The Coupe d’Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, commonly referred to as the Schneider Trophy or the Schneider Prize, was a competition for seaplanes and flying boats that was held on a dozen occasions between 1913 and 1931. The Jacques Schneider in question was a French financier who also, it just so happened, was a hot-air balloon and airplane fanatic.
The first prize was worth around one thousand pounds, the competition having been in the form of a time trial to complete courses of up to 350 kilometres. The starting and finishing points apparently used to attract vast numbers of spectators - anything in the region of 200,000. The 1913 trophy was held in Monaco. Other venues included Bournemouth and Cowes, while in 1925 the competition crossed the Atlantic to Chesapeake Bay.
Not everything always went entirely according to plan. In 1924, the Schneider Trophy was due to have been held at Chesapeake Bay for the first time. It would have gone ahead had it not been for the Italians and French withdrawing and two British planes crashing in pre-race trials. This only left the Americans; the event had to be called off.
The Schneider Trophy was not the same as the Schneider Cup. This was also the brainchild of Jacques Schneider. It had been held two years before the initial trophy event. The cup itself is now at the RAF College Cranwell, while the trophy is in the Science Museum in South Kensington.
It is seemingly the cup rather than the trophy which is set to be revived. And the place will be Pollensa Bay. The idea for the Copa Schneider Siglo XXI has come from the Majorcan Aeronautical Foundation, which is behind the Seaplane Splash-In event and has also of course been promoting the possibility of civilian seaplanes using the bay.
The revived Schneider Cup is due to be held on March 22.
From what one can make out, it is in fact a renaming for the Splash-In, designed to give that event added incentive.
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