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by Steven Dews
Image 20 x 30 ins Paper 26 x 35 ins
The summer of 1895 saw the “Big Class” in the Clyde for the Scottish season. This was to be the debut for Lord Dunraven’s newly completed America’s Cup challenger, Valkyrie III. Valkyrie III was due to race, amongst others, with the Royal Yacht, Britannia, launched for The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) in 1893. Valkyrie III was extremely light with a massive sail area. This made her a fine ‘light airs’yacht and indeed she beat Britannia in such conditions during the Clyde series. However, the Muir Memorial Challenge Cup race was held on the 3rd July in gusty weather better suited to the Royal yacht, with its smaller sails. This race was to be one of the fastest matches sailed on the Clyde during those years, with Britannia averaging a speed of 11 knots over the course. The final result gave Britannia the Cup, with Ailsa coming home in second place.