The Channel class was designed in 1937 and the list of owners of the third of class Triune of Troy is most distinguished: Triune was built in 1938 for Langley Russell, 2nd Baron Russell of Liverpool, a lawyer by profession who became involved in investigating the sensational A6 murder in rural Bedfordshire in August 1961 and the long-running debate that followed it. He wrote the book Deadman’s Hill: Was Hanratty Guilty? in 1965, which asserted wrongful conviction in the case. Lord Russell and his wife suffered significant harassment, in the form of frequent anonymous telephone calls, from Peter Louis Alphon, who had been an early suspect in the murder, before James Hanratty was found guilty and hanged in April 1962. Alphon was convicted and fined for this harassment, and his long-running involvement in the matter has remained controversial. This case has continued to attract significant interest, with several further books, articles and television programs investigating it, with many asserting Hanratty’s wrongful conviction, and some key aspects are still unclear).
In 1950 Triune was purchased by Captain Arthur Johnson RNVR who later sold her to Ralph Hammond Innes C.B.E., the author who dedicated his novel ‘The Wreck of the Mary Deare’ to The Mate & Crew of Triune of Troy in memory of a gale off the Minches. Johnson came to regret the decision to sell and attempted unsuccessfully to buy her back from Innes.
Subsequently Triune was owned by, among others, Sir Charles Evans, who was John Hunt’s deputy leader on the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition which made the first ascent of Everest in 1953. Evans is also credited with promoting the use of oxygen in climbing Everest.
In 1972 Triune was saved from decline by Chris Elliott, at one time Master of RSS James Clark Ross the British Antarctic Survey research ship built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders, Wallsend, England, and launched in 1990. Chris had her totally restored.
Nearly twenty years on in 1991 David Knights bought ‘Triune’ and today she continues to race her regularly in the south coast regattas in the UK.
In reality there is actually no connection with Helen of Troy, the name ‘Troy’ came from a past Commodore of the Royal Fowey Yacht Club who often called the Cornish town of Fowey this ancient name.