A MYSTERIOUS CUP
Marblehead Trophy is beyond all doubt an unusual cup. Its history, which started exactly 90 years
ago, is still not written with sufficient completeness, and some of its pages remain unexplored.

It is known for certain that the sailing trophy — which is a silver cup — was introduced in 1929 as the
main prize of the sailing regatta organized to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the American city of
Marblehead, as evidenced by the Deed of Gift, signed by the Marblehead authorities and the captain
of the port. The trophy was meant to be given to the best of the foreign yachts participating in the
race. In a year's time, the winner's yacht club would have to organize a series of races to determine
the new winner of the trophy. And so on...




As we've already noted, the deed of gift provided that the established prize should go to a foreign
yacht. This was done to raise the profile of Marblehead, a small town north of Boston,
Massachusetts then.

The very first race participants were the Sonder class yachts, constructed in Germany and
represented in a fairly large number on the US East Coast: they were quite popular and common for
the early 20th century American and German regattas.

Photo: Sonderboat on a cover of a magazine
Photo: Easten Yacht Club in Marblehead was their main base (1906).
Apparently, the German team was the first winner of the Marblehead Trophy. In the years that
followed nothing prevented the American sailors from fighting for the Trophy's return to the home
harbor, but there is no written evidence that anyone at least attempted to do so. Only last year an
amateur team from the already mentioned Easten Yacht Club flew to Denmark "without any chance
to win", according to their steersman Bruce Dyson. We know the result: Anatoly Loginov won that
race, so the next Cup will take place in St. Petersburg. Russia, not America.



And so right after its birth the Marble Trophy "sailed" to Europe, where it remains to this day.

During the 1930s the competitions for the Trophy were probably irregular; soon its tracks were lost
in Germany.

At least, the Americans believed that with the outbreak of the World War II the cup
was lost.

But it turned out this was not the case — the silver cup and the race itself had survived, and
from some point on the Marblehead Trophy was renewed.




The deed of gift, written by the founders of the Trophy in 1929, directly obliged the organizers to
hold a race on yachts of a class that would be attractive to foreign participants.


Therefore, from some moment (the exact date is another white spot in this history!) the prize began
to be played out in the Dragon class, which had gained popularity by that time.


It remains "dragon" to this day, and celebrates its venerable age of 90 years.

Source: MH media centre, 2019

© 2020 Saint Petersburg Yacht Club
Marblehead Trophy 2020