Document No 4996: Yankee, Britannia and Endeavour racing in the Solent off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes in the summer of 1935

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AUTEUR : Richard M. Firth

REF : 0

EDITION : 1934

DATE : 1935



signed 'RICHARD M FIRTH' (lower right) and further signed and inscribed 'Yankee, Britannia and Endeavour/Racing on the Solent off/The Royal Yacht Squadron 1935/R Firth' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
30 x 50 in. (76.3 x 127 cm.)

Yankee was built for Gerard B. Lambert of Boston by G. Lawley at Neponset, Massachusetts, in 1930. Designed by Paine, Belknap & Skene, she was classed as a sloop but was extensively refitted to comply with the prevailing J-class rules when her owner accepted an invitation to race her at Cowes in the 1935 season. As it was King George V's Silver Jubilee that year, Cowes attracted an even greater throng than usual of notable yachts and there were many memorable races.

Britannia, arguably the most famous racing cutter of them all, was extremely successful throughout her long life and even though she was re-rigged seven times in all, her hull shape was so efficient that she remained competitive almost to the end. Starting with 33 wins in 39 races during her maiden season, she enjoyed two brilliant but quite separate careers under first, the Prince of Wales (1893-97), and then his son, King George V, after 1921. The latter grew so attached to her that, under the terms of his will, she was scuttled after his death in 1936 following the removal of all her salvageable gear.

Endeavour was designed by Charles Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholson at Gosport in 1934. Ordered by Mr. T.O.M. "Tommy" Sopwith to mount a challenge for the America's Cup, she displaced 143 tons and measured 129 feet in length with a 22 foot beam. Despite her slightly larger spread of canvas, she failed to wrest the 'Auld Mug' from the American defender Rainbow even though Endeavour was acknowledged to be the faster boat. Fortunately she is one of the handful of great yachts from that golden pre-war era which has survived and, fully restored, she is now in American ownership.

A keen yachtsman, Richard Firth competed in the second leg (from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town) of The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2011 onboard the 68 foot yacht Gold Coast.


Autorisation en cours
Christie's 1286 765
Christie's 3200 1912