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The Result of a Luffing Match

Major collection: Hart Nautical
Named collection: Arthur H. Clark Collection
Object type: print
Maker: The Illustrated London News
Place made: United Kingdom, Greater London, London
Date made: 1880
Materials: ink; paper
Measurements: 23 1/2 in x 19 3/4 in
Nomenclature: luffing; yachts; British
Classification: racing

A partially intact illustration from 'The Illustrated London News' depicting two damaged cutter yachts from a luffing match. In a luffing match, one yacht is overtaking another and on the point of passing her to windward (going toward where the wind is coming from) in which the overtaken yacht prevents her doing so by luffing (going on the other tack). When both yachts sail away on the new tack, it is called "a luffing match." A good luff is usually simply a threatening gesture, but in this case the yacht in the left background tore her sails.