A painted portrait of the Racing Yacht MAYFLOWER, directly from the year of her most glorious campaign for owner General Charles J. Paine in the 1886 Defense of the America’s Cup. Having defeated PRISCILLA and the New York Club’s other potential defenders in the August trials, MAYFLOWER met Lieut. William Henn’s GALATEA, the first steel challenger for the Cup, on Sept. 7. In light airs, MAYFLOWER handedly defeated the Royal Northern Yacht Club of Scotland’s challenger, both on the inside and outside New York courses.
A sensation of movement is achieved by the artist, the racing cutter is raked back at speed under a sky brightening with the rising marine layer, while the water is very active. Paine’s private signal flies high, and his royal blue coated presence is noticeable amongst the crew dressed in whites. Two schooners and another racing cutter share the water off New York.
Built in 1886 by George Lawley’s City Point Yard in Boston from the design of Edward Burgess, MAYFLOWER followed their successful syndicate project led by Paine and J. Malcolm Forbes with PURITAN, the defender of the 1885 challenge. They both possessed deeper hulls with lead ballast on the outside, overhanging sterns and modified cutter rigs, greatly changing yacht design to a far more capable boat in all weather. MAYFLOWER was 100' with a 85½’ waterline, 23½’ beam and a 9'9" draft that extended down 20' with the centerboard. She was not successful in her first matches, but after some adaptations, by August she was unbeatable, winning not only the trials and the Cup, but every match she raced the rest of the year. Paine most likely directly commissioned this great portrait in her honor and lasting memory.
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