Featured boats from left to right are: Moonbeam of Fife, Mariquita, Eleonora, Moonbeam (IV), Altaïr, Lulworth, Tuiga and Iduna.
Jamie Medlin studied illustration at the Falmouth School of Art and Design, and the attention to detail that he learnt there is evident in the almost photographic quality of his work.
Inspired by the abundance of marine activity in the harbour on his return to Falmouth in 1997, he concentrated on painting the local shipping, including the Falmouth working boat fleet. However, an invitation to attend the Jubilee Regatta in Cowes, in 2001, had a profound influence on him instilling in him a love of classic yachts and a burning desire to recreate their beauty and splendour in such grand images as this. Taking his inspiration from the various series of classic yacht regattas, such as Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Medlin is able to capture the elegance, speed and drama of these fiercely contested events.
Mariquita was a 19-metre composite cutter of 1911, designed and built for Mr. A.K. Stothert of Kensington by W. Fife & Son at Fairlie. Registered at 100 tons gross (60 net), she measured 82 feet in length with a 17 foot beam. Since the Great War, Mariquita has passed through numerous changes of ownership, she even suffered the ignominy of becoming a houseboat after the Second World War before finally being rescued and restored to her former glory.
Eleonora was designed and built for Mr. Ed Kastelein in 2000, as a replica of the famous Westward, based on the original 1910 design by Nathaniel Herreshoff. Eleanora measures 138 feet in length with a 27 foot beam. Sold by her owner in 2006 she now acts as a luxurious charter boat, and continues to sail competively around the Mediterranean.
The fourth, and largest, vessel to bear the name Moonbeam, Moonbeam (IV) was another 19-metre cutter of 1914 designed and built for Mr C.P. Johnson by W. Fife & Son at Fairlie and launched in 1918 at the end of the Great War. Competing regularly in the all major regattas of the 1920s, her finest hour was when she won the King's Cup in August 1920, a feat she repeated in 1923 outpacing Britannia, Terpsichore and Nyria. Johnson sold her in 1926 and after that she passed through several hands, although her most famous owner must have been Prince Rainier of Monaco. He bought her in 1950, changing her name to Deo Juvante, the Grimaldi family motto, and it is said that he and his wife Grace Kelly spent their honeymoon night on board her. In the 1970s she passed out of Lloyd's records after being sold to a Greek company as a charter boat. However, she was rescued from an ignominious fate by John and François Murray in 1995 and painstakingly restored to her former glory, being relaunched in 2002 winning the Concours d'Elégance in Cowes in her first season back on the water.
Moonbeam (III), now known as Moonbeam of Fife, was also designed and built for Mr. C.P. Johnson by W. Fife & Son at Fairlie in 1903. Although a metre smaller than her younger sister, Johnson still enjoyed great success in her. Sold in 1920 to the French industrialist Ferdinand Maroni she was renamed Eblis, a name she retained until 1988-9 when she was restored and sold as Moonbeam at auction. She has now returned to the racing scene and can often be seen competing against her sister Moonbeam (IV).
Altaïr, another Fife design, was built in 1931 for deep-sea cruising in the southern hemisphere and measured 109 feet in length with a 21 foot beam. Despite this she still competed in regattas during the 1930s and has recently defeated some of her more prestigious competitors, such as Mariquita, Tuiga and Lulworth, to be placed second in the 2006 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
Designed in 2004, Sunshine was built for Peter Wood in the Myanmar Shipyards in Yangon, the capital of the country formerly known as Burma. Measuring 103 feet in length with a 18 foot beam, Sunshine was based on the original William Fife cross section plans of a lost schooner of 1901. Her namesake Sunshine was owned by the Portugese Royal family in 1905 and was raced by Queen Amelia until the dynasty lost the throne in 1910. She can be traced in Lloyd's register until 1930 when she disappears from record.
Tuiga, a 15-metre class yacht was designed and built for the Duke of Medinaceli by W. Fife & Son at Fairlie in 1909. She has now become the flagship of the Yacht Club de Monaco.
For a footnote on Lulworth, see lot 132.