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Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this dramatic scene of yachts racing in heavy seas below rain clouds is rather more pictorial (particularly with one of the boats being thrown into silhouette) and considered compared with the many slight impressions of craft at speed elsewhere in this sketchbook. It may have been a working idea for the painting East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Beating to Windward, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Indianapolis Museum of Art),1 where the conditions are less threatening, if still challenging. For more on studies relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the sketchbook Introduction.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.150 no.242, pl.246 (colour).