Virginie Heriot Cup

European Dragon Championship

In memory of the well-known French yachtswoman Virginie Hériot, who won the Gold Medal in the International 8m Class at the 1928 Olympic Games held in Holland and the World Championship in this Class also in 1928, apart from many other sailing events.

In accordance with her express wish to encourage yachting, the Committee of the Yacht Club de France decided on 21st May 1946 to initiate an international Cup and name it "Coupe Virginie Hériot".

This Cup was assigned to the International Dragon Class, but remains the property of the Yacht Club de France and became one of the main Trophies of this Class.

The Dragon Class held the first "Virginie Hériot Cup" regatta in 1948, at Cherbourg,in France and it has been held annually since then.

This event became the European Dragon Championship since 1980.

Virginie Hériot born in July 26, 1890, dedicated most of her life to sailing until 1932.

Unfortunately, on August 28, 1932, during the Arcachon regattas, on board her yacht "Aile VII", after being struck by syncope crossing the finishing line, she later died aboard her yacht.

Virginie Hériot was daughter of Olympe Hériot and Cyprienne Dubernet, owners of Grands Magasins du Louvre.

She married in 1910 to Viscount François de Saint Senoch and received as a wedding present her mother's yacht "El Salvador" where the couple spent their honeymoon.

In 1921 after divorcing her husband she became fully dedicated to yachting.

She acquired in 1921 a 45 meter, 400 tons auxiliary schooner "L'Ailée" where she would spend 10 months sailing.

It is said that she had aboard her International 6 meter "Petite Aile" to race with it wherever she went.

As major regattas in which she took part:

  • In 1928 she won the Gold Medal at the Olympic Games held in Amsterdam and sailed at the Zuiderzee, in the International 8 meter Class, on board her yacht "Aile VI";
  • Also in 1928 she won the "World Championship" and the "Cup of Italy";
  • In 1929 she won the "Coupe de France" and also the "Copa del Rey of HM Alfonso XIII of Spain";
  • In 1931 the race "Ryde-Le Havre-Ryde on her 3 masted schooner "Sonia"

Due to her many sailing victories she was awarded in 1930 the knighthood of the "Légion d'honneur". HM King Alfonso XII awarded her the "Spanish Naval Merit".

The International Dragon Class has the honor to remember annually this great yachtswoman by holding the "Virginie Hériot Cup" as the European Dragon Championship.

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