This illuminated address was presented to Mark Foy Esquire by members of the Sydney Flying Squadron Yacht Club on 16 February 1892. It features five watercolour vignettes of open boats of Sydney Harbour, featuring REGINA, MANTURA, VOLUNTEER and LOTTIE. This testimonial wishes Foy good fortune on his departure for Europe and showing the largest class, the 24-footers on the harbour. Foy travelled widely and remained a staunch supporter of the Sydney Flying Squadron.
This address represents the esteem members of the Sydney Flying Squadron Yacht Club felt towards its founder, business and sporting entrepreneur Mark Foy who championed open boat racing. Open boats, or skiffs, were small beamy boats with huge sails, open decks and large crews of waterfront workers for ballast. Based on workboats from six to 24 feet (1.8–7.3 metres) long, they were a spectacle on Sydney Harbour. Skiff racing was a tough working-man’s sport. Foy introduced new rules to make the sport more lively—coloured emblems for the sails, a short triangular course with handicapped start, large prize money, and spectator ferries to follow the races—and excited ire and ridicule within the yachting establishment.