began to creep out of harbour to the trysting-place. Notwithstanding their ponderous mainsails, lofty square-headed gaff-topsails, expansive jibs, and jib-topsails, steering way could be scarcely got on them, and when the noble vessels did get out they lobbed about in the sluggish sea as canvas was stretched and everything made ready for starting...”



THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER - Friday 20 July 1877 - “ROYAL IRISH YACHT CLUB REGATTA - Kingstown, Thursday. Kingstown regatta was continued to-day. There was a dead calm at the commencement, but the wind freshened from the south, and settled strong from the west.

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SOVEREIGNS. Open to all yachts belonging to members of a royal or foreign yacht club. A time race. No. 1 course, three times round. First yacht, £80; second prize, first yacht of a different rig, £40.

Corinne, Cuckoo, Chanticleer, Neva, Cythera, Lufra, and Jullanar started; Australia, Columbine, and Pantomime did not go. Cuckoo took the lead, but Jullanar overhauled her, the wind having freshened. The course was fifty miles. Jullanar finished the first round at 1h.20m.9s., Cythera being second, and Cuckoo, Lufra, and Neva following. Chanticleer and Corinne gave up, and the third round was finished by:

Jullanar (winner) 5h.46m.30s; Cythera 5h.47m.48s; Lufra 5h.49m.52s; Neva 5h.59m.8s.

Cuckoo gave up. Neva won the second prize, and lost the first by thirty seconds.”



THE TIMES -  Friday 10 August 1877 - “ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON REGATTA - [race on Thursday 9 August 1877] - There was a magnificent breeze inside the Wight, and a better time for cutters could not have been found... The Vol-au-Vent in this match established her reputation as the fastest cutter afloat... she beat the Kriemhilda by upwards of four minutes and Neva by 27 minutes... Course, The New Queen’s - viz., from Cowes Road to mark boat off Lepe, thence to the Warner Light Ship, and return twice round.”



THE TIMES - Saturday 11 August 1877 - “SOUTHAMPTON YACHT CLUB REGATTA - [race on Friday 10 August 1877] - A very fine cutter match for the Club Cup, value £100,  was sailed from Southampton round the Brambles and back, twice round this course; distance, 44 miles. There was a nice westerly breeze in the Solent, and there some very fine sailing was witnessed..... Vol-au-Vent led down Southampton Water, Kriemhilda being second, Neva third, then Lulworth and the rest of the mixed up flight astern..... Vol-au-Vent beat the rest of the fleet on every point of sailing..... but a calm in Southampton Water upset her fine sailing, and Neva by sheer good fortune took the prize. The order of arrival was:- Vol-au-Vent, Kriemhilda, Neva, Myosotis, Norma, Bloodhound, Britannia. Lulworth and Glance gave up.”



THE TIMES - Wednesday 15 August 1877 - “ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB - [race on Tuesday 14 August 1877] - The proceedings at the opening day of the racing were doubtless very pleasant to the spectators who crowded the pier at Ryde.... But the weather was a mortification to the hearts of yachtsmen and very soon put all the heavy yachts which had to give time to the smaller ones out of the races.... The prize for cutters was soon seen to lie between the Vol-au-Vent and the Neva.... R.V.Y.C. PRIZES of £90, for cutters of 40 tons and upwards, belonging to any Royal Yacht Club. Long Victoria Course; Time race; Y.R.A. scale. First prize, £75; second prize, £15. A very pretty field presented itself for this race.... The interest mainly concentrated in the competition between the Vol-au-Vent and the Neva, both fleet-footed racers, the chances of the smaller cutter, otherwise small, considering the state of the wind, being considered good, seeing that Colonel Markham’s craft had to allow it 12 minutes and a half. The Vol-au-Vent showed an immense square gaff topsail, and was the first to make the running, being followed on the weather beam by the Britannia, the Neva being in close attendance.... On the run down from the Nab, they passed the pier in the following positions:- Vol-au-Vent, Neva, Norman, Bloodhound, Britannia, and Psyche..... [Neva 8 minutes behind Vol-au-Vent]... As the wind did not improve...t here is little likelihood of the races being finished before midnight. But, as the Miranda and the Vol-au-Vent are far ahead in their several competitions, there is little doubt that they will take first prizes.”



THE TIMES - Thursday 16 August 1877 - “The race for the Royal Victoria yacht prizes and the Vice-Commodore’s Cup on Thursday did not terminate until early yesterday morning in consequence of the almost unbroken calm that set in. Most of the yachts gave up the contests and were towed to their moorings. The race for cutters was won by Vol-au-Vent (first prize of £75), which came in at half-past 1 o’clock, the Neva, which finished at 45 minutes past one, taking the second prize of £15.”

Also - ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB - “The second day’s racing, though confined to a single prize, showed an immense improvement upon the sport of the previous day.... THE TOWN CUP.... Long Victoria Course...the Neva took part....[The yachts] finished the first half of the distance, thus passing the pier...The Corinne and the Neva did not pass, having got entangled rounding the western mark, and withdrew from the contest, and the Ada passed with a protest flag in her shrouds.”


                     Miranda, Vol-au-Vent,        Nab Lightship,                 Ada,          Florinda,               Neva



THE TIMES - Monday 20 August 1877 - ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB REGATTA - race on Saturday 18 August 1877 - “The Ryde week came to a close.” Neva was entered for the Commodore’s Cup but did not start.



THE TIMES - Tuesday 21 August 1877 - ROYAL ALBERT YACHT CLUB REGATTA - race on Monday 20 August 1877 - “The weather [on] the opening day of the regatta, was again “most fair, most bright”, with, however, occasional heavy falls of rain. In the early part of the day the wind blew almost directly west, but afterwards shifted to the south-west and the south. The result was that there was a great deal of reaching, the races being rapidly fought out. There were four matches altogether in the day’s programme. The principal was for the Royal Albert Cup, value £100. It resulted in a series of disasters, for, although six vessels displayed their colours at the start, only two, the Neva and the Christine, continued to the end, the former winning very easily. The details are as follows:- THE ALBERT CUP, value £100, for cutters of 40 tons and upwards  belonging to the Royal Albert Yacht Club. Time allowance. Course - Twice round the New Albert Course.... Immediately the starting gun was fired the cutters passed the line in capital order, The Norman leading, closely followed by the Neva and the Myosotis, the Kriemhilda making a good fourth. Spinnakers were at once boomed out on the port side and the racers ran towards Cowes.... At the quarantine hulks the Myosotis and Neva were leading yachts, having immediately behind them the Bloodhound and the Norman. The Neva passed through the lee of Bloodhound, but soon after came to grief, having the misfortune to ground on the Ryde Sand. After a little delay, however, she got off, and displayed some remarkable sailing qualities. The Bloodhound, which followed in the wake of the Neva, was even more unfortunate, for, being also shoaled, she was left high and dry with the tide, and henceforth dropped out of the race. For a time the Myosotis and the Norman had the sailing all to themselves, but only for a time, for the Neva, having shaken herself from the shoal, soon gained upon them.... In the reach to the starting vessel the Neva came to the front with the wind so full on her port side that her rails amidships were lippering. Outside the Horse Sand some dodging occurred between the Norman and the Myosotis... the manoeuvre proved fatal... The wind proving too much for the upper gear of the Myosotis, her topmast and gaff-topsail came down with a run, and so crippled her that she withdrew. The yachts passed the mark vessel on the completion of half the distance as follows:- Neva 1h.11m.39s; Norman 1h.16m.46s; Christine 1h.22m.30s; Kriemhilda 1h.40m.59s.

With a nip aft of the sheet, each cutter luffed up after passing the starting vessel, and tacked away down channel.... Henceforward the race tailed off, the Neva leading by more than three miles.... As already stated, the Bloodhound grounded on Ryde Sands, the Kriemhilda withdrew from want of wind, the Myosotis lost her topmast off the Horse Sand, and the Norman, having carried away her bobstay, and thus being deprived of the use of her head sails, subsequently abandoned the contest... The Neva tacked round the Nab for the second time at 3h.37m.20s., the Christine rounding at 4h.5m. Each reached away for the Warner under mainsails, gaff topsails, foresail, and jib; then, easing sheets and hoisting jib topsails, came down off the wind, passing the starting vessel thus;- Neva, 4h.23m.37s; Christine, 4h.55m.14s. The Neva thus won the cup, with more than 20 minutes to spare.”



THE TIMES - Friday 24 August 1877 - “ROYAL DORSET YACHT CLUB - [race on Thursday 23 August 1877] - MATCH from Cowes to Weymouth, keeping the Main Needles Channel.... Flying start.... Very favourable weather prevailed for the Channel match from Cowes to Weymouth... The Vol-au-Vent kept well up in the front rank to the end, but the first prize was well won by Latona from the Ada and Florinda, and the Vol-au-Vent obtained a signal victory over the Kriemhilda and Neva.... The times of arrival were as follows:- Latona (winner) 5h.17m.56s; Ada 5h.27m.0s; Florinda 5h.27m.47s; Vol-au-Vent (winner cutters) 5h.29m.30s; Jullanar 5h.42m.50s; Kriemhilda 5h.45m.35s; Neva 5h.58m.45s; Corinne (winner schooners) 6h.10m.40s.”



DAILY NEWS (LONDON) - Saturday 1 September 1877 - “ROYAL DARTMOUTH YACHT CLUB REGATTA - Dartmouth, Friday night. Favoured with splendid weather, the annual regatta of the above-named club was held yesterday, and was one of the most successful in every respect that has been held for many years. A strong breeze from the west blew throughout the whole of the day, and some magnificent racing was witnessed. There were three races, as follows:

The Royal Dartmouth Challenge Cup, value £100 (now held by the Raven yawl), open to all yachts of all rigs, to be won three times by the same yacht. In addition, three prizes of £30 each, and the gold medal of the club, value 10 guineas, for the winning yacht of each rig. Three times round.

Jullanar, yawl, 127 tons, Mr. D. Maclean; Corinne, schooner, 162 tons, Mr. N. Wood; Vol-au-Vent, cutter, 163 tons, Col. Markham; Neva, cutter, 62 tons, Mr. R. Borwick; Raven, yawl, 50 tons, Lieut.-Col. Sterling.

Precisely at 10.30 the start, which was a flying one, was made from Dartmouth range. The Neva and Jullanar, and Vol-au-Vent went away together, the others being some minutes behind. In passing the committee boat, the schooner was the only vessel that did not carry a topsail, and she kept far to windward, which course was shortly afterwards followed by the others. Raven being the leeward-most boat. Raven was then leading, Neva being second, Vol-au-Vent third, and Corinne last. The latter, however, was the first to reach the S.W. mark, Jullanar being only thirty seconds astern. Neva, Vol-au-Vent, and Raven followed, there being about a minute to spare between them. The yachts then hoisted their jib topsails, Corinne carrying in addition her maintopmast stays. The breeze at this time was very fresh, and it was noticed that the Jullanar was gaining quickly upon the schooner; indeed, before many minutes the large yawl succeeded in passing her to windward. During the run from the east mark to the mark off the committee boat, the Corinne was obliged to tack, being unable to weather the latter, and consequently lost much time. The Vol-au-Vent passed the Neva before the finish of the first round, and passed the committee boat nearly a minute in advance. The Raven, although the last to pass, was well within her time, and on going out to the second round gradually gained upon the Neva. The time of completing the first round was -

Jullanar 12h.5m.0s; Corinne 12h.6m.20s; Vol-au-Vent 12h.9m.25s; Neva 12h.10m.10s; Raven 12h.14m.25s.

During the second round nothing of any material interest occurred excepting that the Jullanar continued to increase the distance between herself and her opponents. The times were:

Jullanar 1h.34m.5s; Corinne 1h.40m.25s; Vol-au-Vent 1h.44m.58s; Neva 1h.53m.30s.

The Raven gave up at the end of this round, which she completed at five minutes after two. The conclusion of the race was as follows:

Jullanar 3h.10m.40s; Corinne 3h.17m.5s; Vol-au-Vent 3h.19m.30s; Neva 3h.28m.27s.

The Jullanar accordingly won the challenge cup and yawl prize, whilst the Corinne took the schooner prize, and the Neva the cutter prize, the latter beating the Vol-au-Vent by time allowance.”






Name of Ship; NEVA

Official Number; 71685. Port of Registry; Glasgow

Port No. and Date of Register; Blank

Registered Tonnage; 39

Managing Owner; Robert Barwick Esq., Chiswell St., London

Master; Lemon Cranfield, Rowhedge. Certificate; Nil

Date of Commencement and Termination of Half-year; 1.7.77 - 31.12.77

“Cruising round the coast of Gt. Britain”

G.R.&R.O. Received 23 JAN 78

All men “Same ship (Neva) as last return”, discharged 20.9.77 at Rowhedge. No dates of joining.

LEMON CRANFIELD age 36, born Donyland, Essex. Master.

STEPHEN CRANFIELD age 32, born Donyland, Essex. Mate.

JOSEPH EAGLE age 22, born Brightlingsea. Steward.

JOSEPH BROWN age 36, born Donyland, Essex. Cook.

ARTHUR BARNARD age 25, born Bosham, Sussex. A.B.

JESSE CRANFIELD age 24, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

JAMES WATSON age 22, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

JAMES SIMONS age 21, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

WILLIAM CRANFIELD age 22, born Donyland, Essex. A.B.

Received at Colchester the 16 day of January 1878.

I Declare the above Account to be true. Signed Lemon Cranfield, Master.





THE YACHTSMAN - 15 December 1892  - “ By “Flagboat” - THAT REMINDS ME - The dead heat between Iverna and Meteor at Hunter’s Quay last July [1892] was, of course, the nearest thing “on record,” but there have been instances of what are practically as close finishes. At the regatta of the Royal Northern Yacht Club, for instance, at Rothesay in 1876, after sailing a hard match all day Neva won from Cuckoo by one bare second only, chiefly owing to the masterly manner in which Lemon Cranfield sailed his vessel on the “distance” from Largs back to Rothesay. He knew it was a desperately close thing, and tacking to fetch the winning mark-boat at the exact spot to a foot he just snatched the prize from his big opponent. It was a masterly bit of racing seamanship, but at that time Lemon Cranfield could never go wrong..... I think that no course has been so productive of sensational races as the one down Swin, or vice versa, and perhaps one of the most remarkable took place on June 4, 1878, from Harwich to Southend. This was Formosa’s [Lemon Cranfield] first race, and naturally more than usual interest was taken in the match on that account. At the start there was but little wind from S.S.E., but by the time the yachts got to the West Rocks it had shifted round to W.S.W., blowing fresh. Getting away well, Formosa soon established a long lead, and getting to Southend in time to save tide, which jammed those astern of her, she finished 1 hour, 40 min. 28 sec. ahead of Jullanar, the next boat in.

Of course, such a performance as this could not have been true, but it gave rise to great expectations, which, however, Formosa never realised, as although she always sailed a good vessel, I do not think she was ever quite as good as her older sister, Vol-au-Vent; and certainly the latter at wind-jamming in light winds and smooth water, at any rate, was her master.

 The famous old Pantomime only met the equally famous Miranda [Lemon Cranfield] twice, and both times it was over the Swin course, in 1880, when she belonged to the late Mr. A.O. Wilkinson. On the first occasion it was in the race from Southend to Harwich in a light, paltry wind, and after sailing a good race all, Pantomime finished nearly ten minutes ahead of Miranda, Fiona being the only other schooner engaged. The return match was sailed three days later in a strong north-easterly breeze, and resulted in a hard-sailed race. Pantomime never steered well after the improvements effected to her at the Gosport Yard, and as they bore up round the Cork Lightship she narrowly escaped a serious foul, getting out of it all right, but more by luck than anything else, as she would not bear up without describing a large circle. However, more was to come later on in the race. From the West Rocks it was a reach to Swin Middle, and Pantomime picking Miranda up, was doing right well up to there, and looked like getting through her lee. Before getting to the Lightship sheets were well flattened in on board Miranda, as, after passing the Lightship, it would then be a close haul to Black Tail and a turn to windward to the finish. For a certain reason, which George Cranfield, who was in charge of Pantomime, will well remember, this was not done on board her, the consequence being, of course, that she sagged away to leeward, and not only did Miranda leave her fast, but Fiona, which had been far astern, passed her. The finishing flagboat at Southend was placed so close to the pier that there was but little room to pass between them, and the big Australia got ashore in trying to do so. But Pantomime had, for the second time that day, a lucky escape from a most serious accident. Before tacking for the mark Pantomime rather overstood herself, and, in addition, having to luff up a bit to clear a coasting vessel, and refusing to answer her helm quickly, she was heading straight for the pier, which was pretty well crowded with spectators, and it looked a hundred to one on a terrible smash taking place. I was standing close beside George Cranfield at the time and he said very quietly, “We’ll be into the pier unless we go ashore.” “Well,” I said, “the mud looks softer than the pier does so we had better run her on to it.” No sooner said than done - George Cranfield never hesitated long in those days - and he ran her full tilt on to the mud close alongside the pier. No damage was done, but at the time it looked ugly, and in the hands of a nervous, or less determined man the results would doubtless have been disastrous, and probably fatal, as had the yacht struck the pier going at the speed she had on she would have smashed herself, and her masts would probably have fallen on to, and swept the pier. The two daughters of the owner were on board at the time, but the whole affair happened so quickly that it was all over before anyone had time to realise the danger. Mr. Wilkinson never raced the Pantomime again, nor has she ever been seen in a match since.... An instance of the glorious uncertainty of yacht racing took place at Plymouth at the Royal Western Regatta. There was very little wind all day, and although it was four o’clock when the big cutters finished the second round they were sent round again. The consequence was that they got becalmed and did not finish till after 11 o’clock at night. At the Mallard Buoy the last time Neva was so close to Vol-au-Vent that she nearly drifted on to her, but the wind was so feeble that although Vol-au-Vent was never more than a couple of hundred yards ahead she finished ten minutes before Neva and took first prize.

However, next year Neva had her revenge in the match from the Nore to Dover. There were no fewer than seventeen starters (Oh, what times those were!) and amongst them Vol-au-Vent, who was going to windward in the light wind and smooth water in a manner at that time at any rate, unequalled, was over seventeen minutes ahead of Neva at the East Goodwin, and of course was all safe for the prize so far as she was concerned, and as Vol-au-Vent had a long lead of everything else, the £11 prize looked as good as in her locker. However, near the South Sands Heads the wind died away, and Neva with her usual luck (or good guidance) crept up close to Vol-au-Vent, and as they all got a N.N.E. wind, giving them a run to Dover, on which point of sailing Neva was as fast as anything then afloat, she managed to save her time on Vol-au-Vent by just over a minute, and so secured the prize. It was rather amusing as on board Neva that day was a well-known shipbuilder, who was very low-spirited when Vol-au-Vent was so far ahead at the East Goodwin. We tried to cheer him by telling him we might have another start before the day was over (we had wonderful faith in Neva’s luck in those days), and when the fluke - ahem! I mean luck - came he seemed to look upon us as prophets.

What an extraordinary lucky vessel Neva was! Whether it was all luck or sometimes good judgment, so long as Lemon Cranfield had charge of her she never seemed to go wrong when leaving the others in a race.  On one occasion - at Barrow - in a fresh breeze of wind it looked a certainty for Jullanar, as there was a good deal of turning to windward and plenty of sea. But Mr. MacLeay’s famous yawl lay a wrong course out to the Morecambe Bay Lightship, and having to make a rather long board to weather it, Neva, which had hit it off nicely, fetched round full and bye, and gained so much that Jullanar, fast as she was under such circumstances, could not save her time, and the Fairlie flyer took the prize...."

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