In October controversy arose over the B.Y.C. rule that only amateurs shall steer in races. Mr. George Pratts LURLINE was disqualified during a race in August because his ignorance of the rule led him to leave his tiller to Mr. Barker, his experienced captain, as was his wont. The following week NONA, belonging to Percy Sainsbury and L.R. Higgins, was steered by J. B. Richmond, an oyster merchant, without disqualification.
The nonsensical nature of this anomalous rule was pointed out by the yachting editor of The Field, who described Mr. Richmond as an oyster merchant who has worked the river all his life but who, as a member of the club, ranks as an amateur. He developed his theme with the comment that a man who has got his living on the water all his life and is the master of a smack cannot steer in a yacht race as an amateur!. Mr. Pratt threatened to resign. There is no further mention of LURLINE for some years so he may have carried out his threat but, as he died about eighteen months later, it is possible that ill-health accounted for her disappearance. Be that as it may, the rule was later rescinded.