Prince Philip raced Australia's Americas Cup challenger Southern Cross on Friday (8th March), but the new yacht lost to her predecessor, Gretel II.
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Prince Philip and crew aboard Southern Cross
GV Southern Cross
MV Gretel II
GV Start of race Gretel in lead from start
MV Prince Philip looking through binoculars
GV Gretel winning (2 shots)
Initials AE/16.19 AE/16.28
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Background: Prince Philip raced Australia's Americas Cup challenger Southern Cross on Friday (8th March), but the new yacht lost to her predecessor, Gretel II.
The Prince took the helm of the yacht during a series of sea trials against Gretel II off Yanchep in Western Australia. The 12-metre Southern Cross is the third in a line of Australian challengers for the Americas Cup. So far the United States are unbeaten since the race first started in 1851.
In the third of a series of five sea trials off Yanchep, Southern Cross got off to a bad start and never had a chance to recover. At the end of the eight mile (13 km) course Gretel II, skippered by Jim Hardy, was one minute 57 seconds ahead.
According to Southern Cross's owner, self-made millionaire Alan Bond, the heavy loss was not Prince Philip's fault. He said that the yacht was unable to make up ground because her head sail had been torn earlier in the week and had only undergone makeshift repairs.
In the two previous trials Southern Cross beat Gretel II convincingly. There are two more races to go in the present series. Skippered by former Olympic yachtsman John Cuneo, the Southern Cross will then be shipped to the United States where she faces elimination trials against a French yacht off Newport, Rhode Island, in late, August. The victor will compete against the United States for the Americas Cup in September.