Portsmouth ocean racer's pride as historic cup is re-dedicated for round-the-world powerboat challenge

IT's a prestigious honour and officially the second- oldest powerboat competition trophy in the world.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 6:01 am
Alan Priddy, second left, from Team Britannia with the Dupree International Challenge Trophy alongside Commodore Miles Linington, Adrian Saunders and Squadron Leader Simon Wright-Cooper, Secretary at the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club. Photo: Chris Davies/Team Britannia

Now The Dupree Cup has been made the official prize for Alan Priddy’s bid to circumnavigate the globe in a powerboat in the fastest time.

The Portsmouth ocean racer is seeking to win the cup by racing around the world with his Team Britannia crew in 45 days, which would beat the current record of 60 days.

The prize was re-dedicated at a private ceremony at the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club, in Old Portsmouth.

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It’s believed the trophy was donated to the club by brewing magnate Colonel Sir William Dupree in the late 1920s.

Mr Priddy said: ‘The Dupree trophy is rather special. We just felt it should be rededicated as the perpetual trophy for around-the-world sailing. After long repairs and maintenance on it, we have done that.

‘It makes the challenge more special.

‘But’ more to the point, we want other people to follow in our footsteps.

‘It gives us renewed determination. We are really going to go for it. It’s all about endurance.’

About 1,000 sub-contractors are involved in the construction of Team Britannia’s powerboat.

Mr Priddy said: ‘Everything I said would happen a couple of years ago is happening now. We never, ever gave in and it’s been fantastic.’

The Dupree Cup was awarded to the winners of the Portsmouth and Southsea Powerboat Race and was used until just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

It was then thought to be lost, after the then club secretary, fearing a Nazi invasion, took the precaution of hiding the valuable trophy in 1940.

But he died before the end of the conflict, so no-one knew what had happened to it.

But in 1980s, as builders carried out renovation work to the Queen’s Hotel, in Southsea, the trophy along with a hoard of other valuables were discovered hidden in a chimney breast.

Despite sustaining damage, it went on display until last year when, thanks to a donation from Team Britannia, it was restored to its full glory.