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23rd-25th May 2020

The Canford Cup

Discovered when it appeared at auction, the Canford Cup is among the oldest sailing trophies in the world.  It predates the America’s Cup ‘Auld Mug’ by 2 years.

Poole and Bournemouth Regatta 1849

The 1849 Regatta took place on Friday August 10th 1849, when 3 races were held.

The third race, according to the announcement of the Regatta which appeared in “Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle” on 22nd July 1849, was for:

“The Canford Cup, presented by Sir John Josiah Guest, Bart., M.P.; for yachts not exceeding 15 tons o.m.; a time race; entrance 10s; three to start or no race”

This cup, a George IV silver vase, was originally created in 1822 by Robert Hennell of London, one of a well-known family of silversmiths. It was subsequently purchased by Sir John Guest, who had the cup embossed with a yacht racing scene and engraved “Poole Regatta 1849”.  Sir John Guest had purchased the Manor of Canford in 1846, so named this The Canford Cup.

After this, the cup seems to have disappeared from view into private collections.  It came up for auction in October 2015 and was purchased by Poole Museum, with the help of donations from the Poole Regatta Committee, Poole Yachting Association, various yacht clubs and individuals from Poole.

The Canford Cup is now presented to the winner of the biennial Poole Regatta and retained permanently on public view at Poole Museum.

Canford Cup Winners

1849    Gleam, 15 tons, P Roberts, Esq of the Southern Yacht Club, Southampton

2016    Aguila, Quarter ton, Sam Laidlaw