The account below has no date but would appear to be in the early 1900s, Faith being mentioned in the Club handbook for 1906. She was a 12 ton cutter but whether the good Doctors actually carried a "steward" or whether they'd taken the Club Steward on a jolly,I don't know. Note also the race times not just for the handicap system, but for the time it took to do the race for class A. This is why it was considered no mean feat to make Queenbrough on the tide! I apologise for the words containing ? , the original's part damaged.


Fred Finck.

ERITH YACHT CLUB, VESSEL STRUCK BY LIGHTNING, EXTRAORDINARY EFFECTS.


Two handicaps were brought off on Saturday last by the above named Club, being the commencement of the racing fixtures for the season. For class "A" boats the course was from Erith to the Ovens buoy, finishing at Gravesend, and prizes were offered by Messrs. Hoyes and Vining. For the second class the course was from Erith to Terrace Pier, Gravesend. Mr.T.R. Peckitt being the prize donor. Owing to the inclement weather, only a small company of members and friends witnessed the start , which was carried out under the direction of Mr.J.Streeten. The wind at the time was fair. Respecting the big class, six boats competed, the handicaps being as follow: Mr.A.I.Gaze's Lady Georgiana and Mr.F.Hole's
Knockabout, scratch; Mr.J.Stone's Virago 1 min. ;Mr.J. Lloyd's Bird o' Freedom, Mr.G.Hall's Volante and Drs. Ganney and Williams Faith, 3 min. A good start was effected at 3.15. The wind proved very variable. It got to ESE, but but half way down all the south went out of it, and it slapped round west , bringing a heavy thunderstorm with it. The lightning struck Faith inflicting damage. During the storm Knockabout forged ahead , and led round the Ovens, Lady Georgiana second and Volante third, but in the off chances which prevailed in working up to the finish Virago slipped in and took first prize, at 7h. 14min. 50 sec. ;Bird o'Freedom gaining second award, 7h.16 min. 30 sec. ; and Volante third, at7h. 17 min. 40 sec. In the second class the vessels competing were four in number, viz., Mr.C . Barham's Odd Trick, scratch; Mr. H.N. Lloyd's Sea Gull, 5 min, ; Miss Stone's Nellie, 7 min, ; and Mr.E.G. Hasselhuin's Maola, 14. min. The start was at three o'clock. Maola was too previous in crossing the line and was recalled. Odd Trick had it all her own way and won at 4h. 40min. 15sec., beating Sea Gull by 6 min., Nellie being third ? min. later. Mr.J.Wood-Jiggins was the officer of the day at Gravesend and was an Erith member.

As to the mishap to Faith, those aboard must consider themselves fortunate in escaping injury. They were four in number - Ganney and Williams ( the owners ), Mr W.E. Nicoll ( secretary of Woolwich Electricity Co.), and the steward. Dr.Ganney was at the helm, and the boat was going down on th port tack, when a sudden flash of lightning followed by a terrific burst of thunder, struck the mast, tearing the flag into shreds. It split the truck and the starboard topmast stay; then, passing down; it dislocated a tank containing 50 gallons of water and entering the cabin scorched the roof and walls, while some of the timber caught fire. Every piece of crockery in the small pantry was broken, and a number of eggs exploded " like torpedoes." The content of the eggs bespattered the steward from head to foot, and he was completely knocked out of the cabin by the concussion caused by the lightning striking the boat. The fire was quickly put out. The occupants felt effects of the shock. It was at first thought that one of the Tilbury fort guns had fired on the yacht by accident.



   
© Erith Yacht Club