The 130-ton schooner Pantomime was built for Colonel W.T. Markham by Michael Ratsey in 1865. A big two-master sporting a distinctive ‘running bowsprit’, she achieved notable success in her first season at Cowes (1866) where she won a celebrated duel with Egeria for the Squadron Queen’s Cup in what contemporaries described as “a splendid hard-weather race”. For the handicap race around the island during the same regatta however, the handicapping procedures proved so unpopular that only nine of the nineteen entries consented to start. The weather was squally, with a strong north-west wind, but the honours eventually went to Pantomime and Egeria, when they finished barely a minute apart to cement their growing reputation as the two fastest schooners afloat.