A catamaran race at Madras – 1871

I found this fascinating newspaper clip while digging through the archives at collectbritain.co.uk. It is a news paper report about a catamaran race held at Madras on 8 April, 1871.

source :http://collectbritain.co.uk

I have deciphered this below.

“A curious scene is displayed by a catamaran race – a novel sort of entertainment. The one depicted took place in front of Fort St. George in the midst of the city. The banks of the rive, on both sides were crowded with spectators, amongst whom were many ladies and gentlemen, in carriages or on horseback, and a great multitude of natives. It was between five and six o’clock in the afternoon. The course was from Wallajah Bridge to the Government House Bridge, about a mile and a half. Twenty Six catamarans mustered, each showing his colours in front.

The signal was given by firing a pistol, when they all started, but presently ran foul of each other, and got into confusion. The men began jabbering, and fighting with their paddles, and trying to push each other into the water, but after a while, desisted from this behaviour and finished the race. The winner arrived first by several lengths. The second and third, which had stopped to fight, came almost togethe, and the rest in a mass. Five prizes were awarded.”

The last paragraph is reminiscent of current scenes in Chennai traffic. Nothing ever changes, does it?

2 Comments so far

  1. Stephen Jacobs (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

    Of course the bias of the person writing it does come through however…

    there were ladies and gentlemen present


    and natives

    *Sigh* ;)

  2. Ravages (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

    We should ask the Sify rowing team (two memebers of which are here on board) if it is true.

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