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David Brackman (British, b. 1932)
David Brackman (British, b. 1932)

America's Cup, 1870: Magic versus Cambria

Details
David Brackman (British, b. 1932)
America's Cup, 1870: Magic versus Cambria
signed and dated 'David Brackman/04' (lower left)
oil on canvas
34 x 54 in. (86.4 x 137.4 cm.)

Lot Essay

The schooner yacht Magic (ex - Madgie) was designed by R.F. Loper of Stonington and built by Thomas Byerly & Son, Philadelphia, PA. in 1857. In 1869 she was converted from centerboard sloop to a schooner by David Carll at City Island and re-named Magic, for the owner Franklin Osgood. Her principal dimensions were LOA: 84ft, LWL: 79ft, Beam: 20ft 9in, Draft: 6ft 3in, and 97tns. She had a very sucessful race record with the New York Yacht Club winning a number of match and fleet races prior to the race for the America's Cup. Cambria was designed and built by Ratseys of Cowes and launched in 1868. She had principal dimensions of LOA: 113ft, LWL: 100ft, Beam: 21ft 1in, Draft: 11ft 6in, and 193tns. She was the first non-Royal yacht to pass through the Suez Canal, and in her early racing career she defeated two prominent American yachts, Sappho and Dauntless. In 1870 Ashbury was confident he could give the American defender a run for the trophy. Unknown to him he would be racing against the entire fleet of New York Yacht Club schooners, 25 of them in all. The day of the match, August 8, 1870, Cambria was given the favored position at the windward side of the starting line. Unfortunately, Ashbury's luck did not follow, as the wind shifted, just as the starting gun fired, giving him the least favored position at the start. Further to this disadvantage Cambria would have to tack around the many shoals, because of her deep draft, giving the New York Yacht Club fleet a distinct advantage in their shoal draft yachts. Magic jumped out to an early lead that she never relinquished over the 35 mile New York Yacht Club course, while Cambria finished a distant 10th after the handicaps were corrected, loosing to Magic by 42 minutes.
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