Britannia Yacht Club has a long and rich history. Over the next weeks, we would like to share some of our history with you. If there is anything that you would like to know about the Club’s history please send questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will do our best to get you the stories behind the myths and legends.
 
Have you ever wondered why there is a Dragon in the Main Lounge.… Stay tuned for that tale, it’s a good one! For now, we asked our Trophy Keeper, David Foy, to tell us about the oldest sailing trophy that we award. Here is what he had to share:
 
 
The oldest trophy that is still awarded annually at our Sailing Awards Dinner is the Edwin L. Brittain Trophy. This trophy was donated by Edwin L. Brittain, Charter Member and President of the Britannia Boating Club in 1905.
 
In September of 1955 (when this information was provided) Mr. Brittain was 89 years old and the oldest living member of the Club at the time and he was still very active in club interests. Mr. Brittain was born in 1866 and died in 1960 at the age of 94.
 
The trophy was originally, and is still, presented to the winner of the same race from the Club to Pinhey's Point and back. The Pinhey’s Point Race used to be a two-day race where boats would race up-river, rest overnight and race back home the next day. Pinhey’s Point is located 7.5 nautical miles upriver. Pinhey’s Point itself is a historical site in Ottawa. For more information on Pinhey’s Point please click here. The race is now a one-day race for PHRF-LO rated boats - Elapsed Time (first to finish).
 
The past winners’ names from 1905 to 1941 used to live on a plaque in the stairwell of the clubhouse. My history states that this plaque was likely “misplaced” during one of the many Club renovations over the years. We would love to find this plaque and return it to its rightful place in the trophy case. If anyone has any knowledge of the winners in this period in their archives or knows where the plaque may be, please contact the Trophy Keeper.
 
Starting in 1942 the first 5 winners were:
 
1942 -“LADY ESTHER” Int. 14 - DOUGLAS CARMAN
1943 “AQUILO” Sloop - J. R. (Reg) DELAHAY
1944 -“AQUILO” - J. R. DELAHAY
1945 -“NIAID” Sloop - IRENUS W. MIX
1946 -“SAKANA” - W. W. SCOTT
 
The last 5 winners were:
 
2014 - “GUNSMOKE” Beneteau FC 10 - David Foy
2015 - “GUNSMOKE” Beneteau FC 10 - David Foy
2016 – “GUNSMOKE” Beneteau FC 10 - David Foy
2017 – No Race – Gates still in – Flood levels equal to 1979
2018 – “GUNSMOKE” Beneteau FC 10 - David Foy
2019 – No Race – Gates still in – Highest flood levels recorded – Mother Nature wins again!
 
Based on the information I have it appears that this trophy has been awarded every year except 2017 and 2019, the years of the floods. Which means that there has been a finisher every year for this race and makes this the most awarded trophy at Britannia.
 
 
I hope you enjoyed this small piece of BYC history. If there is a story that you would like to hear or one that you would like to share, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
Lisa Shishis
Commodore
Britannia Yacht Club