Six-metre yachts were a class of elegant racing keelboats. Although not identical, they were designed to meet a specific measurement formula, the International Rule of Measurement of Yachts, otherwise known as the Metre Rule, established in Europe in 1907. Chosen as an Olympic class in 1908, six-metre yachts had the reputation of being the most prestigious, international and elite class of the day. Undergoing a renaissance in the 1980s, many of these classic keelboats have been restored back to their former glory and there are now over 1,500 that race competitively today on the international circuit
The present work depicts a race during the 'Golden Age of Yachting' for keelboats, when some of the best sailors and designers competed for prestigious trophies. The yachts are seen close reaching in the Solent with their spinnakers flying in a steady breeze and the interplay of light and shade on the sails and sea and the high attention to detail is masterly. Despite Dawson's great fondness for yachting subjects, most of his output nevertheless features unnamed boats.