Sir Edward Heath is the only British Prime Minister to have won a major international sporting trophy whilst in office. He owned and raced five yachts called Morning Cloud and became one of the most successful ocean racers of his generation.
His first big achievement was to win the gruelling Sydney Hobart Race in 1969 and the prestigious Commodores Cup in 1970.
In 1971 Edward Heath was appointed Captain of the Great Britain Team for the Admiral’s Cup – the unofficial world championship of ocean racing – and led the team to victory. He has the distinction of winning the Gold Roman Bowl for the Round the Island Race four times in three different yachts. He was aboard Morning Cloud V during the infamous Fastnet Race, when eighteen people died, and retired from competitive sailing in 1986 at the age of seventy.
Morning Cloud III was lost at sea in freak waves when being moved from Ramsgate to the Solent and two of the transfer crew, Nigel Cumming and Christopher Chadd, were tragically killed. Christopher Chadd was Edward Heath’s godson and the son of his wartime commanding officer. The restored bow section of the yacht was unveiled by Sir Ben Ainslie in the garden at Arundells in 2015 as a lasting memorial to both crewmen.