"A close race. "Aurora", "Beatrice" and "America" pass Osborne House, August 22nd, 1851"

The racing yachts present a wonderful sight as they pass Osborne House, Queen Victoria's residence on the Isle of Wight. The Queen's Royal yacht, "Victoria and Albert I" is just leaving her mooring, close beneath Osborne House. A small open boat, with tan sails, is being overtaken by the fleet. To windward of "America" is the 47 ton cutter "Aurora"
( second yacht to finish after "America") and the 161 ton schooner "Beatrice". Just astern of "America" is the small white cutter, "Wildfire", (an unofficial starter because she carried moveable sand bags of ballast- but actually finished the race ahead of "America") the large 218 ton schooner "Constance" and the 60 ton cutter "Freak". The 48 ton cutter "Volante" and the 160 ton schooner "Gypsy Queen" are leading the race, just ahead of this fleet.

The race started for the yachts off The Castle, Cowes. All yachts were anchored and hoisted their sails after the starting gun. "America" had a late start after sailing over her anchor, whilst hoisting her sails. She had to drop her sails in order to retrieve her anchor first.

By the time she reached Osborne House she had already past many in the fleet of 15 yachts.

The wind has shifted from the west into the south and is increasing to a beautiful full sail breeze.
The cutters are carrying very large balloon jibs and the topsail schooners have large square foresails, held out to windward by a extra boom. Their huge mainsails are also set 'loose footed', unlike "America's", which is lashed to the main boom. "America", with her heavily raked masts, has her new extra flying jib set. The jib- boom, holding the flying jib out beyond the bowsprit broke off when the wind increased later in the race, so "America" finished the race without it. She won the 53 mile round the Isle of Wight race and the One Hundred Guinea Cup, which is now known as The America's Cup.
Dimensions26" x 40"
MediaOil on canvas


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