• This spectacular ship, which keeps its structure and original furnishings almost intact, was the present Lady Victoria gave Kent Sackville, her husband, Lord Sackville
• The Sumurun has had famous guests such as Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, and John Kerry, current Secretary of State of the United States
IXth Regatta Puig Vela Clàssica has received a new acquisition to Big Boats category, the Sumurun, the KetchBermudian of the owner and skipper Armin Fischer. This amazing boat, built by William Fife and Son of Fairlie in Ayrshire (Scotland) in 1914, has a fascinating history. This Big Boat was the present Lady Victoria gave Kent Sackville, her husband, Lord Sackville. Victoria Josefa Dolores Catalina Sackville-West was born in Paris in 1862, as a result of the relationship between Lionel Sackville-West and the gypsy-descendant Spanish dancer Oliva Josefa Duran, known in her time as Pepita.
After the death her mother when Lady Victoria was 8 years old, she lived in the south of France with her brothers, and spent seven years in a Parisian convent, until she was allowed to live in England with her father’s family, the Sackvilles. She accompanied her father, a British minister in the United States, Washington DC, where she wowed the American high society with her exotic beauty and her French accent, receiving more than 25 marriage proposals from personalities like J.P. Morgan and President Chester A. Arthur. She returned with her father, named Baron Sackville, to England in 1888. She soon married her first husband, also named Lionel Sackville, and they had their daughter Vita.
Lady Victoria was victim of gossips because of her capricious behaviour and her close relations with wealthy and old men, like the sculptor Auguste Rodin and the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. One of her best friends was Sir John Murray Scott, one of the richest men in Europe, who left a large part of his fortune to Lady Victoria. Scott’s family took Victoria to court, accusing her of performing hypnosis and other black arts, which apparently also involved her husband. Lady Victoria won the trials and decided to invest a portion of the inheritance from Scott in the construction of the Sumurun, a gift for her husband, who could enjoy it until his death in 1928.
The name, Sumurun, refers to the character of a beautiful girl in a harem of a work that became popular in the West End of London in 1911. This creation, based on the book The Thousand and One Nights, was the story about the favourite concubine of an old wealthy sheik she challenges when falling in love with a cloth merchant.
A boat that maintains its original essence
The current Sumurun which participated in the IXth Regatta Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona, left its usual port in Maine (USA) last year, sighting ports throughout the summer of 2015 in England, where it participated in various competitions. Since September, it has been embarked on the Portuguese Algarve. Barcelona was its first stop on its tour of the major regattas in the Mediterranean.
“Barcelona is a fantastic city. The port, located within the city, is amazing and it is a city with amazing restaurants and very nice buildings” highlights Armin Fischer, its skipper.
This spectacular boat, which keeps its structure and original furnishings almost intact, has a regular crew of six sailors, although in the regattas it grows up to 11 sailors. “In the IXth Puig Vela Clàssica, we had a crew with sailors from different countries: Germans, Portuguese, English, Americans and Spanish” explains Fischer, who says that being able to share his experiences and stories with people from so many countries is for him one of the main attractions of the IXth Regatta Puig Vela Clàssica.
The Sumurun, who had not sailed in the Mediterranean for ten years, has had famous guests such as Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, and John Kerry, current Secretary of State of the United States, among others.