Big Yacht Race, Thames

Five small drawings of yachts taking part in a race at Gravesend Reach in the Thames Estuary. They are titled as follows: ‘First Gun to Prepare’; ‘Second Gun – Iverna and Britannia going over the line’; ‘Sea Reach Doreen and the Cruisers becalmed in the rain’; ‘Britannia winning’ and ‘Vendetta and Carina in Gravesend reach’. The work is signed ‘W L Wyllie’, lower right.

Races are started with two guns – the first as a signal to get ready and the second to indicate the actual start of the race. The vessels depicted in these scenes are all large gaff-rigged racing yachts. The ‘Britannia’, shown winning the race, was ordered in 1892 by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, and after his death owned by George V. She enjoyed success in her early racing years and it is during this time that the vessel is illustrated here. The Museum has in its Collection a model of the ‘Britannia’ (SLR0200) and she is also depicted off Cowes in an oil painting by Charles Pears (see BHC2493).

Object Details

ID: PAF1937
Collection: Fine art
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Wyllie, William Lionel
Places: Unlinked place
Vessels: Britannia (1893); Iverna
Date made: circa 1890s
People: Wyllie, William Lionel
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Sheet: 354 x 253 mm

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