Sunday, 8 September 2013

Cowes Regatta, 5th August 1920

Detail taken from daily newspaper reports at the time, images from my own collection....

Britannia beaten in a great race - Cowes, Wednesday.

An image from within the family, originally taken by Beken of Cowes, marine photographers, I believe.

A fresh breeze blew from the north west all day today, and occasionally there were slight drops of rain, with some sunshine. Conditions generally were uncertain and variable, but not altogether distasteful to yachtsmen, however much they interfered with the social side of the regatta.
The King was early astir on the Victoria and Albert. He is playing an energetic part in the regatta, and has been aboard his cutter, Britannia every time she has stretched her wings. He was sailing on her again today, and had his companions The Duke of York, The Duke of Connaught, The Marquis de Soveral, The Marquis D'Hautpoul, and Admiral Brand. The Queen and Princess Mary had watched the racing from the Royal yacht, and at its conclusion in the early afternoon the Queen proceeded to Osborne House and Barton Manor, where she was joined by Princess Beatrice, returning to the Royal yacht for dinner.
There was a considerable exodus from the roadstead during the afternoon to see the eliminating trials for the international motor boat trophy in Osborne Bay.
The three events of outstanding importance during the day were a handicap for yachts exceeding 100 tons; and a handicap for racers exceeding 35 tons but not exceeding 100 tons; and a handicap for craft of 10 tons but not exceeding 35 tons. For the first of these three, a cup and other prizes were offered by The Royal Yacht Squadron, and the day's entries formed the biggest total of the week. The Queen's course over a distance of 44 miles was taken. Yesterday's event in which Britannia figured was over the same waterway, but only half the length was negotiated. Today, with improved conditions, the whole distance was covered. The entries were the King's cutter, Britannia, Mrs E.R Workman's cutter, Nyria, Mr Clarence C Hatry's schooner Westward, Mr Warwick Brookes' schooner Susanne, and Sir Charles C Allom's cutter White Heather II. Mr Richard A Lee's cutter Terpsichore was on the programme, but did not start, because in the contest yesterday her gear had been damaged, and there had not been time for repairs.

Susanne's Fine Performance.

It was a magnificent start. White Heather II was first away. The King's cutter followed closely on her stern, but had the advantage of being windward. Nyria got into third position and Susanne was last, closely in the wake of Westward. The canvas of all the craft was fully spread, and as they beat to the west yachtsmen were enthusiastic at the prospect of a brilliant struggle. The King's cutter was faced with a stiff bit of work on the handicapping, and in such company. She ran into first place, but was overhauled by Susanne, who not only saved her time, but beat Britannia on the handicap with 11 minutes to spare. Britannia was placed second. The first to cross the finishing mark was Westward, but she was third in the handicap. Westward is an American built schooner.
In the race for yachts not exceeding 100 tons the competitors were Mr C H Moller's cutter Paula III, Major Lionel de Rothschild's cutter Zinita, Mr J W Cooke's cutter Thanet, and Captain C W P Slade's yawl Joyette. Zinita finished first and Joyette second. The race for the 'baby' yachts not exceeding 35 tons fell to Mr J S Highfield's cutter Cyra. The only other starter was Mr G Mackenzie's cutter Patna.
The remaining seven events were for quite tiny boats, and when all were under weigh, the sight was noteworthy. Fifty seven boats had entered, and of these, a very large proportion were afloat. Seldom too, has there been so large a crowd of spectators even at Cowes, which in the past has been remarkable for its competitions for its small racers.
Tomorrow interest will be centred in the races for town prizes, amounting in value to £100, presented by the inhabitants of Cowes. His Majesty's Britannia will be a competitor.
The King had several guests to dinner on Victoria and Albert tonight. The evening turned out fine, and activity on the roadstead was considerable. Pinnaces were passing between the yachts till well after nightfall. The chief social event was a ball at the Trinity Parish Hall in aid of the Isle of Wight County Nursing Association and Trinity Parish charities. The function was promoted by Lady Godfrey Baring, and a number of other ladies of the island. Princess Beatrice, the president of the Association was present and there were visitors from both Royal yachts, the Victoria and Albert, and the Alexandra.

Left-right, Lord Hardwicke, Reginald Tyrell, Warwick Brookes, Major General Francis Lloyd
Hardwick and Lloyd were both involved in motor boat racing, while Brookes' interest lay in ocean yacht racing. Tyrell was a co-director and life-long friend of Brookes. Brookes also owned Westward briefly during the 1920's.