Falmouth Classics May 2024 newsletter

From the Editor

Fitting out this year, certainly in the south west, has been a challenge with incessant rain for weeks, thus many launch dates have been extended. The Editor will be ten days later than planned getting his gaff cutter craned back into the Helford. The team here in Falmouth hope that our current entrants and those intending to join in one of the largest Classic sailing events in the UK are making good progress getting back on the water.

Currently, entries total almost 100 with most entering to race and it will probably be a matter of days before all of the alongside berths in the Haven are filled. To see who has entered visit the Participating Boats page on the website.

The team are delighted to have received entries from ports and harbours from the Fal to the River Blackwater in Essex as well as vessels from France.

If you have not already entered we will be delighted to hear from you very soon and we look forward to welcoming the visiting fleet on Thursday 13th June from 11.00 and all participants at the Dynamite Valley Brewery’s Haven Reception at 18.30.

Please do visit the Classics Shop to order your Classics Supper at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club and kit your self out with event clothing.

Prior to the event and during, keep your self and your crew up to date by accessing the Falmouth Classic’s 2024 WhatsApp, click this link to join the group or scan the QR code below:

2024 WhatsApp

The event briefing will be posted on the website and there will be an alert on Facebook. The Sailing and Parade Instructions will be posted on the website by 13th May.

Here is to great weather for passage making to and from Falmouth Classics and of course for the event. We really should be due some good weather!


At the time of writing there are 12 alongside berths remaining in the Haven and 7 swinging moorings. If you want either do not delay and book now!

All preferences currently booked will be provided.

A reminder that arrival time on June 13th is from 11.00. If you arrive earlier in the week or stay over into the night of the 16th you will need to pay normal Haven charges. Please note power is not included in the Classics berthing fee but you can use the emptying facility free of charge but you will need to book with the Haven.

Shore Side – What’s On?

Thursday 13th* arrival day. From 18.30 Dynamite Valley Brewery will be providing a reception on the Haven and there will also be a pasty and a Shanty Band – Rum and Shrub.

Friday 14th* from 18.30. Polgoon Vineyard and Gweek Classic Boatyard will be providing a reception in the Falmouth Art Gallery and Council Chamber. Enjoy a glass of wine from way down west, light bites and a great art exhibition “Nuances of Light” by local artist Jamie Medlin.

Hog roast
Hog roast – slow-roasted over flames

Saturday 15th. Classics Supper at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club 19.30 – an organic hog roast or vegetarian alternative and a great salad bar – £17.50 note price alteration. Music provided by the Jumping Out Jazz trio. Visit the Classic’s Shop to book supper for you, your crew and supporters.

Prizegivings – Day prizes RCYC 18.30 Saturday 15th. *Overall race and parade prizes in the National Maritime Museum at 15.00 on Sunday 16th

NB Asterisked events will require wrist straps to be worn. If you have supporters additional to your crew, then please purchase additional social tickets here or at registration. Cost £5.00

Falmouth Classics Maritime Village – opens at 10.00 on Friday 14th and closes at 17.00 on Sunday. The village on Custom House and North Quay includes the Royal Navy, marine traders including Traditional Boat Supplies, marine environmental groups, RNLI, craft stands, smock maker and a gin producer. There are currently two spaces remaining.

The Falmouth International Shanty Festival gets underway on Friday 14th.


The Sailing Instructions will be posted on the website in the download area no later than 13th May. Please read.

Irene - participating boat 2024
The Committee Boat for the three races – Irene of Bridgwater

Irene of Bridgwater, a 1907 West Country Trading ketch, built to carry bricks and other cargoes will provide a very distinctive Committee Boat for the three races. This year she is being operated out of Falmouth by the charity Turn to Starboard. (Image of Irene from Participating Boats Page)

Teamac will be providing each class winner with a £100 voucher for paint, varnish or antifoul for the Saturday Teamac Race. Noble Mast is once again providing two £500 vouchers for spars and Musto will providing a great jacket and bags.

Please make sure the numbers you are allocated are clearly displayed particularly when finishing.


There will be at least eight vintage lifeboats – photo Morgan Webb

The morning parade of sail and power will recognise the 200 years of the RNLI. Therefore, following HMS Blazer will be the current Falmouth lifeboats and at least eight vintage lifeboats. The fancy dress theme, also to recognise the 200 years of the RNLI, is Rescuers and Rescued. The same theme will be used for the small boat parade. Irene of Bridgwater will lead the sailing craft whilst the LK Mitchell, one of Falmouth’s pilot boats and soon to leave the port, will lead the powered craft (other than lifeboats).

Prizes for the morning parade and the small boat parade will be bottles of excellent rum provided by Hattiers.

Prize categories for the Parade of Sail and Power – best presented lifeboat, best presented sailing yacht, best presented gig, best presented powered vessel not a lifeboat and best dressed crew.

2023 Steam and Small Boat Parade
Small Boat Parade 2023 – Photo: Nigel Sharp

Prize categories for the Small Boat Parade – best presented vessel not powered by steam, best presented steam boat and best dressed crew.

Briefing and Registration

The briefing will be online at least a week before the event. Keep an eye on the Classics Facebook page.

Registration – registration will be the Windjammer aka Falmouth Watersports. For times please visit the Event Overview.


Have you ordered your tee shirt, polo shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie or beanie? If not visit the Falmouth Classics shop now before it is too late. Closing date for orders is May 13th.

Rowing and Sculling competition

Test your skills from 16.00 – 18000 at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club on Saturday 15th. Prizes for the winners. Enter online, or at the Windjammer from 11th when registration is open or at RCYC at 16.00. Some boats may be provided but do bring your own.

Entry comments

Lilian - participating boat
Lilian, an Essex Sprat Skiff – photo Mark Farthing

The Falmouth Classics 2024 fleet continues to grow in numbers as vessels are entered from UK ports and harbours stretching up the coastline from the Fal to West Mersea in Essex. Three West Mersea boats will be campaigning in the visitors G Class including Lilian, an Essex Sprat Skiff, built in 1900 in Brightlingsea, she carried sprats ashore from the stowboaters.

Le Grand Lejon - participating boat
Grand Le Jon – photo Jocelyne

A fleet of eleven Salcombe Yawls have also entered and will be participating in all three races. Organisers are delighted to welcome three entries from France, including the replica lugger Grand Le Jon built between 1988 and 1992. She is an example of fishing vessels that were a common sight working in the Bay of St Brieuc during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We look forward to more entries from Brittany.


Since the last newsletter we have been pleased to welcome a new event sponsor Hodgsons Chartered Accountants and a new major sponsor Truro Sawmills. Their support for the event is very much appreciated.

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