'Old Britty', the first of the British Royal yachts named BRITANNIA, holds much of the stature in Great Britain that the schooner AMERICA has in this country. She won 33 firsts out of 39 starts in her maiden season and was actively campaigned until 1936 by both Edward VII and his son George V. Her amazing hull shape kept her competitive in the big cutter class until she was outclassed by the J-boats in the 30's.
After King George's death in 1936, according to his wishes, she was stripped and scuttled off the Southern tip of the Isle of Wight. Designed and built by Captain Nat Herreshoff, the 96 ton VIGILANT was the successful defender of the 1893 America's Cup. After her win she crossed the Atlantic for the 1894 season at Cowes. VIGILANT and BRITANNIA were considered two of the most evenly matched yachts of the era. They would race a total of 17 times in some of the most exciting match racing events in history.
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