Great Britain II
Great Britain II is a yacht launched by Princess Anne on 21 May 1973 named after the SS Great Britain, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel which was the world's first "iron clad" steam ship and whose salvage from the Falklands was underwritten by Sir Jack Hayward, who also funded the building of GB II.
She was conceived to take part in the first "Whitbread Round the World Race" designed by Alan Gurney and built by Chay Blyth and a group of paratroopers who went on to be the crew for the race and got their second place on the race.
She is now named the Whitbread Heritage and has been in private ownership since 1996.
Lightest & fastest
Known throughout the world for her outstanding achievements, Great Britain II was the ultimate dream-come-true for Chay Blyth, the adventurous pioneer who sailed east-to-west around the globe. This 77 ft sloop is of British design and craftsmanship. She is constructed of fibreglass and foam sandwich to give the lightest possible displacement, hence greater speed.
Designed to be the fastest yacht in the world, she was purpose built for Chay Blyth to enter – and be second place after the Mexican Swan 65 named Sayula II – the first Whitbread Round The World Race winner in 1973.
Great Britain II has taken part in all six Whitbread Round the World Races. Racing in the first five and "following" (not a registered participant) in the last, "transitional" Whitbread in 1993/1994 under the name With Integrity, sailing with a short handed crew. The following year the race became known as the Volvo Ocean Race.