sail on

I confess to being a Royalist and was saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Decorated for his war service in the Second World War he married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947.

That is perhaps not a reason to post on Sailing Anarchy but in 1949 he struck up a friendship with Uffa Fox and the pair sailed together frequently on the Uffa Fox designed Flying Fifteen Coweslip.

A nautical individual through and through he met Queen Elizabeth when he was a young Royal Naval officer (he graduated best cadet in class) still in his teens and apparently the spark was there from the start. As well as the Flying Fifteen Prince Philip also sailed the Dragon Bluebottle which had been a wedding present to him and his wife.

The Royal Yacht Britannia was often to be seen anchored off Cowes during Cowes Week affording the Duke a short commute where he would regularly compete.

In 1962, the Royal Family at the suggestion of the Duke bought the 63’classic Camper & Nicholson which they sailed on the West Coast of Scotland each year until she was sold in 1969. When not in Royal use she was available for charter for the massive fee of One pound per person per day therefore introducing over their tenure many thousands to sailing.

A regular at Cowes Week, often sailing on Owen Aisher’s Yeoman XXVIII, a Sigma 38, a particularly competitive class. There is one anecdote which sums up Prince Philip’s well known dry sense of humour. In one race another Sigma reckoned he tacked a little close and hailed “Tacking in my water” upon which the Duke stood and hailed back “Who’s water?”. Whether true or not it is quite believable. (History did not record whether the Duke took a penalty or not)

His love of sailing was passed on to daughter Anne, or more properly The Princess Royal as she is known. A down to earth who, by the way, could sail is on her second Rustler Yacht, the first one ‘Blue Doublet’ was on  mooring a few boats down the trot from mine at Ardfern Yacht Centre many years ago and has served as President of the Royal Yachting Association for as long as I can remember.

Philip Mountbatten, a life well lived and he has left behind far more positive than negative, certainly in the world that is sailing. Sail On Sir!

(There is a discussion on this topic here. – ed)

Shanghai Sailor