The weekend of 10th-12th July was a particularly busy one for sailing in St Mawes! The streets around the harbour were bustling with crew and spectators here to enjoy the three events organised by St Mawes Sailing Club. Sailing attractions included the tenth anniversary Falmouth Working Boat “World” Championships, which has been hosted annually by the Club since 2005. In addition, the St Mawes Social Club Regatta, one of the seven commonly-named “village regattas” which are held annually in the Fal Estuary. The last but by no means least event, was the planned 12-hour race sponsored by ourselves here at the St Mawes Hotel (which as it turned out, became an exciting 4-hour race owing to weather conditions).
The 12-hour race was organised this year as a nod to the 24-hour race that was run by St Mawes Sailing Club around 30 years ago. The race was for the St Mawes One Design class; boats that were designed and originally built specifically for the St Mawes Sailing Club by local boatbuilder Frankie Peters in 1923. Starting at 6pm on Saturday evening, seven boats raced their way around a triangular course off St Mawes with two nominated skippers and a selection of crew for each boat. With crew changes taking place every hour, a whooping fifty people took part over the course of the event. Sadly, a less than favourable weather forecast meant race officers decided to shorten the event even further to a 4-hour race ending at 10pm. The winners, brothers Mike and Chris Cooper took an early lead in Avocet and held it all the way to the finish, completing 17 laps and lapping Saskia in the process. The Cooper brothers were presented with the Ben Ainslie Racing Trophy; made from carbon “offcuts” from the four-time Olympic gold medallist’s current America’s Cup test boat at the prize giving ceremony held here at the St Mawes Hotel.
In addition to the event bringing an opportunity to see the beautiful J-Class boats on the water, the race raised several thousand pounds for various charities chosen by each boat including the St Mawes School PTA, the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Roseland Youth Sailing Trust.
Congratulations to the following top three boats and everyone else who took part:
1 Avocet (skippered by Mike and Chris Cooper); 2 Osprey (Lawrence Bysouth and Nick Sylvester); 3 Merlin (Tommy Whiles and Callum Ferris).