©1952 Beken of Cowes, FOXHOUND

Ongoing Projects / FOXHOUND



63.25 ft


45.0 ft


12.5 ft


9.1 ft

sail area

1650 sqft


33 ton

Lead keel

16 ton

off. lloyd's register number


rorc sail number



Charles Nicholson


Camper & Nicholson




In 2021 Absolute embraced the FOXHOUND project, one of the most iconic of the British ocean racing yachts — the immediate design predecessor and close sister to the famous and royal, racing yawl BLOODHOUND.

Designed by Charles Nicholson for Isaac Bell, an American citizen living in England, she was built and launched by Camper & Nicholson in June 1935, just in time for the racing season. FOXHOUND is a rare and amazing ocean racer with a unique racing pedigree that never had her name changed through the subsequence ownerships. Past owners and keen yachtsman like Hon. Mrs. Emily Rachel Pitt-Rivers, from England, or Ernesto Vieira de Mendonça, from Portugal, made sure FOXHOUND was always out there for racing.

Absolute is committed to guarantee FOXHOUND returns back again to the classic racing circuit and in great style. We are searching for the right owner to help us bring this extraordinary example of a first class ocean racing yacht back to activity and ensure that her name will not be forgotten.

Extracts from an article published in Yachting World and Motor Boating Journal, in June 1935


(…) Mr. Isaac Bell´s Nicholson-designed Foxhound, (…) certainly merits attention, but we prefer to regard her as an exceptionally lovely ship attracting admirers on her own account in any company. The lines of her hull are long and beautifully drawn, her ends are easy and promise speed in any weather, blow high or low, while the deep blue of her topsides seems to make her look much smaller than she really is.

Built to Lloyd’s R Class, she is of semi-composite construction with steel frames, mahogany topsides and teak bottom planking. Decks, deckhouse and all her hatches are of teak. Her mast is set well into the ship, and is a hollow silver spruce spar, while she carries a full outfit of racing and cruising canvas of tanned finish.

The accommodation is fitted up for the most part in cedar with all flooring in teak. There is ample headroom everywhere, and the arrangement is planned with an eye to both cruising and racing. (…)

Considering who are the builders of Foxhound, it goes without saying that the workmanship and finish are of the highest class. (…)


© 1952 Beken of Cowes

Extracts from an article published in Yachting World - Power and Sail, in June 1954


(…) these were a development of Nicholson’s fast cruisers but they were based mainly upon his racing yachts and in particularly the 12-metre class. The first of the great trio was Foxhound, 45ft L.W.L., 12ft 6in beam, built for Isaac Bell in 1935, was in fact, to all intents and purposes, a 12-metre below the waterline, for this is what he once told the writer. Construction was to Lloyd´s R classification for the 12-metre class.

Nicholson had long been dissatisfied with Lloyd’s scantlings for cruising yachts which he considered to be far too heavy, and he thus, in one move, abandoned them for those considered only fit for racing yachts. How right he was is proved by the fact that all his ocean racers are still in service, and that the “R” scantlings have since been adopted with certain modifications for cruising yachts.

In the following year Foxhound was followed by Bloodhound, a yawl with a similar hull for the same owner. She was followed by Stiarna in 1937. All have proved themselves to be fine seaworthy yachts capable, not only of ocean racing, but of crossing the oceans, and all are first-class sea boats as well as comfortable cruisers. So versatile are these yachts that they are, in fact, very hard to beat ”round the buoys”. (…)

© 1935 C&N, All Rights Reserved by National Maritime Museum

FOXHOUND’s list of owners


Designed and Built for Isaac Bell

1935 - 1936

Isaac Bell

1936 - 1949

Cmte. G. de Gasquet-James

1949 - 1951

D. H. E. McCowen

1951 - 1957

Hon. Emily Rachell Pitt-Rivers

1957 - 1972

Ernesto Vieira Mendonça

1972 - 2021

António and Isabel Xara-Brasil Nogueira

2021 - present


In 1957, Hon. Emily Rachel Pitt-Rivers sold her beloved FOXHOUND to Ernesto Vieira Mendonça, after crossing the Atlantic Ocean and racing the 1956 Bermuda Race. Ernesto Mendonça was a keen and very active racing star class sailor. He got immediately enchanted by the opportunity of acquiring such a remarkable yacht and joined the growing Portuguese fleet of ocean racers.

FOXHOUND first round the fastnet

© 1935, FOXHOUND first round the fastnet

FOXHOUND sailing

©1952 Beken of Cowes, FOXHOUND

Some highlights in her racing career


4th place - Fastnet Race (1st to round the FASTNET ROCK)


1st place - Morgan Cup Race to Cherbourg


1st place - Le Palais to Bénodet Race


1st place - Royal Thames Yacht Club Trophy


1st place - Dartmouth Royal Regattas

1936 - 1937

1st place - Dinard to Ile de Bréhat Race


2nd place - Cowes to Dinard Race (King Eduard VII Cup)


1st place - West Brittany Races


1st place - Plymouth to La Rochelle Race

1952, 1955

1st place - Southsea to Harwick Race


1st place - Channel Race (Royal Albert Y. C. Trophy)

1952 - 1953

1st place - Cowes to Dinard Race (King Eduard VII Cup)

1952 - 1953

1st place - Brixham to Santander Race

1952 - 1953

1st place - Santander to Belle Ile Race


1st place - North Sea Race (Haaks Cup)


2nd place - Fastnet Race


2nd place - Cowes to La Coruna Race


15th place - Bermuda Race

1958 - 1959, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1969

1st place - Sesimbra to Cascais Race (D. Carlos I Trophy)

1958 - 1960, 1962, 1965 - 1966, 1969, 1975

1st place - Berlengas Race (Salazar Trophy)

1959, 1961, 1963 - 1966, 1968 - 1969

1st place - D. Pedro V Trophy

1959, 1961, 1963 - 1964, 1966, 1968

1st place - Lisboa to Setubal Race (Wintermantel Trophy)

1960 - 1961

1st place - Vigo to Lisboa Race (D. Nicolas Franco Trophy)


1st place - Oceânica Regatta (Cascais to Malaga)

1961, 1964, 1967 - 1968

2nd place - Berlengas Race (Salazar Trophy)


2nd place - Lisboa to Portimão Regatta

1967 - 1968

1st place - Ending of Season A.N.L. Trophy

1971 - 1973

1st place - Clube Naval Cascais VI Trophy


35th place - Fastnet Race (winner of Iolaire Cup)


1st place - D. João V Regatta


1st place - Vilamoura Race

Extracts from an article published in VELA, numbers 43-44 of 1954


Es un barco cargado de história. Los que llegan a Lisboa y lo ven hablan de sus hazãnas marineras. Un inglés que había regateado con él, cuando lo recorrió por dentro se puso a llorar de emoción. Esa admiración que dispierta y que hace exclamar a cuantos lo ven “!OH el FOXHOUND!” me decidió a no cambiar el nombre del barco. (…)

En el primer año que lo tuve me ganó un cincuenta por ciento de las regatas en que tomó parte. Asi fué superándose hasta el año passado, en que las ganó todas. (…)

Tiene una ceñida fantástica, en la que es muy difícil de batir hasta por los nuevos diseños.

En la primera regata, Lisboa-Sines, nos clasificamos primeros. (…) Aquello fué memorable. Soplaba el viento con fuerza nueve y, entonces, el “Foxhound” demostró sus magníficas cualidades, tanto por la resistencia del barco como por lo ducha que fué la tripulación. Llevábamos la mayor con dos rizos y dos foques de estay pequenõs. El barco se metía en las olas e desaparecía bajo ellas y, aunque iban atados a cubierta, tenía que recontar la tripulación cada vez que el “Foxhound” emergía de una de aquellas olas rompientes, navegando como un auténtico pez. (…) comprendí cómo el “Foxhound” podría atravesar nuevamente el Atlántico con toda tranquilidad. (…)


© 1951 Beken of Cowes, FOXHOUND

Words of Encouragement

She is a real beauty, hope you will find a nice new owner to restore her.
Kindest regards,

Ed Kastelein, Owner & builder of ELENORA, INGOMAR and ATLANTIC

What a super cool and super important boat she is, she was the benchmark boat, fast, beautiful and universally admired! (...) I have been on board some 20 years ago and that boat is stunning, she really is! The interior is very original, all cedrela and all is kept to the lowest possible weight at the time. Her hull appears pretty sound…the idea is to have the boat fully restored to original, or as close to original as possible. Of course the original Cedrela interior will need to stay original, it’s exquisite. And of course it is a large project, always more than anyone thinks…what is more important is to find the right man or woman who will honor this amazing yacht and race/cruise her the way she was intended to.
Best wishes,

John Lammerts van Bueren, Touchwood BV

Mister Vieira, I knew our friendship had to come to an end one day; but I never dreamed of an end like this!!
Only a godforsaken Portuguese so to say ship restorer could do this.
Of course you kept me away from this project, you knowing that I would have snatched her away from you. And do I remember? You must be joking: she is a dream!
Will she be ready for Geneva next year?

Fred Meyer, Owner of 8mR CATINA VI and 10mR RITA IV

How amazing! What great work to do restoring these lovely yachts, I will keep a look out for anything on Foxhound.
Best regards,

Sue Dines, Daughter of the late John Leather

John tells me you have Foxhound in your yard, she is easily in my top ten yachts ever and is very close to the top!

Jack Gifford, Jack Gifford Marine Design Studio


© 1952 Beken of Cowes, FOXHOUND


© 1951 Beken of Cowes, FOXHOUND

Documents about Foxhound

An article was published in "Yachting World", right after her launch in June 1935. A second article on the three "Sister Ships". Plus, an interesting advertise by C&N in "Yachting Monthly".

Download "The Ocean Racer Foxhound" PDF Download "Foxhound, Bloodhound and Stiarna" PDF Download "C&N Advertise for Foxhound" PDF