Fitzroy Lloyd, in 1911 now the newly appointed Commodore of Shanghai Yacht Club, had been a keen racer with his day boat Atlantic III and clearly planned to broaden this with his new cruising yacht, Ethel L (now Eveline). She entered many races in 1911 and 1912 and won some.
After this she is never seemingly featured as having entered any races, possibly it being decided she was better used as a cruising or coastal yacht, even though subsequent owners were clearly active sailors and probably also racers.
There were several particularly interesting newspaper reports in the North China Herald on her during her short racing career. One described in detail a 40 mile coastal passage race outside the bar down from Woo Sung carried out in gale force conditions when she was clearly beaten by her competitor not just in sailing techniques but in her handling. Eveline was complimented on her sea handling capabilities under the severest of weathers, that she was less wet on deck, more buoyant and decidedly drier even if a little slowed by her bluffer bows, that she was a “perfect sea boat” and if she had been 5 foot longer with proper complement of ballast she would be a very fast boat. It also appears, as still can be the case with the present owner, that in this race the owner tacked too early when rounding a critical mark and also did not carry a proper complement of sails omitting in particular to have a “balloon jib”.
It appears much of the racing was often done under stormy conditions and one North China Herald report says that that whilst racing under heavy winds that Eveline, with her spinnaker still up, was obliged to gybe round the gunboat mark and “the gybe was so hard that even the cook had to help on the mainsheet.”
Another described her participation and victory in the Club’s first Corinthian Cup in 1911. This was organized by Fitzroy as Commodore so one wonders whether there might not have been some facilitation bearing in mind her limited successes before. Be that as it may, such a cup required yachts to be crewed only by amateurs and not professional crew and this could have made a difference as it was reported she raced well “with a heavy spread of canvas for the strong wind “ to emerge victorious. After this race the North China Herald reported that “A reception was held by the Commodore on board Ethel L which held 68 members very comfortably on her main deck and was much admired for her comfort and size.” This comment remains valid even today!
Following Eveline’s restoration by its present owners, her first real outing under sail for any distance was in the 1998 Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta where in her first race she succeeded in coming in to Lumut on completion of her first leg some 12-24 hours after the other yachts.
As the crew familiarized themselves with her rig and handling, aided by the rudder being materially enlarged to give better steering and tacking, she has gone on to win (or be placed regularly) in many regattas, despite the organisers’ challenges in establishing fair handicapping on a yacht of such age and character.
Wins and places have been recorded in races in virtually every Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta she entered since 1998 with racing becoming more competitive since the organizers introduced a vintage class in addition to a classic class. She has raced in Thailand’s King’s Cup and Malaysia’s Royal Langkawi International Regatta, being placed 2nd or 3rd in some races.
She has also entered Thailand’s Phang Nga Regatta, Malaysia’s Pangkor Laut Cup and Singapore’s Merdeka Day Classic Race as a participant to enjoy the camaraderie of other classic yachts and sailors.