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Heritage on the high seas

Audrey Simon
Audrey Simon • 4 min read
Heritage on the high seas
The Richard Mille Cup features restored classic yachts, recreating their original pre-war racing circuits (Pictures: Richard Mille)
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What do sailing and watchmaking have in common? In the case of Richard Mille, both celebrate the brand’s dedication to preserving and perpetuating the rich traditions of sailing and high watchmaking.

Richard Mille’s watches are known for their modern, high-tech design. Yet, the brand is pushing boundaries with materials and engineering and nurturing a connection to classic sporting heritage. This connection is seen through the brand’s support for heritage sports and events, such as the Le Mans Classic for vintage automobiles and the Richard Mille Cup, which honours the tradition of regattas.

The Richard Mille Cup is more than just a race — it is a journey back in time. Featuring restored classic yachts built before 1939, the event recreates the pre-war racing circuits for which these vessels were originally designed.

It has been only a year since the Richard Mille Cup successfully debuted. The regatta reflects the core values of Richard Mille’s timepieces — excellence, perfection and innovation—qualities that resonate strongly with athletes. Richard Mille has long been associated with sports that drive the brand forward, including tennis, motor racing, golf and sailing.

This year, the Richard Mille Cup makes a comeback for its second edition, scheduled to run from June 2 to June 15. Expanding on the previous year’s triumph, the event will showcase approximately 12 historic yachts competing in stages along the English Channel.

The regatta will again showcase the finest vintage yachts afloat, all competing for the prestigious Richard Mille Cup. Founder Richard Mille says: “This is the ideal environment to admire the magnificence and beauty of these classic yachts from the pre-war era and the involvement of Yacht Clubs allows owners and admirers alike to come together in the true spirit of the event.”

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Thrilling races

As in the past, the Cup is expected to draw enthusiasts of classic boats, collectors and numerous spectators while thrilling inshore races are conducted at the four host ports — Falmouth, Dartmouth, Cowe and Le Havre. The vintage sailing yachts will also engage in demanding passage races between these locations, including two overnight challenges.

William Collier, an organiser and classic yacht expert, comments, “The combination of day and passage races alongside the opportunity to sail and visit iconic locations are unique to the Richard Mille Cup and has proven very popular with the owners of some of the finest yachts in the world. We look forward to welcoming them back and hosting this unique sporting event.”

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The Richard Mille Cup celebrates classic yacht design, showcasing stunning, authentically maintained and crewed sailing yachts. This regatta provides a competitive setting for these vessels to perform as originally intended.

The fleet will make stops at four historic yacht clubs in England and France —  Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in Falmouth, the Royal Dart Yacht Club in Dartmouth, the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes and finally, the Société des Régates du Havre in Le Havre, France.

The yachts, which date from the late 19th century to the late 1930s, will compete in the Schooner and Cutter categories and will include great designs like Mariquita (1911), Moonbeam III (1903) and Moonbeam IV (1920). 

The regatta honours the artistry and tradition behind classic yachts and highlights many meticulously restored to their original splendour, modern incarnations of the regatta circuit. These yachts represent the pinnacle of craftsmanship from a bygone era. Every detail on the yachts, akin to a Richard Mille timepiece, serves a purpose and exudes exceptional quality. 

As in the previous year, winners will receive the prestigious Richard Mille Cup, a one-meter-tall trophy handcrafted by Garrard. With a legacy of over 300 years as a jeweller to the British royal family, Garrard has crafted legendary sporting awards, including the Ascot Gold Cup, the British Masters trophy, the Cricket World Cup and the America’s Cup.

Despite originating from different eras, the yachts and Richard Mille watches are committed to innovation and excellence. The Richard Mille Cup transcends mere competition, serving as a tribute to the enduring legacy of these magnificent vessels and celebrating the golden age of yachting.  

To learn more about the The Richard Mille Cup, visit https://www.richardmillecup.com

 

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