"The Great Transatlantic Race of 1866."

"The Great Transatlantic Race of 1866."
The great transatlantic race of 1866 began on December 11th, 1866 on a cool clear day with a fresh westerly breeze.
In the foreground is the "Henrietta", the final winner of the race. On the left hand side, under cloud shadow, is the "Fleetwing", with "Vesta" on the right hand side of the painting. A very large spectator fleet accompanied the 3 racing schooners, after the start off Sandy Hook, New York. On the left hand side a tug is just turning to head back to New York, giving the racing yachts a farewell 'whistle blast' of steam. The sea is already starting to 'build' and "Henrietta" is shown veering to starboard as her bow lifts onto the top of a wave. Her sails cast long shadows to leeward and the water appears very dark, both caused by the low winter sun. On the left hand side sunlight reflects off the waves. All the yachts are flying square sails from their foremasts, spinnakers not having been invented then. "Henrietta's" staysail is being 'backwinded' by her foresail and squaresail.
"Henrietta" finished off the Needles on Christmas day, after a very fast passage taking 13 days 21 hours and 55 minutes and winning the 'winner take all' purse of $90,000. "Fleetwing" and then "Vesta" finished shortly after on 26th December.

"Henrietta" was owned by James Gordon Bennett and skippered by Samuel "Bully" Samuels ( of the famous record-breaking Red Cross Line packet "Dreadnought). She was 107 ft. LOA.
"Fleetwing" was owned by George A. Osgood and was 106 ft. LOA.
"Vesta" was owned by Pierre Lorillard Jnr. and was 105 ft. LOA.
Dimensions36" x 48"
MediaOil on canvas


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