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HRH Prince Philip, a fellow F15 sailor

FFI's formal response

The Commodore of FFI has sent a letter of condolence to Her Majesty The Queen expressing the class’s sadness at the death of Prince Philip (the letter of condolence can be read via this link).

Prince Philip first sailed on Flying Fifteens with Uffa Fox on the prototype My Dainty Duck in 1948.  He found the boat exhilarating and lively and as a result Uffa organised the people of Cowes to present Coweslip FF 192 to Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip as a wedding gift in 1949.  Prince Philip frequently sailed on Coweslip with Uffa Fox and, together, they had great success sailing competitively, including winning the Britannia Cup in 1952. In 1962 at Cowes, Coweslip nearly sank when she was hit by a gust of wind and capsized, throwing both Uffa and The Duke into the water. Prince Philip last sailed a Flying Fifteen in Cowes Week 1975.  

Interestingly, in 1949, Prince Philip persuaded Uffa Fox to experiment with installing foils under a sailing boat and he went on to produce a 24ft day boat. Although fast, the foils were not considered a success and Prince Philip stuck to more traditional boats. 

In 1962 the Australian Association wrote to Prince Philip requesting a trophy for the Australian Championship and he donated The Coweslip Trophy which is a highly prized possession of FFIA and still sailed for annually. FFIA has to advise the Prince the winner annually and received a reply as recently as March this year following the advice we had not been able to compete in 2020 due to Covid-19

In 1997 he attended a reception at the FF World Championship in Cowes at the Commodore’s House, Uffa’s last residence.

He last visited Cowes Week as an observer in 2016 on the Royal Yacht Squadron starting platform and was late for lunch as he insisted on waiting to see the start of the Flying Fifteen class.

Coweslip may be viewed on the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

Attached are photos of Prince Philip sailing on Coweslip and some historic newspaper cutting of FF’s being built in Uffa Fox’s Medina Yard.

The Class has lost a tremendous competitor and friend, RIP.

Chris Waples
FFI Commodore

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