Despite the current challenges the 34th Falmouth Classics, set to take place from 11 – 13 June has received over 100 entries with local boats still to come. Following the passing of the 17th May milestone, it is full steam ahead for the volunteer team of organisers with prizes to source. posters and programmes to be printed and sailing instruction to be finalised.
Keith Tullett, the Chairman of Falmouth Classics Association said” I am delighted that the efforts of the enthusiastic organising team are being justly rewarded and that we will have a good showing in the parade of power and sail on Sunday 13th to mark Falmouth Harbour Commissioners’ (FHC) 150th anniversary”.
Seventy Visiting vessels will arrive to berth alongside or moor on buoys and anchor on Thursday 10th June. The most distant ones are coming from as far afield as Bristol and the Thames. Two distinctive vessels will be on the moorings, the Danish built topsail schooner “Anny of Charlestown (1930) and the last West Country trading Ketch “Irene” (1907). Together with other heritage craft they will create a scene reminiscent of Falmouth’s maritime past. On Friday there will racing in the Carrick Roads and the Bay and again on Saturday when it is anticipated there will also be a good showing of Falmouth Working Boats with their distinctive topsails.
The event will be covid secure and shore side events have been significantly modified to ensure the skippers and crews will remain safe and healthy. The traditional pasty and a pint reception will see crews remain on their boats and Dynamite Valley Brewery’s bottles of Classic beer or a glass of wine provided by Vino Direct and a Choaks pasty, delivered by volunteers. There are also some adjustments to the on the water activities. The briefing will be virtual and prizegiving will be outside and limited to the Parade and trophy winners so that numbers are not more than 30.
Despite the Shanty Festival being virtual again this year, there will be some music in the Haven on Thursday and Friday evenings provided by Bryhers Boys and the Hardiesse Harmonies.
The parade will be led by two Royal Navy Archer Class patrol boats HMS Exploit and HMS Ranger, following these vessels will be the 1930 Danish topsail schooner “Anny of Charlestown”. Next will be the flotilla to mark the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners 150th anniversary. Leading the group will be one of the current pilot boats and other FHC craft. They will be followed by three sailing pilot cutters: “Marguerite” (1883) originally a Cardiff pilot cutter, “Mascotte” (1907) a Newport pilot cutter and “Agnes” (1993) a reproduction of a Scillonian pilot cutter built by Classic Boater of 2021, Luke Powell. These three will reflect the fleet of sailing pilot cutters that would have worked out of Falmouth meeting vessels off the Lizard and further west that wished to enter the port. Gigs, powered by oars, also carried pilots out to ships, a local gig will join the group. Falmouth Quay Punts served vessels in the port to ferry goods and crew to and fro. There rig was designed to sit under the yards of square riggers. “Curlew”, built in 1912, is a fine example and will be part of the flotilla. Falmouth Working boats would have been very much part of the harbour scene dredging for oysters in winter and racing in the summer, “George Glasson” will represent the Falmouth Working Boats, built in Porthleven in 1893 she came to Flushing in 1912. The oldest boat in the group, celebrating 140 years, is the St Ives Mackerel Driver, “Barnabas”. She is a good illustration of the many fishing luggers that would have been based in the port. Following the flotilla and leading the main parade will be the two Falmouth RNLI lifeboats followed by well over 70 vessels. It is expected that some crews will be dressed in the attire of the 1870s to 1900.