This painting shows Valkyrie (III) leading the royal cutter Britannia over the Mudhook's 50-mile course for the Muir Memorial Challenge Cup in 1895. The race was fought in a moderate to gusty wind and it turned out to be one of the fastest matches ever sailed on the Clyde. Undoubtedly this was Britannia's weather as she finished first, in fact 2 minutes 55 seconds ahead of Valkyrie (III). Valkyrie (III) was designed by G.L. Watson for the Earl of Dunraven as an America's Cup challenger. However, in a strong breeze she could not carry the vast clouds of canvas designed for her as could Britannia. She was certainly a fast yacht in light airs but that was all, and when she eventually did race for the Cup, she was beaten by the Herreshoff-designed yacht Defender.
Christie's are grateful to the artist for the notes which accompany this lot.