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In mid-Atlantic, storms strike Great Yacht Race competitor "Fleetwing" and six crewmen are lost overboard.

The yachts "Vesta," "Henrietta," and "Fleetwing" begin their Atlantic Race off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, December 11, 1866, artist's impression.

The New York Yacht Club's great race of three yachts, the Henrietta, the Fleetwing, and the Vesta, across the Atlantic had begun the week before off Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  Progress had been excellent till mid-winter gales were encountered.  The Fleetwing bore the brunt of the storm and just before ten in the evening a massive wave carried away and drowned six of the eight men on watch. With a quarter of her crew lost, Fleetwing's eventual finish in second place, just a few hours behind the victor, Henrietta, was a remarkable effort of seamanship. (By John Osborne) 

Source Citation: 

"Chronicle," The Annual Register: A Review of Public Events at Home and Abroard for the Year 1866 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1867), 205-206.