The Derwent Class (or D’s as they have become affectionately known) began racing with the Derwent Sailing Squadron in 1927. The culmination of a design competition for a One Design Yacht, personally instigated by Mr E H Webster, then DSS Squadron President.
Launched on the 16th of October 1928, Gnome was built at Percy Coverdale’s yard at Battery Point for Mr Walter B Taylor. Gnome was the 2nd of the class launched, and Mr Taylor raced and continued ownership of her until around 1959. She continued racing under various owners and remains the oldest “D” actively sailing and racing today. The Derwent Class raced within their own division at the DSS until the 1989/90 sailing season when the last class championship pennant was awarded Gnome was the ‘D’ Class champion numerous times. The current owners are fortunate, due to the generosity of some previous owners, including the family of Mr Taylor, to have 3 of the original championship pennants won by Gnome for the 1935/36, 1946/47, 1947/48 sailing seasons.
The Derwent Class has a long and colourful history associated with yachting in Hobart, some of this history and information on the ‘s including references to”Gnome” can be found in the following publications;
“EBBS & FLOWS” A Short History of the Derwent Sailing Squadron 1906 – 2006
YACHTS of the DERWENT in Old Picture Postcards
Those that Survive – Vintage and Veteran Boats of Tasmania
A Hundred Years Of Yachting