The premier artist of yacht racing in the south of England, Arthur Wellington Fowles was present to capture John Jameson’s Cutter IREX winning the Cup at the Royal Albert Yacht Club Southsea Regatta in 1888. The crew and owner/captain Jameson are being saluted by three men in a small boat, while the entourage aboard the yacht club’s excursion steamer enthusiastically fire the victory gun and probably begins settling wagers, all beneath the club’s Special Blue Ensign. Established as the Albert Yacht Club in 1864, gaining the “Royal” status the next year, it joined with Portsmouth’s Royal Naval Club in 1971. It has enjoyed the patronage of kings and officers throughout its history. The club’s namesake was an avid yachtsman and member.
IREX, a 88' Composite Cutter built in 1884 by J.G. Fay & Co. from a design by A. Richardson, would also win the Queen’s Cup at the Royal Clyde Yacht Club Regatta and 14 other prizes in the 1888 season, for a total of £910. This followed only the Watson-built YARANA’s 30 victories in 39 starts, and close behind both would be Lord Dunraven’s new cutter PETRONILLA, and his growing aspirations to compete for the America’s Cup. IREX would beat both in this regatta of “sixties” down from her home port of Southampton. Shown at the finish in the Eastern Solent, a Portsmouth fort is in view on the elevated headland, most probably Southsea Castle. It is an accurate and complete view of a period yacht racing moment, done in fine detail by the accomplished artist.
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