Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
Thanked 112 Times in 95 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Britannia is back!!!
The return of the old lady:
The boat that won more races in sailboat historyt is back, at least a faithful replica. Came on, do you think I am exaggerating about the victories? The boat won 231 races and stayed competitive for about 30 years!!!
..George Lennox Watson received a commission from Prince Albert Edward for a sailing yacht in 1892. He designed His Royal Highness' Yacht Britannia to the "Length And Sail Area Rule" as a First Class cutter .. She was launched on April 20, 1893…
By the end of her first year's racing, the Britannia had scored thirty-three wins from forty-three starts. In her second season, she won all seven races for the big class yachts on the French Riviera, and then beat the 1893 America's Cup defender Vigilant in home waters.
Despite a lull in big yacht racing after 1897, the Britannia served as a trial horse for Sir Thomas Lipton's challenger Shamrock I, and later passed on to several owners in a cruising trim with raised bulwarks. In 1920, King George V triggered the revival of the "Big Class" by announcing that he would refit the Britannia for racing. Although the Britannia was the oldest yacht in the circuit, regular updates to her rig kept her a most successful racer throughout the 1920s.
In 1931, she was converted to the J-Class with a bermuda rig, but despite the improvements, her performance to windward slopped dramatically. Her last race was at Cowes in 1935. During her racing career she had won 231 races and took another 129 flags.
King George V's dying wish was for his beloved yacht to follow him to the grave. On 10 July 1936, after the Britannia had been stripped of her spars and fittings, her hull was towed out to St Catherines Deep near the Isle of Wight, and she was sunk by HMS Winchester (L55), commanded by Captain W.N.T. Beckett RN. This fate marked the end of big yacht racing in Europe, with the smaller and more affordable International Rule 12-Metre Class gaining popularity.
A new replica of the Britannia was built Russia in from 1993 to 2009, and after legal problems in securing her release from her Russian shipyard, she was shipped to Norway and subsequently sold to a foundation in Cowes that will finish and rig the yacht.
This is the replica:
And this is the replica story:
The strange case of the stranded royal yacht | Cruising News
Last edited by PCP; 01-16-2012 at 08:50 PM.