Peter Scott Painting

Painting of dinghies by Sir Peter Scott

Explanation of the Scene Depicted

This is a photograph of an 80 X 50cm painting of “dinghies racing on Lake Ontario” according to the CUCrC Annual Report of the time, which records Peter Scott’s gift of the painting in the Club’s year of 1935/36. In 1934 a team of 4 UK International 14ft dinghies and sailors (including Peter Scott), from the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk YC, went to Toronto to sail against a team from the Royal Canadian YC and a US team from Rochester YC, New York. The UK beat the US 3-0 and Canada 2-1 to take home the trophy, and Canada beat the US 2-0 (one race being abandoned due to the time limit expiring). There was also an open race for the Wilton Morse trophy which was won by Peter Scott in Eastlight. The series, which had started in 1933, went on to become an international biennial event, interrupted from 1940 to 1958 by WW II and its aftermath.

Provenance of the Painting

The picture was painted in the year after the event – presumably from memory, notes and sketches made at the time, and possibly a photograph – because Peter is shown in the race. The scene is a start (a Preparatory Signal is flying), but only 6 boats are included. The three UK boats are K290 (Lightening – John Winter); K267 (R.I.P. – Stewart Morris); and K318 (Eastlight – Peter Scott). A fourth UK boat, K322 (Canute – David Beale, not a CUCrC member), and an opposing boat are missing from the scene – possibly a deliberate omission because Scott intended the painting for the CUCrC and wished to celebrate the achievement of the CUCrC members on the team. Of the team, three helmsmen and two crews were CUCrC members, one crew was a Cambridge Rugby Blue, and one was an Oxford University YC member. Further details are given in a document accompanying the painting, also available from the Alumni Administrator, and in the Club’s archives at the University Library – along with printouts of the articles mentioned below.

International 14’s Team Racing

The origins and development of the series are a fascinating part of dinghy sailing lore, well recorded in the history section of the International 14 Class website; on pages 70-74 of ‘Uffa Fox’s Second Book’ (which gives the results of the 1934 races when Uffa was Team Manager); and in two articles on Canadian 14 history by Rob Mazza in the Royal Canadian YC ‘KWASIND’ bulletins of August and September 2013.

Some International 14 History

’14’ dinghies evolved in parallel in the UK (where the International Rule was formulated), the US, and Canada. The Canada and America’s Cup events of 1930 initiated some animated discussion, between leading sailing figures of the time, as to the relative merits of the UK, US, and Canadian 14 dinghies. The outcome was that Sir John Beale, Commodore of RN&SYC, undertook to organise what became the 1933 international team racing event at Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, Oyster Bay, New York, and then accepted the invitation for the UK to attend the1934 event at the Royal Canadian YC, Toronto.

You Can Lease This Painting to Hang on Your Wall

The painting is currently leased by former President Ian Liddell until 2018. If you are interested in leasing the painting for a period after April 2018, please contact the Alumni Administrator.