The America's Cup Beginning. The Yacht "America" just after the start of the One Hundred Guinea Cup, which became the America's
41 x 61 cm
The Beginning of the America's Cup : The yacht America just after the start of the One Hundred Guinea Cup (which became the America's Cup) Cowes, Isle of Wight, Friday 22nd August 1851
The painting depicts the 170 ton schooner America sailing between the 205 ton schooner Wyvern (under a cloud shadow) and the large 3 masted 392 ton schooner Brilliant, on the right hand side of the painting. The 218 ton schooner Constance can be seen behind the paddle steamer on the left hand side of the painting. Astern of the Brilliant is the unofficial starter, the cutter Wildfire. With two to three tons of ballast able to be shifted from side to side, the Wildfire was unable to be included in the fleet, but actually finished ahead of America. A large variety of spectator boats surrounded the racing fleet at the start and large crowds of spectators lined the shoreline.
The schooners and cutters in the race started from anchor at 10 am, off the castle, with the cutters in a line approximately 300 metres ahead of the schooners. The castle can be seen in the background. A few years after the race this building became the home of The Royal Yacht Squadron.
The wind was light at the start, but against the west going tide and thus created rougher patches of water as seen in the foreground of the painting. The mist is clearing from the hills and it is turning into a beautiful day. Sunlight reflects from the water onto the underside of both America and Brilliant's sails. America can be seen carrying her brand new jib.The jib boom broke whilst racing past Dunnose and America finished without her flying jib. America finished first in the 100 Guineas Cup, around the island race at 8.37pm
Dunrose is a cape on the Isle of Wight