Yankee was built for Gerard B. Lambert of Boston by G. Lawley at Neponset, Massachusetts, in 1930. Designed by Paine, Belknap & Skene, she was classed as a sloop but was extensively refitted to comply with the prevailing J-class rules when her owner accepted an invitation to race her at Cowes in the 1935 season. As it was King George V's Silver Jubilee that year, Cowes attracted an even greater throng than usual of notable yachts and there were many memorable races, not least the spectacle above, to reward the spectators.
Endeavour was designed by Charles Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholson at Gosport in 1934. Ordered by Mr. T.O.M. "Tommy" Sopwith to mount a challenge for the America's Cup, she displaced 143 tons and measured 129 feet in length with a 22 foot beam. Despite her slightly larger spread of canvas, she failed to wrest the 'Auld Mug' from the American defender Rainbow even though Endeavour was acknowledged to be the faster boat. Fortunately she is one of the handful of great yachts from that golden pre-War era which has survived and, fully restored, she is now in American ownership and still sailing.
For another depiction of this scene, please see lot 643.