Open by Appointment - Please Call 919-552-7533 

End of Day One - The Great Transatlantic Race, 1866 by Don Demers

Free Shipping

Product Overview

by Don Demers 
Image size: 44"w x 25"h. 
Limited Edition of: 50 


Trans-ocean racing is still a relatively new sport, but was simply unheard of in the 19th century. A lively dinner discussion at New York’s Union Club in October 1866 resulted in the first Trans-Atlantic challenge. The contenders: Pierre Lorillard’s "Vesta," George and Franklin Osgood’s "Fleetwing" and New York Herald founder’s son, James Gordon Bennett Jr.’s "Henrietta" — all two-masted schooners. It was a winner-take-all — $30,000 plus bragging rights.


On the morning of December 16, the starting gun was sounded and the vessels weighed anchor in the New York Narrows. Next stop — Cowes, England. Demers’ evocative painting depicts the end of the first day, the vessels having logged nearly 300 miles and still in sight of each other. By day two "Fleetwing" had a twenty-mile lead on "Henrietta" and a forty-mile lead on "Vesta." The racing was serious. Remarkably, after 3,000 miles of intense sailing all three yachts finished within hours of each other. On December 26 at 3:46pm "Henrietta" was first, followed by "Fleetwing" at 1:00am and the ill fated "Vesta," whose local English pilot had taken them in the wrong direction, allowing "Fleetwing" to pass her nearly in sight of the finish. Demers’ extraordinary painting transports us hundreds of miles to sea to experience the majesty of these three great vessels underway as if we were sailing alongside them.


About Don Demers

Mr. Demers was born in 1956, in the small, rural community of Lunenburg, Massachusetts. His interest in painting maritime subjects began while spending his summers on the coast of Maine near Boothbay Harbor.

After finishing an exemplary high school art program, he furthered his education at the School of the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA, and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA.

Don’s maritime experience came about as a crewmember aboard many traditional sailing vessels including schooners and square-riggers.  He continues to be an avid sailor.

His professional career began as an illustrator and expanded into the field of fine art. His illustrations can be found on many book covers and in national publications such asReader’s DigestSail MagazineField & StreamSports Afield,Yankee, and National Geographic.


Demers’ paintings have been featured in a number of publications including American Artist magazine, Artist magazine, Plein Air magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Art and Antiques, Yachtingmagazine, Nautical QuarterlyNautical World, Offshore magazine, and Maine Boats and Harbors. His work has also been featured and discussed in a number of texts including Concordia Yawls, The First Fifty Years, by Elizabeth Meyer, Marine Painting and Yachts on Canvas, both authored by James Taylor, of Greenwich, England. Yacht Portraits published by Sheridan House, A Gallery of Marine Art, Rockport Publishers, an instructional textbook titled Marine Painting, Techniques of Modern Masterspublished by Watson Guptill and Bound for Blue Water written by J. Russell Jinishian and published by Greenwich Workshop.


Demers’ diversity has enabled him to apply his skills to clients ranging from American Airlines to the National Park Service.  Various projects have included creating art for national television advertisements, educational television programming and designing art glass for Steuben.


Demers’ body of work has expanded to the study and creation of landscape painting.  These works are created from subjects across the country and beyond, often in consort with other artists of similar inspiration.  His landscape work has garnered him two awards at the Laguna Plein Air Invitational in Laguna Beach, California in 2001 and 2002.  He has also received an award for his painting at the 2007 Crystal Cove Invitational sponsored by the Irvine Museum in Orange County, CA.


Demers is a “Fellow” of the American Society of Marine Artists, an elected member of the Guild of Boston Artists, an elected member of the California Art Club, and a signature member of PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America).  He has won a record seventeen awards at the Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, Mystic, CT. including the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award in 2006.  Demers’ illustrations have been recognized by the Museum of American Illustration four times in their national competition representing the finest examples of work in the field. Recognized for his communication skills,  Don conducts workshops for artists as well as producing instructional  DVDs.  He also lectures on his landscape and marine art.  His audiences include museums, art associations, yacht clubs, historical societies and educational institutions.