It is a quarter of a century since Mr. B de Q Quincey's name first appeared on the list of members of the Royal Canoe Club; to-day its owner is the club's popular Commodore, known and beloved by everyone as "Q". Nor does twenty-five years cover his sailing record; from a very early age to quote his own diplomatic statement of the fact, he has devoted a considerable time to sailing, and from that same early age he has been identified with canoes and canoeing. He first owned the "Rob Roy" Fleta, a boat 16ft. long with 26in. beam and "no freeboard to speak of". In her he navigated the Thames, and in another "Rob Roy" cruised in the Helford River and as far seaward as the Manacles. lt was in 1885, while cruising in a Canadian, that he first saw the racing of the Royal Canoe Club's second class at Kingston. The impression was a good one, and he joined the class, purchasing Vanessa l. (formerly lllawarra), a boat which had previously been sailed by the owner sitting down below decks and with shifting ballast. This mode of procedure was quickly discarded, as the advantages to be derived from the on-deck position were readily appreciated by two representatives which the club sent to America, and ever since the days of Vanessa I. her owner has been a staunch believer in beam and no ballast other than that supplied by centreboard and keel. In 1888 Vanessa I. gave place to Nautilus, and she met with considerable success. In all, eight Vanessas, two Atlantas, Gauntlet, Lassie, Teazer, Dragon, Genetta, and Mayfly have been owned. Nor do these complete the list.
It was the Commodore who first built to the "B" or cruising class of the Royal Canoe Club,, and in Mayfly he now owns perhaps the fastest of the fleet. One canoe, the Snapper, was designed by him, and in 1899 she won thirty-one prizes out of thirty-four starts. In 1894 he owned the sliding-seat canoe Dragon, designed to compete against an American competitor; on five out of six occasions she was successful. At the end of 1909 the total number of prizes won was 130. In 1899, 1906, and I909 he won the silver challenge cup of his club, and in 1898 the special cup given by Sir E Lechmere. In addition to canoeing prizes he won several in canoe-yawls, and in 1894 was part owner of the Mehalah, which he successfully steered in the Whitsuntide race of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club for racers and ex-racers. The course was from Port Victoria to Erith, and after a passage of 6hrs. 20min. the winning margin was 42sec.
"Q" was an early member of the British Canoe Association, and designed its flag. In 1894 he undertook the duties of Sailing Mate of the Royal Canoe Club, subsequently being elected Captain, and, later, Commodore of the club. He is, or has been, a member of the Royal London, Royal Corinthian. Royal North of Ireland, Bembridge, Thames, Upper Thames, London, Tamesis, and Aldeburgh Yacht and Sailing Clubs. Incidentally he plays golf and is a solicitor.
reproduced by kind permission of Yachting Monthly