Ted Heath's Admiral's Cup-winning yacht is restored

One of Sir Edward Heath’s former yachts is set to hit the water this week after a long restoration.

Formerly known asMorning Cloud II, the 42-foot Sparkman & Stephens designOpposition of Clydewill be re-launched after a restoration at her original builders, the Lallow yard in Cowes. Seven of the late former Prime Minister’s crew will be there for the occasion.

Edward Heath owned a total of five Morning Clouds, comprising a 34ft production boat, two wooden yachts, an aluminium and a composite hulled craft. The yachts bewtween them suffered a number of mishaps -Morning Cloud IIIwas lost in 1974 along with two crew, on a delivery trip back to the Solent after racing at Burnham on Crouch. The fifth’Cloudbroke her revolutionary carbon fibre rudder in the 1979 Admiral’s Cup.

In 1969, the originalMorning Cloudwas the first British boat to win the Sydney-Hobart race, but it was her successor that enjoyed the greatest success.Morning Cloud IIwas part of the British team which won the 1971 Admiral’s Cup with Ted Heath, then Prime Minister, at the helm – an acheivement of which Heath was extremely proud. However following this success the yacht went into decline. Now namedOpposition of Clyde, her restoration has reversed years of neglect and some poor fibreglass sheathing with new topside planking and a new transom.

She is hoping to compete in the Round the Island race, which she last won in 1971.