The Admirals Cup was an international competition based on teams of three boats, run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club from Cowes.
The Admiral’s Cup began as a private challenge in 1957, but in 1959 the club was asked to run the series.
Although the Americans did not return that year, Holland and France took part.
The story of the Cup from then on was one of continual expansion of the number of teams, which reached a maximum of 19 (57 boats) between 1977 and 1979.
After 1985, in terms of the number of three boat teams, there was a decline as the kind of yacht needed to compete both offshore and in inshore courses (even Olympic or Olympic style layouts), became progressively more unusual and expensive, as did the paid crew.
Commercial sponsorship of the series by French company, Champagne Mumm began in 1983, while the first British boat to be sponsored, rather than privately owned, appeared in 1991.
The 2003 event, the last held, was planned to be based in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, but this was changed at short notice for reasons that are still unclear. In addition, instead of being a competition between national teams, the event was competed between yacht clubs, each with two boats.
The 2005 event was cancelled in April of that year, only months before the event was to be held.
The Royal Ocean Racing Club has now secured the support of Skandia to undertake a feasibility study into the revival of the Admiral’s Cup as the premier offshore racing regatta in the world circuit.
RORC through Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen, has been working on reviving the Admiral’s Cup for sometime. “With this commitment from Skandia we can put resources in place to carry out a thorough feasibility study leading to a plan that could enable our vision to become a reality” says Eddie. “We have considerable interest from all over the world but we want to ensure that the Admiral’s Cup meets the needs and expectations of all prospective competitors.”
RORC is consulting with yacht clubs, boat owners and sailors from all over the world with a view to holding the event in the summer of 2011.
Andrew McIrvine, the commodore of RORC is excited at the prospect of working with Skandia. “Skandia is a company with a long history of yachting sponsorship and one which understands what is required to make an event of this calibre work for the sponsors and sailors. With Skandia’s experience and support at this crucial planning stage there are real prospects of restoring the Admiral’s Cup to prominence.”
Tim Sewell, Skandia’s Sponsorship Manager is delighted to support RORC to bring back the Admiral’s Cup. “The history and heritage of the Admiral’s Cup is immense” says Tim “We hope that our support with the feasibility study will enable RORC to create an event that will do justice to its history and reputation as one of the world’s leading offshore racing regattas.”