The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust presents new Edinburgh Cup Trophy and sponsors 75th Edinburgh Cup Gala Prizegiving Dinner

  • Largest Edinburgh Cup entry in over a decade with 42 boats from 12 nations and 4 continents competing.
  • The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust confirms sponsorship of Dragon 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Grand Prix Gala Dinner.
  • New Britannia Trophy to be presented by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust for the top scoring boat in the series without discard.

3 August 2023 – Cowes, UK – The 75th Edinburgh Cup and International Dragon UK Grand Prix sponsored by Clear Solutions International Ltd will get underway from the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, on Sunday 13 August with the largest number of competitors taking part in over a decade participating. Twelve countries will be represented from across Europe, Scandinavia, Turkey, Australia, Japan and the Cayman Islands – possibly the largest number of nations ever represented at an Edinburgh Cup.

Registration for the event will open on Sunday 13 August, with championship racing taking place from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 August. Alongside top class racing the regatta will also feature a spectacular social programme which opens with the Opening Ceremony sponsored by Yanmar on Monday 14 August and concludes with a spectacular Gala Prizegiving Dinner sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust.

The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust has a close association with the International Dragon Class, as in addition to owning and managing The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, which is currently Trip Advisor’s top UK visitor attraction, they also have in their custody the legendary Dragon Bluebottle, which was built by Camper & Nicholson and presented to the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on the occasion of their marriage in 1947.

Bluebottle was raced very successfully by Prince Philip himself, and was also loaned to other sailors, most notably winning a Bronze Medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics with Lt-Cdr Graham Mann at the helm. Having retired from racing in 1962 she then spent time as a training vessel at the Royal Naval College, before being put on display outside the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. Sadly, she fell into disrepair until The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust came to her rescue.

Bob Downie, Chief Executive of The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, takes up the story; “In 2014, I was in Falmouth, on behalf of our Trust, to purchase the former Northern Lighthouse Board ship MV Fingal which had been moored and fully maintained on the River Fal since it was acquired in 2000 by Mark Bamford of the JCB family. I then went into the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC) expecting to view Bluebottle which they had in their care, only to be told that she was in a poor state of repair and no longer on public display. We then made repeated offers to take Bluebottle into our care and have her fully restored, but it was not until 2017 that NMMC agreed to our request and contacted the Duke of Edinburgh’s office to formalise the transfer which took place in the summer of 2018. Not only did the Duke of Edinburgh kindly give us permission to restore Bluebottle but He also gave us permission to race His beloved yacht for the first time in 60 years! Throughout the restoration project that David Heritage Racing Yachts undertook on our behalf, we kept The Duke fully updated with reports and photographs. Sadly, by the time the restoration was completed The Duke’s health was such that He was unable to see the fully restored Bluebottle. I would like to think that The Duke would have been delighted and somewhat flabbergasted that Bluebottle could compete so incredibly successfully on the world stage racing against all these modern GRP yachts thanks to David Heritage’s incredible restoration, and Graham Baileys’ outstanding helmsmanship.” Find out more about Bob Downie and the work of The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust here.

In addition to sponsoring the Gala Prizegiving Dinner, the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust has also presented a spectacular new perpetual trophy for the Edinburgh Cup. Today the Edinburgh Cup rules allow for a single race discard in the overall score for the regatta, as is typical in most modern international regattas. However, in the early years of the competition all races counted towards the overall result and the new trophy will be awarded to the top scoring Dragon counting all race results.

“The new Britannia Trophy is a maquette of a Royal Yachtsman’s statue that we had commissioned in 2011 in memory of all who served aboard BRITANNIA. As someone relatively new to sailing, I was fascinated by the discard or no-discard rules, and the deep-rooted late-night debates about which was the truer test of the best performing skipper and boat.” – Bob Downie

Bluebottle will be raced in the 75th Edinburgh Cup by past Edinburgh Cup winners Graham and Julia Bailey. Having recently won the Turkish National Championship and claimed third place at the 2023 Dragon World Championship in Bodrum all eyes will be on her to see if she can claim the Edinburgh Cup or the new Britannia Trophy.

The 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Grand Prix sponsored by Clear Solutions International Ltd will take place from 13 to 19 August 2023 with championship racing being run from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 August. Entries can be made online via the event website. Entries made prior to 30 July will be at the standard entry fee. Late entries will be accepted from 31 July to 7 August and will pay the late entry fee.

Further information about the Edinburgh Cup can be found at www.britishdragons.org

For further information about the International Dragon visit www.intdragon.net

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