Flying Huntress

The sea and sailing had held a fascination for Marconi since childhood, so a commercial assignment he was asked to carry out in July 1898 must have been doubly gratifying. A highlight in the yachting calendar, the Kingstown Regatta near Dublin, was being sponsored by the Irish Daily Express newspaper, and the paper's proprietors wanted Marconi to provide minute-by-minute reports on the races. These were to be printed in special editions that would give the paper a 'running' world scoop - the first use of wireless to cover a sporting event.

Marconi hired a tug, which he fitted with a 75ft antenna, and set up a receiving station under the control of George Kemp. Throughout the proceedings some 700 news flashes were sent, at ranges of 10 to 25 miles (16-40km). For Marconi this was exhilarating and secured him astonishing publicity.

Even better, he was asked to repeat the exercise the following October, not in Irish waters but off the east coast of the United States, where the New York Herald wanted him to cover the 1899 races for the biggest yachting event of all, the America's Cup. Again he was successful and the publicity was even more spectacular. The real trophy, however, was the opportunity that this now offered for establishing a Marconi company in America.

Radio station: Communication was held between the reporting boat "Flying Huntress" fitted with the wireless telegraphy and the receiving station which in turn kept the Yacht Club and Dublin informed of the progress and details of the races.

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