Prince Charles sailing Bloodhound
The classic 1930s ocean-racing yacht Bloodhound, owned by Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip in the 1960s and aboard which Prince Charles and Princess Anne learned to sail, was purchased by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust in 2010. She is usually on display alongside Britannia in Edinburgh as part of the Royal Sailing Exhibition. During July and August, Bloodhound sails to Oban, where she is available for a day sail around the Western Isles, crewed mainly by former Royal Yachtsmen from Britannia.
Members of the Royal Family, and particularly Prince Philip, have always been keen sailors. Prince Philip owned Coweslip, designed and built by the legendary Uffa Fox, and was given the International Dragon Class Bluebottle as a wedding gift. Bluebottle, skippered by the Sailing Master Lt Cdr Graham Mann, was part of the British Olympic team for the 1956 Melbourne Games and won a bronze medal. In fact, Britannia's paint scheme was taken from this very same racing yacht. However, as the Royal children grew older, Prince Philip wanted a larger yacht, with sleeping accommodation, that could undertake family cruises.
To read more about the Royal Sailing Yachts Britannia, Coweslip, Bluebottle and Bloodhound click here.
Built in 1936 by the famous Camper & Nicholsons yard in Gosport, Bloodhound was one of the most successful ocean-racing yachts ever built, winning scores of races in the south of England and also crossed the Atlantic to compete in Bermuda.
On the back of this outstanding race history Bloodhound was acquired by the Royal Family in 1962 and Prince Philip had much success competing with her at the famous Cowes Week Regatta around the Isle of Wight. During this sailing festival Britannia hosted not only the British Royal Family, but members of other Royal Families and many dignitaries.
During Royal ownership Bloodhound would also accompany Britannia in the Western Isles when the Royal Family had their one true family holiday every year. She had a permanent crew of three and one Skipper was a descendent of Sir Francis Drake. It was during these happy times that the young Royals learned to sail on Bloodhound. When not in Royal use, Bloodhound and her crew were made available to yacht clubs across the country, used to teach thousands of young people how to sail.
In 1969 Bloodhound was sold and not replaced by the Royal Family. Bloodhound then effectively retired from racing. Over time she gradually fell into considerable disrepair and very nearly became beyond salvage. However in 2003 she was purchased by Tony McGrail, a yacht surveyor and classic yacht restorer. Over the next 3½ years she underwent a major internal and external refit to bring her back to her original pristine condition.
Find out about a private day sail on Bloodhound
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