Britannia, arguably the most famous racing cutter of all, was extremely successful throughout her long life and even though she was re-rigged seven times in all, her hull shape was so efficient that she remained competitive almost to the end. Starting with 33 wins in 39 races during her maiden season, she enjoyed two brilliant but quite separate careers under first, the Prince of Wales (1893-97), and then his son, King George V, after 1921. The latter grew so attached to her that, under the terms of his will, she was scuttled after his death in 1936 following the removal of all her salvageable gear.
Lulworth was designed and built by White Bros. at Itchen in 1920 for Mr. R.H. Lee of Bovey Tracey, Devon. Originally christened Terpsichore and rigged as a cutter, she was registered at 123 tons gross (111 net and 186 Thames) and measured 95 feet in length with a 22 foot beam. Purchased by Sir A. Mortimer Singer - the immensely wealthy naturalised British son of the American inventor of the sewing machine - after Lee's death in 1924, Singer renamed her Lulworth, a name she retained after being purchased by Alexander Paton in 1928. A splendid boat from the start, she nevertheless came into her own under Paton's colours and became a familiar and successful competitor at Cowes during the final years of King George V's long patronage.
Although not so famous as her opponents in the match depicted here, White Heather (II) was nevertheless one of the classic 23-metre creations designed by William Fife (Jnr.) and built in his Scottish yard at Fairlie in 1907. An impressive big composite cutter registered at 90 tons gross (179 Thames) and measuring 96 feet in length with a 21 foot beam, she too proved a remarkably successful boat well into old age. Originally owned by Mr. Myles Kennedy, she passed into the ownership of the wealthy Sir Charles Allom (1865-1947), the then Commodore of the Royal London Yacht Club, after the Great War and he raced her for about ten years before selling her on to Lord Waring who, in turn, kept her until the early 1930s.