In 1539, King Henry VIII ordered the construction of a castle at the end of Calshot Spit to defend the port of Southampton.Its strategic importance continued through both world wars. In 1913 the RFC established a flying boat station on the spit known as RNAS Calshot and later RAF Calshot.
Jacques Schneider was a french industrial manager, and licensed pilot, After giving up flying due to a serious accident, he supported various competitions and aero clubs financially.
On December 5th, 1912, at the Aéro-Club de France, he offered a trophy for a seaplane race and proposed a course of at least 150 nautical miles.This competition became known as the Schneider Trophy. Each club would be permitted to enter up to three competitors with an equal number of alternates. In 1921 the course was increased to 212 nautical miles,
Any team winning 3 races in 5 years would retain the cup and the winning pilot would receive 75,000 francs. Each edition of the race was to be hosted by the previous winning country.
In 1923 The Supermarine S.5 won the Schneider Trophy Race so the British became the host for the 1929 race. Calshot was the base for the race.
The Supermarine S.6 won the 1929 race so again.
Further refinements led to an improved Supermarine S6b and the 1931 race became the 3rd race win for Britain and that kept the Schneider Trophy in England for good.
Sopwith Hanger although the hanger has been reclad in modern materials the 1913 wooden structure of the hanger roof is clearly visible inside.
General views of Calshot Spit.