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His Majesty’s Yacht Britannia was a gaff-rigged cutter built in 1893 for Commodore Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. It served him and his son, King George V, a long racing career.
After the Prince of Wales’ nephew Kaiser Wilhelm II acquired the racing cutter Thistle in 1891, her Scottish designer George Lennox Watson received a commission from Edward VII for a sailing yacht in 1892. He designed His Royal Highness’ Yacht Britannia to the “Length And Sail Area Rule” as a First Class cutter and had her built alongside his America’s Cup challenger Valkyrie II at the D & W Henderson Yard on the River Clyde. She was launched on April 20th, 1893, a week ahead of Valkyrie II.
By the end of her first year’s racing, the Britannia had scored thirty-three wins from forty-three starts. In her second season, she won all seven races for the big class yachts on the French Riviera, and then beat the 1893 America’s Cup defender Vigilant in home waters.
King George V’s dying wish was for his beloved yacht to follow him to the grave. On 10 July 1936, after the Britannia had been stripped of her spars and fittings, her hull was towed out to St Catherine Deep near the Isle of Wight, and she was sunk by HMS Winchester.
|Size||76 cm L x 95 cm Hgh|
1999 sees a new challenge structure with a dynamic, resourceful and youthful syndicate. Originally called "Yaka," ( French slang for 'just do it' ) the syndicate is the brainchild of Luc Gellusseau and Pierre Mas, of Corum Sailing Team fame.
Gellusseau who now runs the technical and design team, has managed to group together the best bits of the previous French challenges along with a large quantity of new, young talent. He and Mas realised that it was important to stay out of French national politics and to that end the syndicate is a relatively small budget operation.The sponsorship was supplied early by two technology companies, Bouygues Telecom and Transiciel. Le Defi, as it is now called, only dreamt of building one boat and are well organised, completely transparent and very motivated.
Bertrand Pacé is at the helm of the boat "6eme sens", Thierry Pepponet is tactician and the well-respected Dutchman Marcel van Triest is navigator. Pacé, undoubtly France's most talented helmsman today, is a top ranked match racer - world champion in 1994 and runner-up in 1998 - commands huge loyalty amongst his crew and is mature in his approach after three Cups.The "6eme sens" boat design team includes such notables as Bernard Nivelt and Daniel Andrieu along with other names from the French world of composite structures and aerodynamics.
The stated goal of the French Team was to do a good and to get to the Louis Vuitton semi-finals.They succeeded with their victory against America one, and reached to an honorable 6th rank. See also "6eme Sens" half hull.