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Falmouth Classics 2024 set for June

by Don Garman 24 Feb 03:24 PST 14-16 June 202
Racing at Falmouth Classics 2023 © Nigel Sharp

The Falmouth Classics, a major UK sailing event for classic boats will take place from 14th - 16th June with arrival of participating vessels on Thursday 13th.

The event, now in its 37th year, began accepting entries on February 2nd at www.falmouthclassics.org.uk. To date over 30 entries have been received, all from craft that meet the criteria of having been built on or before 1974 or have been built subsequently to a pre-1974 design, built traditionally in wood or/and have a traditional gaff or lug rig.

At 129 years of age, the oldest entry to date is Pilgrim of Brixham, the last of a large fleet of sailing trawlers, she fished out of her home port from 1895 to 1912 and then spent many years in Sweden and Denmark before returning to UK ownership in 1999. She is operated by the Pilgrim Heritage Foundation and is a regular Classics participant. New to the Falmouth Classics is Pellew built by Luke Powell at Newham, Truro and launched in 2020. Since launch she has spent most of her summers in Scotland. Pellew at 68' feet is the longest pilot cutter built since the 1870s. She was built on the lines of the Falmouth pilot cutter Vincent that served from 1852 - 1922 and was owned by the Vincent family of St Mawes.

Some current entries are local but the harbours of Fowey, Salcombe, Dartmouth and Portsmouth are all represented illustrating the draw of this popular event on the classic sailing calendar.

Paul Hobson, the new chairman of Falmouth Classics Association, the organising body, said" With the days gradually getting longer, we are all starting to look forward to getting back on the water. In Falmouth the Classics crew are now getting involved in the various tasks that need to happen to ensure that this year's event has all the elements that make it such an enjoyable and popular feature of the Classic sailing calendar."

The event will provide two days of racing in the idyllic surrounds of the Carrick Roads and out in Falmouth Bay for the larger craft. This year will see fourteen classes line up to start including a fleet of fifteen Salcombe Yawls and it is hoped that in their centenary year there will be a good showing of Falmouth Sunbeams. Following the third race on Saturday there will be the opportunity to demonstrate rowing and sculling skills in a series of fun races at the Royal Cornwall Sailing Club. Sunday morning will see the spectacular parade of sail and power take place in the Carrick Roads with well over a hundred craft expected. The Roads will be transformed into a cloud of sail as the fleet travels south. This year up to fifteen vintage life boats are expected to join the two local life boats to mark the 200 years of the RNLI. A follow up to the Falmouth RNLI open day on Saturday 15th. The small boat parade will take place in the inner harbour on Sunday afternoon and is expected to include a fleet of steam boats as well as vessels powered by sail and oar.

On shore there will be receptions, a Hog Roast supper for skippers and crews and the opportunity to enjoy over seventy bands participating in the Falmouth International Shanty Festival. On the historic Quays there will be a maritime village with a range of exhibitors, some selling boats, chandlery, others marketing marine related gifts and an opportunity to taste some local gin.

The volunteer team of organisers are indebted to the partner sponsor Classic Boat, the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, Teamac and the West Briton and all of the major and event sponsors and programme advertisers for their considerable support.

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