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COMPETING BOATS

Alpha for web.jpg
Alpha for web.jpg

Alpha

Sail Number:

Hull Colour: Black 

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 15.85m / 52ft 

Beam: 13.51m / 44.33ft 

Built: 1904 

Designer: William Stoba 

Builder: Liver & Wilding, Fleetwood, England 

Based: Oban, Scotland 

Pilot cutters relied on speed and seaworthiness to secure business and Alpha is a prime example of the type. Long admired by yachtsmen, Alpha was one of many pilot cutters that were converted into yachts and her yachting career started 100 years ago. 

 

As a yacht, Alpha was famously owned by Royal Cruising Club flag officer Sir Sidney Rowlatt, who enjoyed nothing more than sailing her in the gusty conditions she excels in. Alpha underwent various modifications over the years, but thanks to substantial restoration work, she is now again sailing as designed. 

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Alantic for web.jpg

Atlantic

Sail Number: None 

Hull Colour: Black 

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 56.4m / 185ft  

Beam: 8.8m / 29ft  

Built: 1903 (original) / 2008 (replica) 

Designer: William Gardner 

Builder: Van der Graaf BV, Holland

Based: Mediterranean 

The three-masted schooner Atlantic, launched in 1903, made her name by beating an elite fleet of yachts in the 1905 Trans-Atlantic Race for the Emperor’s Cup, setting a record of 12 days that would not be broken by another monohull until 1998! For a time she was owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt and famously visited the British south coast as mother ship to the J Class Yankee in 1935. 

 

The original Atlantic sadly fell into disrepair and was broken up in 1982. However, in 2008, this faithful replica was painstakingly recreated using the original drawings and is the flagship of this year’s Richard Mille Cup.

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Ayesha

Sail Number:

Hull Colour: White

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 12.2m / 40ft  

Beam: 2.6m / 8.4ft 

Built: 1922  

Designer: Arthur Boyes  

Builder: Aldous Ltd, Brightlingsea, England 

Based: Falmouth, Cornwall, England

Ayesha was the first and only yacht designed by Arthur Boyes, who at the time was the Managing Director of the Aldous Ltd boatyard in Brightlingsea, Essex. Boyes intended the design to go into production as a fast cruiser, but ultimately only one hull was built - Ayesha. 

She was kept on the English east coast for much of her life, used as a private cruising yacht. Ayesha’s seaworthy design was proven when she sailed across the Bay of Biscay on her way to a short stint in the Mediterranean. Over her 102 years, Ayesha has had 12 owners. 

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Cynthia

Sail Number: 223  

Hull Colour: White  

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 12.6m / 41.5ft  

Beam: 2.7m / 9ft   

Built: 1910

Designer: Thomas Jacket 

Builder: W. T. Jacket, Falmouth, England 

Based: Dartmouth, England 

Cynthia was built in 1910 in Falmouth as an engineless gaff cutter - and she remains engineless today, the only yacht without ‘auxiliary power’ in the 2024 Richard Mille Cup. Back in 1912, Cynthia was notable for having a female owner, Mrs C. P. Foster, a member of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club. The yacht has enjoyed a quiet life between Falmouth and Cowes, used for amateur cruising and racing.

 

Her current owner first saw her as a boy, while holidaying on the Isle of Wight and watching the racing yachts cross the Royal Yacht Squadron line off Cowes. He restored Cynthia himself over six years.

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Elena

Sail Number: B2 

Hull Colour: White  

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 41.6m / 136.5ft 

Beam: 8.1m / 26.6ft  

Built: 1911 (original) 2009 (replica)  

Designer: Nathaniel G. Herreshoff 

Builder: Factoria Naval De Marin, Vigo, Spain  

Based: San Remo, Italy 

In 1910, American Financier Morton Freeman Plant instructed Elena’s designer to “Build me a schooner that can win’’ and Nat Herreshoff, known as the Wizard of Bristol, did just that. Amongst her many victories, her best remembered is that in the 1928 transatlantic race for a trophy presented by the King of Spain. 

 

Sadly, the original Elena was not as enduring as her legend, but a faithful replica of her was launched in 2009, giving us the opportunity to witness the power and speed of a pre-World War I first-class racing schooner. 

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Kelpie

Sail Number:

Hull Colour: White

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 17.4m / 57ft 

Beam: 3.35m / 11ft  

Built: 1903 

Designer: Alfred Mylne 

Builder: J. G. Fay & Co., Southampton, England

Based: Cowes, England 

Kelpie is one of eight identical One Design yachts designed to race together on the Solent. This approach to yacht racing was a reaction to the constant evolution of racing yacht design, where owners risked having their yacht outclassed at any time. After the class broke up, Kelpie raced in the handicap classes, including against the early 12 Metre class yachts. 

Today, Kelpie is the last survivor of her type and has been restored to her original design. In recent years, she has raced at all the major classic yacht events in the UK and the Mediterranean.  

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Mariquita

Sail Number: C1  

Hull Colour: White  

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 38m / 95ft 

Beam: 5.2m / 19ft   

Built: 1911  

Designer: William Fife III 

Builder: William Fife & Son, Fairlie, Scotland   

Based: Brest, France 

Designed as the ultimate racing yacht, Mariquita was one of four yachts launched in 1911 for the new 19-Metre Class. Their arrival revitalised British yachting and they raced extensively in Channel waters. After the Second World War, Mariquita was one of a number of great classic yachts used as make-shift houseboats, lived on by tenants who were often unaware of the boats’ decorated histories. 

 

For a regatta she has 18 crew and is sailed as she would have been in 1911, with no winches, only block and tackle. Mariquita was second overall in the inaugural Richard Mille Cup last year. 

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Moonbeam

Sail Number: 88  

Hull Colour: White

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 24.86m / 81.5ft 

Beam: 4.72m / 15.5ft  

Built: 1903 

Designer: William Fife III  

Builder: William Fife & Son, Fairlie, Scotland

Based: Brest, France  

Third in the series of Moonbeams owned by Charles Plumtree Johnson, she was initially intended as a fast cruiser, and William Fife had a free hand in designing her without regard for any racing rule. Johnson cruised her extensively in Scotland and in the South West of England before commissioning his largest and last Moonbeam. Sold to France, Moonbeam became famous as a racer both on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. 

 

By the 1980s, she was tired and in need of major work, which she received in Southampton. As part of this restoration, her original yawl rig was replaced by the current cutter rig. 

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Moonbeam IV

Sail Number: 8  

Hull Colour: White  

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 29m / 95.1ft 

Beam: 5.45m / 17.9ft    

Built: 1920   

Designer: William Fife III 

Builder: William Fife & Son, Fairlie, Scotland   

Based: Brest, France 

Commissioned in 1913, war prevented Moonbeam IV from being delivered, and she was laid up until 1920. With the return of peace, she was surveyed by Lloyds Register and found to be in such good condition that it was agreed that she be registered with 1920 as her year of build. 

In her first year, Moonbeam IV raced against the legendary royal yacht Britannia and, whilst always intended as a cruiser/racer, won some notable victories, including winning the King’s Cup in both 1920 and 1923. Her rig was upgraded in 1927 to make her even faster, and it is that rig that she sports following her complete restoration.  

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Patna

Sail Number: None  

Hull Colour: White

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 16.7m / 54.8ft 

Beam: 3.6m / 11.7ft  

Built: 1920  

Designer: Charles E. Nicholson 

Builder: Camper & Nicholsons, Gosport, England

Based: Cornwall, England 

Patna is something of a time machine, a yacht that has never stopped sailing for long, and when she required restoration, it was done with such a light touch that she lost none of her patina. One of the first yachts to be designed after World War I by Charles E. Nicholson she was taking to the water just as he was preparing to challenge for the America’s Cup with Shamrock IV. 

 

Patna has undoubted pedigree but was always conceived as a cruiser racer. She has ventured widely on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean.  

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Thalia

Sail Number: 11   

Hull Colour: White  

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 13.7m / 45ft  

Beam: 3m / 10ft      

Built: 1889    

Designer: George F Wanhill 

Builder: Wanhill,Poole, England   

Based: Hamble, Hampshire, England  

One of the oldest active yachts in British waters and the oldest in the Richard Mille Cup, Thalia was launched in 1889 in Poole, Dorset. George Wanhill, her designer and builder, was also responsible for the creation of three yachts that took part in the 1851 race around the Isle of Wight, the competition which became the America’s Cup. 

 

Like many vintage yachts, Thalia has narrowly escaped being scrapped, twice! Today, she is cruised and raced hundreds of miles each year by a crew of family and friends. She was voted the Centenarian of the Year in the Classic Boat Awards three years ago.

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Viveka

Sail Number: 1929  

Hull Colour: White

Number of Masts:

Length on Deck: 22m / 72.75ft

Beam: 4.2m / 14ft   

Built: 1929  

Designer: Frank C. Paine

Builder: Fred Lawley, Massachusetts, USA 

Based: Mediterranean 

Designed for J. P. Morgan by Frank Paine and built in Massachusetts as a fast-cruiser, she’s perhaps unique as the only schooner to have rated as a 12-Metre. During the Second World War, she was used as a patrol boat off the US coast. Viveka was owned for 57 years by one man, who often cruised her single-handed, a testament to the manageability of the staysail schooner rig. 

 

After a change of ownership and an award-winning restoration in California, Viveka made her debut on the Mediterranean circuit two years ago. She is one of only three US-designed yachts in the Richard Mille Cup.  

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