Admiral's Cup

The Admiral's Cup was an international yachting regatta. For many years it was known as the unofficial world championship of offshore racing.[1][2]

The Admiral's Cup regatta was started in 1957 and was normally a biennial event (occurring in odd-numbered years) which was competed for between national teams. However the event was not staged in 2001 and was last held in 2003. It was cancelled at short notice in 2005.

The 2003 event did not follow the normal format and allowed entries from any yacht club affiliated to a national authority, thus allowing the possibility of several teams per country.

The regatta was based at Cowes on the Isle of Wight off southern England and was organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

History: 1957–1999

From 1957 to 1999 the cup was competed for between national teams, each having three boats. Initially only Great Britain and the United States took part but, in later years, many other teams also participated. The Fastnet race was part of the Admiral's Cup during this time.

The Australians won for the first time in 1967, the winning boat—Mercedes III—designed by Ted Kaufman and Bob Miller (later Ben Lexcen), who went on to success in the America's Cup.[3]

In 1971 the British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, captained one of the winning boats.[4]

Recent history

The 2003 event, the last held, was planned to be based in Dún Laoghaire in Ireland, but this was changed at short notice for reasons that are still unclear.[5][6] In addition, instead of being a competition between national teams, the event was competed between yacht clubs, each with two boats.[7]

The 2005 event was cancelled in April of that year, only months before the event was to be held.[8] Due to be held in July, it was cancelled after only two teams had entered.[9]

As of April 2008 there was no planned date or format for a next event and the Admiral's Cup's future is uncertain. However the RORC was looking into reviving the event for 2011.[10] [11]


Year Winner Top Placed Yacht
1957  United Kingdom
1959  United Kingdom
1961  United States
1963  United Kingdom Clarion of Wight (GBR)
1965  United Kingdom
1967  Australia Mercedes III (AUS)
1969  United States
1971  United Kingdom
1973  Germany
1975  United Kingdom
1977  United Kingdom Imp (USA)
1979  Australia Eclipse (GBR)
1981  United Kingdom
1983  Germany
1985  Germany
1987  New Zealand Propaganda (NZL)
1989  United Kingdom Jamarella (GBR)
1991  France Corum Saphir (FRA)
1993  Germany
1995  Italy
1997  United States
1999  Netherlands
2001 cancelled
2003  Australia
2005 cancelled
2007 cancelled


  1. ^ Independent Newspaper, England, 2003
  2. ^ BBC news on 2001 event
  3. ^ Bob Fisher (2009). "1967: The Aussies' Big Success". Royal Ocean Racing Club Ltd. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  4. ^ "1971: Admiral's Cup triumph for Heath". On This Day - 11 August. BBC. 11 August 1971. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  5. ^ Southern Daily Echo, November 2002
  6. ^ Scuttlebutt News
  7. ^ US Sailing 2003 Events page Archived May 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "RORC Admiral's Cup page. Checked April 2008". Archived from the original on 2005-04-26. Retrieved 2005-07-18.
  9. ^ "Admiral's Cup cancelled". Yachting World. April 7, 2005. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  10. ^ "RORC Enlist Skandia To Help Revive the Admiral's Cup". Admiral's Cup. Royal Ocean Racing Club. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  11. ^ Alexander, Stuart (3 June 2009). "Admiral's Cup could be revived". The Independent. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 2009-07-28.

External links

Alan Buchanan (naval architect)

Alan Buchanan (1922-2015) was a British naval architect and yachtsman. He designed more than 2,400 boats, including yachts who won Admiral's Cup, the Cowes Week, and the Fastnet Race.

Brad Butterworth

Bradley William Butterworth (born 1959) is a New Zealand yachtsman known for the role he played as tactician and skipper in the America's Cup for Team New Zealand and the Alinghi team of Switzerland.

Butterworth was born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand, in 1959. He has been sailing since age six.

Butterworth has sailed and been successful in many international sailing competitions, including the Admiral's Cup, the Kenwood Cup, the Sydney to Hobart Race, the Fastnet Race, the Whitbread Round The World Race and the America's Cup.

1987 was a busy year as he was the skipper of the top-ranked Admiral's Cup boat Propaganda when New Zealand won the Admiral's Cup in England.He was also a watch captain on Steinlager II with Peter Blake when she won the 1989–90 Whitbread Round The World Race and skipper of a Whitbread 60 (later Volvo Ocean 60) class boat in the 1993/1994 race where he was associated with Dennis Conner and Tom Whidden.In the 1995 Queen's Birthday Honours, Butterworth was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to yachting.After the successful defense of the America's Cup in Auckland in 2000 the then skipper, Russell Coutts, tactician Butterworth and several other members of the New Zealand team moved to the Alinghi team. They then won the America's Cup in 2003, beating Team New Zealand 5–0 in waters near Auckland. He was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2004. After Russell Coutts left Alinghi in March 2005, Butterworth became skipper himself and went on to win the 2007 America's Cup in Valencia, again beating Team New Zealand, this time 5–2.In October 2009, Butterworth published an open letter commenting on the extensive litigation concerning the 33rd America's Cup. According to him, winning the America's Cup is akin to climbing the K2 mountain: something that only the top sportsmen in their field can achieve. He says: "Great sportsmen seek victory on the field of play, or in our sport; on the high seas. A sportsman seeking to win through the courts or through what Dennis called the 'backdoor' only demeans themselves as sportsmen and taints any victory, as well as the sport. Having challenged for and defended the America’s Cup successfully, I have always found it has been won by designing and building the fastest boat and sailing with the best team. It is hard to win, as it should be for such a trophy. Reducing the challenge might make the conquest easier, but gone is the attraction and achievement."Butterworh was the skipper for the defending team Alinghi in the 2010 America's Cup. His yacht Alinghi 5 lost to the challenging yacht USA 17 by a considerable margin. Most observers stated that USA 17's rigid wing sail had given it a decisive advantage.Butterworth led a campaign on NUMBERS, a 66-foot race boat designed by Alinghi Head of Design Team, Rolf Vrolijk and owned by American Daniel Meyers in 2007 and 2008 that resulted in winning; the maxi boat world championship in Sardinia, Cork Race Week in Ireland, and in the US, the New York Yacht Club annual regatta, the Palm Beach Race, the Lambert Ocean Race and the Palm Beach Race, Key West Race Week.

Chris Law (sailor)

Chris Law (5 July 1952 – 24 July 2007) was a British sailor who was a winner of the Finn Gold Cup in 1976. His talent was sometimes overshadowed by his bad luck and volatile temperament. He died at Lake Constance in 2007.

Corum (watchmakers)

Montres Corum Sàrl, commonly referred to as Corum, is a Swiss watchmaker based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchâtel. Founded in 1955, it makes high-quality and high-price watches, many of which are limited editions. The benchmark watch series for Corum is its "Admiral's Cup" series. The company is owned by Hong Kong-based Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited together with Eterna. Both of these Swiss watch companies are managed by Jérôme Biard, who was appointed on 1st September 2017.

Corum was also the maker of the World Series of Poker watches that accompanied the World Series of Poker bracelet in 2007, and became the maker of the bracelets themselves in 2007.

Cowes Week

Cowes Week ( KOWZ) is one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world. With 40 daily sailing races, up to 1,000 boats, and 8,000 competitors ranging from Olympic and world-class professionals to weekend sailors, it is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world. Having started in 1826, the event is held in August each year on the Solent (the area of water between southern England and the Isle of Wight made tricky by strong double tides), and is run by Cowes Week Limited in the small town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Don Cowie (sailor)

Don Cowie, born 5 January 1962 in Palmerston North, New Zealand, is a former competitive sailor who won a Silver medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Cowie teamed with ex-American Rod Davis in the Star class to finish second to the American crew.

He again sailed with Davis as part of the New Zealand Challenge at the 1992 Louis Vuitton Cup.Cowie and Davis finished fifth at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and were also fifth in the Soling class at Sydney along with 3rd crewman Alan Smith. Cowie was the yachting section team leader for New Zealand at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

In international keelboat racing Cowie has been in winning teams in the Kenwood Cup (for Japan). Cowie was part of Willi Illbruck's successful Pinta crew, winning the 1993 and 1994 One Ton Cup (for Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, New Zealand) and the 1993 Admiral's Cup (for Germany).

Cowie was the sailing coach for Luna Rossa Challenge during the 2000 America's Cup before sailing for OneWorld in the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup. He then joined Team New Zealand as a trimmer for the 2007 America's Cup.

Gavin Brady

Gavin Brady (born 1 November 1973 in Timaru) is a New Zealand sailor who has competed in the Summer Olympics and multiple America's Cups.

After sailing the sponsor boat for New Zealand Challenge at the 1992 Louis Vuitton Cup, Brady was the tactician for Tag Heuer Challenge at the 1995 Louis Vuitton Cup. He then sailed the 1997–98 Whitbread Round the World Race as the helmsman on Chessie Racing.Brady was third at the 1999 ISAF Open Match Racing World Championship. He then joined AmericaOne for the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup.

In 1999 he was helming inshore races in the winning Dutch |Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Team.

Alongside Jamie Gale, Brady competed at the 2000 Star World Championships and finished 7th. Gale and Brady then sailed for New Zealand at the 2000 Summer Olympics. They placed ninth in the Star class. He competed in the 2001 Star World Championships with George Iverson and the pair finished second. He then competed in his second Round the World Race, sailing on Team SEB during the 2001–02 Volvo Ocean Race.

Brady sailed for Luna Rossa Challenge at the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup. Brady was the tactician for Oracle Racing at the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup. In 2009 he sailed for the Greek Challenge at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series before returning to Oracle for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur. In 2010 he sailed in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland and Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena for Mascalzone Latino.He is also a four time winner of the Congressional Cup.

Germán Frers

Germán Frers, Sr. (born July 4, 1941 in Argentina) is a naval architect renowned for designing successful racing yachts. He designed his first yacht in 1958. There is a design team consisting of Germán Frers and his son Germán Frers, Jr., supported by a team of engineers, architects and designers, some of whom have been with the company for more than 25 years. The company has designed more than 1,000 yachts. The designs range from exotic super yachts to no-nonsense racing hulls.

Yachts designed by the Frers team have won many different yachting events around the world including: the Admiral’s Cup, Onion Patch, Bermuda Race, Transpacific, Whitbread Round the World Race, Sardinia Cup, Buenos Aires-Rio Race, S.O.R.C. (Southern Ocean Racing Circuit), Kenwood Cup, Copa del Rey, San Francisco Big Boat Series, Giraglia Race, Settimana delle Bocche, Two Ton Cup World Championship, Martini Middle Sea Race and the Maxi World Championship.

Successful yachts designed by Frers include: Scaramouche I and II, Noryema X, Recluta, Hitchhiker, Retaliation I and II, Ragamuffin IV and V, Congere, Morning Star 45', Morning Star 50', Bribon IV and V, Nitissima, Enteara, Volcano, Kodiak, Flyer, Bumblebee III and IV, Guia 2000, Boomerang, Kialoa V, Ondine VIII, Matador and Il Moro di Venezia I, II and III.

His largest project was Jim Clark's 156ft Hyperion, launched in 1997 at the Royal Huisman yard. At the time of her launch, Hyperion was the largest sloop ever made; Her mast was the tallest ever made as well as the longest single piece carbonfiber object.

Harold Cudmore

Harold Cudmore (born April 21, 1944) is an Irish sailor.Born and raised in Cork, Harold Cudmore became an internationally famous yacht racing skipper and match racer.

Cudmore had success in classes from the International 505, where he placed 2nd in the World and 4th in Europe, through classes like the Half-ton and One-Ton classes where he won the Worlds, through to the America's Cup and the Admiral's Cup.

He represented Ireland at the 1972 Summer Olympics, where he competed in the two-man Flying Dutchman sailing event.He was the first non-American to win the Congressional Cup in the USA, one of the longest-established and most prestigious match racing events.

In addition to sailing for Irish teams, Cudmore also captained the British and German Admiral's Cup teams at various times and skippered the top ranked boat in 1985.

In the America's Cup Cudmore was heavily involved in several British campaigns during the 1980s, and was the head coach of the 1992 winning campaign America3 and coaching the all-women's Defense campaign in 1995.He was named Sailor of the Year in Britain in 1986.

Harold has two daughters; Eliza who studies History and Politics at Trinity College Dublin, and Freya.

Jeremy Lomas

Jeremy Lomas is a New Zealand sailor who has been involved in multiple America's Cups.

Lomas sailed on Merit Cup during the 1997–98 Whitbread Round the World Race.

He joined Team New Zealand before their 2000 America's Cup defence and worked as a bowman. He stayed with the team and was a part of their 2003, 2007 and 2013 campaigns. He also sailed in the Extreme Sailing Series for Team New Zealand.Lomas left Team New Zealand in 2015 and later followed Dean Barker to SoftBank Team Japan and sailed for Japan during the 2017 America's Cup.He has also competed in the Kenwood Cup, Admiral's Cup, the Fastnet Race and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Morning Cloud

Morning Cloud was the name given by the British politician Edward Heath to a series of five yachts which he owned between 1969 and 1983.

One Ton class

One Ton class was an offshore sailing class, which raced for the One Ton Cup, of the RORC 22 foot rule between 1965 and 1970, and then the International Offshore Rule between 1971 and 1994. The IOR rated length was 27.5' from 1971 to 1982, then in order to match the minimum class of the Admiral's Cup, the rated length for the One Ton class increased to 30.55' from 1983 onwards.As well as regional competitions, the class spawned national-level trophies such as the North American One Ton cup. It was reputed in 1994 by Yachting World as "the most competitive trophy" which has "had the greatest influence on offshore yacht racing design and techniques".

Pinta (yacht)

Pinta was a series of racing yachts owned by German industrialist and yachtsman Willi Illbruck. Pinta raced for DYC (Der Düsseldorfer Yachtclub) and KYC (Kieler Yacht-Club).

Willi Illbruck started sailing his first Pinta, a one-ton yacht, in 1969.

Pinta had her first international successes in the beginning of the 1970s and was runner-up on her first participation in the 1975 Admiral's Cup.

Between 1982 and 1983, Willi Illbruck and Udo Schütz, built 7/8-rigged boats using new honeycomb technique. Germany won the 1983 Admiral's Cup with Willi Illbruck's Pinta and Udo Schütz's Container.

Introducing the slogan “The Fight Goes On!” in 1993, the year turned out to be “Year of the Cups”, the most successful year in Pinta’s history. With a 100% professional crew Pinta won the Admiral's Cup and the 1993 One Ton Cup with Russell Coutts as skipper/tactician. Pinta defended the One Ton Cup again in 1994, now with John Kostecki as skipper/tactician and Rod Davis as helmsman.

John Kostecki continued as skipper/tactician on the team from 1994.From 1998, Willi Illbruck’s son, Michael Illbruck, continued his father’s sporting commitment with yachts named Illbruck Challenge, Nela and Pinta. The Volvo Ocean 60 yacht Illbruck Challenge won the 2001–02 Volvo Ocean Race

Royal Ocean Racing Club

The Royal Ocean Racing Club is a gentleman's club in London. It was established in 1925 as the Ocean Racing Club, as a result of a race to the Fastnet Rock from Cowes, finishing in Plymouth. The RORC is the principal organiser of offshore yacht races in the United Kingdom, including the Fastnet Race, the Admiral's Cup and the Commodores' Cup. RORC was founded to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation of sailing vessels in which speed and seaworthiness are combined.In co-operation with the French offshore racing club, UNCL, RORC is responsible for IRC, the principal international handicap system for yacht racing.

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) is one of Australia's leading yacht clubs with a strong elite sailing focus, and is located in the Pittwater at Newport, New South Wales.

Its marina and clubhouse is located on Green point, towards the southern end of Pittwater, to the north of Crystal Bay and across Crystal Bay from the Newport Arms Hotel. The club maintains an adjacent slipway, hardstand and other maintenance facilities on the northern shore of Crystal Bay.

Syd Fischer

Syd Fischer, (born 4 March 1927 in Sydney) is an Australian businessman and property developer and sailor.Most noted for his sailing, Fischer is described as Australia's most successful offshore sailor. He has skippered numerous yachts, notably several named Ragamuffin and has competed in six Admiral's Cup teams representing his country.

He has had wins including

World Championship One Ton Cup in Stormy Petrel in New Zealand in 1971

1971 Fastnet Race in Ragamuffin

Line honours in the 1988 and 1990 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Handicap honours in 1992 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

1980 Round State Race in HawaiiFischer shares a record of five challenges for the America's Cup, with Sir Thomas Lipton. He first challenged for the 1983 America's Cup in Advance, the year Australia II won. He led subsequent challenges in 1987 in Steak'n'Kidney, and 1992 in Challenge Australia. He made his third and fourth attempts at San Diego in 1992 and 1995 and his fifth in Auckland in 2000.

In 1996 and 1998 he captained Australia's Kenwood Cup team.

Yachting Achievements

• OBE for Sporting Achievements in 1971

• NSW Sports Hall of Fame 2001

• Australian Yachtsman of the year 1971/72 and 1992/93

• Ocean Racer of the Year 1993, 1996 and 2002

• Award for Services to Yachting 2003/03

Major Ocean Racing Victories

• Winner - World Championship One Ton Cup 1971

• Winner - Fastnet Race, England 1971

• Winner - Line Honours in Sydney-Hobart races 1988 and 1990

• Winner - Sydney-Hobart 1992 on handicap IOR division

• Winner - Round State Race Hawaii 1980


• Captain of Australian Admiral's Cup in 1971, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1993, 1997 including the winning team in 1979 and competed in 1969 team

• Captain of Australian Clipper cup Winning Team – Hawaii 1978 and 1980

• Winner - Top Point Score Trophy in Clipper Cup 1980

• Captain of Australian Kenwood Cup winning teams in Hawaii 1996 and 1998

• Captain of Australian and New south Wales Southern Cross Teams 1975, 1993, 1995 1997, 2004

• Competed in 42 Sydney/Hobart races

• Winner - 9 Blue Water Championships

Sydney 40

The Sydney 40 was designed by Iain Murray and built by Sydney Yachts in the late 1990s.

Two Ton class

Two Ton class is an offshore sailing class of the International Offshore Rule. The Two Ton Cup is held by the Royal Ocean Racing Club as part of its Admiral's Cup.

Willi Illbruck

Wilhelm Gustav "Willi" Illbruck (September 26, 1927 – November 21, 2004) was a German industrialist, the founder and CEO of the Illbruck GmbH, and a notable yachtsman.

Offshore sailing races
Single-handed races
Double-handed races
Crewed races


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