At right: Patrice Minors, JP, MP, Minister of Business Development and Tourism presents the King edward VII Trophy to Tovar Mirsky (AUS) winner of the 2011 Argo Group Gold Cup. Photo by Talbot WilsonThe King Edward VII Gold Cup is the oldest match-racing trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts. It was given at the Tri-Centenary Regatta at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1907 by King Edward VII in commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America. C. Sherman Hoyt won the regatta and was the first to accept the now historic cup.
After three decades of holding the Cup, Mr. Hoyt gave it to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and proposed a regular one-on-one match-race series in 6-Meter yachts. In his letter he expressed the propriety of "my returning a British Royal trophy to the custody of your club, with its long record of clean sportsmanship and keenly contested races between your Bermuda yachts and ours of Long Island Sound, and elsewhere..." The first winner of the Cup in its new format was the celebrated Briggs Cunningham, who was also the first skipper to win the America's Cup in a 12-Meter.
In the post-war years, the Club placed the Cup in competition in 1956 for match-racing in yachts of the International One Design Class. Bert Darrell had the honor of being first to defend the Cup in this class and won it a total of six times.
By winning his seventh championship in 2004, Russell Coutts surpassed Darrell to become the event's all-time winner.
Through the years Bermuda has won the Cup 21 times, the United States 17 times, New Zealand 10 times, Australia 5 times, the United Kingdom twice, and in 2002 Denmark claimed the King Edward VII Gold Cup for the first time.