Boat bound for Edinburgh
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, has today been purchased by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust to put on display alongside Britannia in Edinburgh.
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. It is during these happy times that the young Royals learned to sail on Bloodhound. When not in Royal use Bloodhound was also crewed by a number of youth organisations, teaching young people how to sail.
In 1969 Bloodhound was sold and not replaced by the Royal Family. Bloodhound then effectively retired from racing until the 1980s when she once again competed until 2001. Thereafter she 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 3∏ years she then underwent a major internal and external refit to bring her back to her pristine original condition.
Having been purchased by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, Bloodhound will form the centrepiece of a major new exhibit at this 5 Star visitor attraction, which in terms of quality is officially Scotland’s best visitor attraction. It is anticipated that Bloodhound will be on display in April 2010.
Chairman of the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, Rear Admiral Neil Rankin said “We are delighted to have acquired such an important piece of British yachting history and look forward to having Bloodhound alongside Britannia once more, for the public to see what a wonderful ocean racing yacht she is and why she was so fondly regarded by all associated with her illustrious past”.
Tony McGrail commented “We are delighted that Bloodhound will be joining The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh. Firstly because we always hoped that she would remain in her home waters, secondly because her heritage will be recognised, cherished and admired by the public while she lies alongside her big ‘sister’ and her maintenance and longevity is guaranteed which is very reassuring, all of which makes our restoration programme both appreciated and worthwhile.”