In the fall of 1875 a series of match races were held for New York Yacht Club members. On 26 of October Vice Commodore W.T. Garner in his schooner Mohawk raced against ex-Commodore J.G. Bennett in his schooner Dauntless. The course for the race was twenty miles to windward to the Sandy Hook Lightship and return, and the prize was $1,000 per side, winner take all. In a strong Sou'Easter, Mohawk (a centerboard schooner) out sailed Dauntless to windward but Dauntless caught and passed her downwind despite breaking a fore gaff. Mohawk failed to find the finish line in the fog that plagued the race.
The schooner yacht Dauntless was designed by J.B. van Deusen and was built in 1866 at Mystic, CT by Forsyth & Morgan (She was later modified in 1870). She was owned by James Gordon Bennett in 1875 and had principal dimensions of 120'-9" LOA, 24'-9" beam and 12' draft. The schooner yacht Mohawk was designed and built by J.B van Deusen in 1875 at Williamsburg, NY for Vice Commodore William T. Garner. She had principal dimensions of 140' LOA, 30' beam, and a 6' draft with the centerboard up. On 20 July 1876 Vice Commodore Garner, a young man, had the misfortune to die aboard Mohawk when a sudden squall capsized her while at anchor with all of her sails set and made fast. Vice Commodore Garner died trying to save his wife who was trapped by sliding furniture. She also lost her life along with a number of other people on board. The sinking of this yacht caused considerable discussion within the yachting community with regard to design and safety aboard these large schooners.