A premier resident artist of New Bedford, Gifford excelled at depicting the many unique faces of the sea and those characters whom sought their recreations and livelihoods upon the salt water. In a atmosphere of driven breeze and fading daylight, five yachts compete to round the mark and head for a finish line, dry clothes and a warm mug.
Into the fray, several veteran sailors are sharply challenged in bringing their solo and paired vessels around the Red Buoy mark in this racing scene. The fierce wind drives some to great speed, and offers a dose of heavy handed resistence, making the simple concept of coming round a matter for split second timing and observation. The cutter and sloop rigs are pushed deep into the troughs, and its unlikely that there is a dry foot in the whole regatta.
Gifford still manages on a deeply clouded day to bring forth a luminous glow. It is easy to sense that the finish line is closer to port, and their the sun is still bright and warm, so each racer should make haste, for glory and comfort. The mast tops show racing colors, so they will be recognizable to observers and each other. The flock of sea gulls, enjoying the sport and the strong breeze, seem to be encouraging the sailors and their ships onward.
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