For the first time since 1849, The Canford Cup will be presented at the Poole Regatta. Organisers believe this might make it the oldest sailing trophy in the world.


The Canford Cup will be presented to the overall winner of the Poole Regatta this May.

The last time it was handed over was in 1849 when it was won by Gleam, a 15 ton cutter owned by P Roberts, Esq. of the Southern Yacht Club in Southampton. It was presented by
Sir J J Guest, Bart, MP.

The race was watched by passengers on board the Atlanta, a steamer from Southampton, while an on-board brass band from Blandford played for their entertainment.

According to Poole Regatta’s Notice of Race, the cup then “seems to have disappeared from view into private collections”.

The cup is a George IV silver vase. It was originally made in 1822 by Robert Hennell of London, one of a well-known family of silversmiths.

It was subsequently purchased by Sir John Josiah Guest, who had the cup embossed with a yacht racing scene and engraved “Poole Regatta 1849”. Sir John had purchased the Manor of Canford in 1846, so named this The Canford Cup.

Organisers of the regatta says this predates The America’s Cup by two years, making it possibly the oldest sailing trophy in the world. The ‘Auld Mug’ is often called the oldest trophy in sport.

The Canford Cup was returned to Poole after it came up for auction in October 2015. It was bought by the Poole Museum, with the help of donations from the Poole Regatta Committee, PooleYachting Association, various yacht clubs and individuals from Poole.

After the presentation to the overall winner of the Poole Regatta 2016, the cup will be engraved and then returned to its permanent home in Poole Museum.

The 2016 Poole Regatta will be taking place between the 28 and 30 May.