John Steven Dews (British, born 1949) Westward leading the pack off the Isle of Wight, west of Cowes, with Cambria, Candida and White Heather (II) all snapping at her heels
Lot 162AR
John Steven Dews (British, born 1949) Westward leading the pack off the Isle of Wight, west of Cowes, with Cambria, Candida and White Heather (II) all snapping at her heels
Sold for £27,500 (US$ 43,156) inc. premium

Lot Details
John Steven Dews (British, born 1949) Westward leading the pack off the Isle of Wight, west of Cowes, with Cambria, Candida and White Heather (II) all snapping at her heels
John Steven Dews (British, born 1949)
Westward leading the pack off the Isle of Wight, west of Cowes, with Cambria, Candida and White Heather (II) all snapping at her heels
signed 'J. Steven Dews' (lower left)
oil on canvas
76.2 x 106.7cm (30 x 42in).

Footnotes

  • In this early work by the modern master John Steven Dews, all the hallmarks of his later success are already evident even though he has omitted to record the names of the boats themselves, something he has since rectified. Fortunately however, his meticulous attention to detail, down to the inclusion of each vessel's recognition number, allows all four of these thoroughbreds to be identified. Sea, sky and yachts all blend together effortlessly to form a splendid evocation of those 'glory days' of yachting at Cowes between the two World Wars, and the result is a triumph of the genre.

    Westward, 323 tons and the leader on this occasion, was built by the great Nat Herreshoff at Rhode Island in 1910 and was one of the largest racing schooners whose career fell into two distinct phases. Like King George V's celebrated Britannia, she too had royal connections having been originally purchased - at the Kaiser's instigation - by a syndicate of German businessmen who renamed her Hamburg. In a brilliant start she won all eleven races in her first season (1910) and then enjoyed many other successes in the years preceding the Great War. Sold out of German ownership after the Armistice, her new American owner Clarence Hatry restored her original name and his first season in 1920 almost equalled the triumphs of 1910. It was after her sale to T.B.F. Davis in 1924 however, that she finally came into her own when she became a regular challenger to Britannia. Over the years Davis and the King developed a spirited though very friendly rivalry and Westward became such a prized possession of Davis that he, like George V before him, stipulated in his will that his boat also was to be sunk after his death.

    The second of the two famous Cambrias – her earlier namesake had been the first America's Cup challenger in 1870 – was designed and built by William Fife at Fairlie in 1928. Owned by Sir William Berry, later Viscount Camrose, the proprietor of the Daily Telegraph newspaper, she was a magnificent Bermudian-rigged 23-metre composite cutter which soon became one of the most well-known racing yachts of her day. Registered at 162 tons Thames (86 gross and net), she measured 93 feet in length (75 feet at the waterline) with a 20½ foot beam and a 10½ foot draft. After a relatively short career at Cowes and elsewhere in home waters, she was sold to H.F. Giraud of Izmir (Turkey) in the mid-1930s; he renamed her Lillias, removed her to Chios in the Aegean and thus she was lost to the British racing scene for which she had been created in its golden years.

    Candida, rated at '23 metres', was designed by Charles Nicholson and built in the company's yard at Gosport for Mr. H.A. Andreae, the wealthy merchant banker, in 1929. A magnificent Bermudian-rigged cutter of 95½ tons gross (174 Thames), she measured 117 feet in length overall with a 20½ foot beam and was completed principally as a response to a slight change in the International Rules in 1928. A very successful boat, she too was a frequent sight at Cowes during that golden decade before the Second World War interrupted the sport for so long.
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