Westward, 323 tons and built by the great Nat Herreshoff at Rhode Island in 1910, was one of the largest racing schooners whose career fell into two distinct phases. Like King George V's legendary Britannia, she too had royal connections having been originally purchased - at the Kaiser's instigation - by a syndicate of German businessmen who renamed her Hamburg. In a brilliant start she won all eleven races in her first season and then enjoyed many other successes in the years preceding the Great War. Sold out of German ownership after the Armistice, her new American owner Clarence Hatry restored her original name and his first season in 1920 almost equalled the triumphs of 1910. It was after her sale to T.B.F. Davis in 1924 however, that she finally came into her own when she became a regular challenger to Britannia. Over the years Davis and the King developed a spirited though friendly rivalry and Westward became such a prized possession of Davis that he, like King George before him, stipulated that his boat also was to be sunk after his death.
Britannia, built for King Edward VII when Prince of Wales in 1893, was undoubtedly the most famous racing cutter of them all. Hugely successful during her long life, she won 33 firsts out of 39 starts in her maiden season and competed against all the fastest yachts of the day. Sold in 1897 - although bought back for cruising in 1901 by which time the Prince of Wales had succeeded to the throne - her second racing career really came into its own when King George V had her refitted for big class competitions in 1921. Under the King's enthusiastic ownership, Britannia went from success to success. Despite being re-rigged seven times in all, her hull shape was so efficient that she remained competitive almost to the end and was only finally outclassed by the big J-class boats introduced in the mid-1930's. King George V died in 1936 and under the terms of his will, Britannia was stripped of her salvageable gear and scuttled off the southern tip of the Isle of Wight.
White Heather (II), one of the classic '23 metre' creations and a slightly older thoroughbred than Westward, was designed by William Fife (Jnr.) and built in his yard at Fairlie in 1907. An equally impressive big cutter registered at 90 tons gross (179 Thames), she measured 95= feet in length overall with a 21 foot beam and proved a remarkably successful boat well into old age. Originally owned by Mr. Myles Kennedy and then by Sir Charles Allom, by 1930 she was in the possession of Lord Waring and still one of the fastest regular competitors at Cowes until the end of her career.
Susanne was one of the most magnificent composite schooners of the Edwardian yachting scene yet somehow managed to survive both World Wars until finally laid up for scrapping in 1948. Designed by William Fife and built by A. & J. Inglis at Glasgow in 1904, she was registered at 154 tons gross (70 net) and measured 94 feet in length with a 20 foot beam. Originally owned by Mr. Oscar Huldschinsky of Berlin, under whose colours she achieved her most notable victory when she won the Emperor's Cup in 1905, he sold her to a Frenchman in 1913 although her new owner kept her at Greenock which enabled her to escape any war damage. Bought by Mr. Warwick Brookes of Park Lane in 1920, he only raced her for a couple of seasons before selling her to Robert McAlpine, Jnr., in 1923. Soon afterwards McAlpine fitted her with an engine for cruising and she spent the rest of her life thus, her final owner being Stavros S. Niarchos who berthed her in Greece at Piraeus.