The Greatest Race, Endeavour vs Rainbow, 1934 by Montague Dawson



Title

The Greatest Race, Endeavour vs Rainbow, 1934

Artist

Montague Dawson

Ref GM302
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size
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Overall Size 26" x 18" (64 x 44 cm)
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Description  
During the unrivalled dominance of the New York Yacht Club, no vessel came closer to winning the America’s Cup from its owners than the Endeavour. She was one of the most stunning yachts of the J Class era: created by the master designer Charles Nicholson for the Royal Yacht Squadron, her speed became legendary, and she was tipped by many to prevail over the Rainbow of Harold Vanderbilt in the America’s Cup of 1934. Sure enough, she stormed to spectacular victories in the first two races of the series, breaking the course record in the second. She made a similarly impressive start in the third race, and seemed unstoppable; but the intervention of master helmsman Sherman Hoyt turned the course of the race, resulting in an American win by a margin of more than three minutes. It was the fourth race which was to prove the Endeavour’s undoing. Having again taken an important lead, she found herself overtaken in an illegal manoeuvre by the American boat. She duly raised a protest flag as she approached the lines; however, in contrast to British conventions, the NYYC rules stated that a protest flag must be displayed at the time of the incident concerned, and the race was awarded to the Rainbow. Their morale broken, the British crew crashed to defeat in the final two races: one of yachting’s greatest encounters had ended in another American victory. The America’s Cup dates from 1851, when the Marquess of Anglesey donated a cup for the Royal Yacht Squadron’s annual regatta. This event marked the beginning of the NYYC’s supremacy: as the schooner America won the 16-yacht event by a margin of 20 minutes, Queen Victoria asked who was second, to be met with the reply, “There is no second, your Majesty.” The Cup was donated to the NYYC by the America’s owners in 1857, and here it was to remain until the Australian victory in 1983: in all the winning streak stretched to 132 years, making it the longest, in any competition, in sporting history. This race, perhaps the most thrilling of that period, is here breathtakingly immortalised by one of the world’s finest marine painters.