Cobb Painting Detail

Tally Ho and La Goleta approaching the Fastnet Rock, by David Cobb RSMA

Readers may know that I am implicated in The Albert Strange Association, the fan club for the Victorian & Edwardian artist, yacht designer, sailor and writer. Over the years the ASA has worked to preserve the output and memory of this remarkable man, and today we face our greatest challenge—and you can help.

In 1909 the trawler fleet owner Charles Hellyer (Viola was one of his vessels) commissioned a 47ft cutter Betty to be used for cruising and fishing, and she found fame in 1927, under new ownership, and as Tally Ho—by winning the Fastnet Race, in conditions which caused all but two boats to retire. She went on to a life of family cruising, spent some time in the south Pacific where she was wrecked on a reef, ingeniously recovered and repaired, and ended her career, improbably, as a longline fishing vessel, operating under engine only, out of Brookings Harbor in Oregon on the US west coast.

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After years of abandonment at Brookings she was adopted in 2009 by a local retired fisherman and boatbuilder, Manuel Lopez, who began restoring her. Sadly he died a year later, at which point the ASA stepped in to take ownership and pay her storage charges ashore at Brookings. Notice has now been served that she must vacate the premises by the end of June this year or be broken up; we are redoubling our efforts to find that individual or organisation with the funds and imagination to get her back into commission, once more sailing ‘steady as a church’, as she was described during the gales and heavy seas of the 1927 Fastnet. 2025 is the centenary of the Fastnet Race, and 2027 the centenary of Tally Ho‘s win—both alluring targets for a restoration richly deserved by both the vessel and her designer, Albert Strange.
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Our immediate concern is to get Tally Ho back to the UK where she is most likely to find a future, and we have a ‘crowdfunding’ scheme in operation to that end. Please visit her web page for further details and to contribute, if you can, to her recovery.