Bloodhound needs no introduction to the yachting enthusiast as she has been imprinted in the forefront of the world yachting scene since her inception in 1936 with her profile elevated to superstar status when she became the royal yacht during the sixties.
She was one of three yachts designed and built by Camper & Nicholson to the twelve metre class (third rule), but rather than follow the finer and lighter lines of the pure racing (i.e. round the cans) twelve metre classes, these yachts were modified for ocean racing purposes which involved heavier and more powerful hulls with increased accommodation. Neither three actually competed against the contemporary twelves but were adopted within the ocean racing (RORC) class one.
Throughout her various ownerships, her fortunes have wavered slightly, but throughout her seventy year life, she has remained in active use while virtually original in appearance and in structure. She has remained active right up until the autumn of 2002 when she was sailed from Guernsey to Poole through a gale to undergo a well overdue structural and internal refit. This is where Tony McGrail, the current owner, enters Bloodhounds long and remarkably sucessful career of this yacht. Remarkable, not only for her extensive racing trophies collected over the years (she was rated the most sucessful class one yacht right up until the late sixties), remarkable not only because she was the Queen and Prince Phillip’s personal yacht for nine years, but remarkable for her durabilty and ability to remain continually at sea in all weather over much of this period.
Here are some of the accolades bestowed on Bloodhound.
- “Bloodhound notched up an impressive list of overall and class wins in most European offshore races since the 1939 Fastnet”. (Lord Faversham – Great Yachts.)
- “A brilliant boat to windward who punished herself as little as any boat I know in a big seaway.” (John H Illingworth. The Malham Story.)
- “One of the most sucessful racing yachts ever built by my father.” (John Nicholson – Great Yaching Years)
- “Bloodhound’s exceptional string of pre war victories set her apart from her stablemates”. “She has enjoyed a glittering career.” (Franco Pace & William Collier – Charles E Nicholson.)
- “The most outstanding of the cruising twelve metres was Bloodhound, the winner of many races and the most comfortable of vessels at sea.” (Uffa Fox – The Book of Sailing.)
- “Brilliant performance-compared with a twelve metre they gained the oceans of the world”. (Douglas Phillips-Birt).
- “The most famous ocean racer ever built” (Ian Dear – C & N Two centuries of yacht building)