“Blast! – Velsheda” 22×40 oil on canvas (unframed) and all of our original oil paintings are created in my studio on Cape Cod. Cape Cod is famous for its particularly radiant light and magnificent landscapes, seascapes and quaint harbors. Home to thousands of artists and art galleries, Cape Cod has earned its reputation as a location for artists and collectors of fine art. From the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown to the bridges, creating and collecting art is a way of life. We have a number of sailing paintings available in our gallery and online.
Designed by Charles Ernest Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholsons in 1933 for Mr W.L. Stephenson, managing director of Woolworth retail shops, she was built in 1933 at Gosport. She was Nicholson’s second design for a J Class and Stephenson’s second big yacht. Velsheda was named after Stephenson’s three daughters, Velma, Sheila and Daphne. She raced with the greatest names in classic yachting including Britannia, Endeavour and Shamrock V between 1933 and 1936.
In her second season she won more than 40 races and achieved an outstanding record of success at regattas from Southend to Dartmouth. Other venues included Torbay, Swanage and of course the Solent, all under the control of the very famous Captain Fred Mountifield. The permanent racing crew at that time was probably around 16 men and this would have been augmented to around 30 for racing. When not required for sail changes, spare crew were moved to below decks.
In her 1930s heyday, she represented the most advanced technical design for spars, rigging, sails, deck gear and ropes. Her masts were aluminium, made by bending plates and riveting them together. Sails were made from the new Terylene threads and deck gear now included winches for easier handling of sheets. The standing rigging was solid rod, even in the 1930s, but with so much stretch in the rigging and systems it was inevitable that J Class masts could not be held in column and would collapse in stronger winds. In anything above a force 3, there was serious concern about holding the rig in place without collapse.
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