This painting by Antonio Jacobsen clearly depicts a close race between the schooners Dreadnought, Estelle and Clio having rounded the Sandy Hook lightship with two steamers following to leeward, the Plymouth and another black hulled steamer. The yachts are under full sail, reaching around the New York Yacht Club course.
During the 1878 and 1879 racing seasons the schooner Dreadnought and the centerboard schooners Estelle and Clio would face off against each other on numerous occasions, both in match and fleet races organized and run by the New York Yacht Club. Often their racing was close and very competitive. These schooners, and many others, came together at the behest of Commodore S. Nicholson Kane for the New York Yacht Club cruise of 1878. He promoted, convinced and gathered the greatest fleet of schooners to the cruise since 1875, a coup for Commodore Kane.
While this specific race is unidentified, an example of the close racing between these three schooners can be seen during the NYYC cruise of 1878, and in particular in the New London, CT to Newport, RI run where these three yachts finished 1, 2, 3 with only 7 minutes separating the first place yacht Clio and the third place yacht Estelle. The fourth place yacht Clytie was only another 30 seconds behind.
The schooner Dreadnought was built in 1871 by Poillon Brother of Brooklyn, NY and had principal dimensions of 130'-3" LOA, 24'-5" beam, 11'-4" draft, and was owned by C.J. Osborn in 1878. The schooner Estelle was built in 1874 by J. Richards of Norwalk, CT and had principal dimensions of 88' LOA, 22'-10" beam, 6'-6" draft with the centerboard up and was owned by J.D. Smith in 1878. The schooner Clio was built by Poillon Brother of Brooklyn, NY in 1873 and had principal dimensions of 76'-5" LOA, 18'-6" beam, 5' draft with the centerboard up, and was owned by John R. Pratt in 1878.