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Fowey Royal Sailing Regatta open for entries

by Cathy Baillie 27 Apr 2022 16:22 BST 14-19 August 2022
Fowey Royal Sailing Regatta © Royal Fowey Yacht Club

Fowey Royal Sailing Regatta has been delighting visitors and residents since the early 1800s and is the highlight of the sailing year in Fowey.

Fowey Sailing Committee has planned a great mix of sailing during the week long event which will take place in 2022 from August 14 - 19 in the stunning waters around St. Austell Bay and the river Fowey. Activities afloat will be complimented by lots of events and entertainment ashore in the scenic historic port town of Fowey, Cornwall.

The impressive Falmouth Working Boats will get the regatta week started in spectacular style, when they arrive in Fowey on Monday 15 August. These gaff-rigged oyster dredgers have survived as a class because of the oyster fishing in the river Fal over hundreds of years, as the oysters must be dredged under sail or oar. Not all the fleet are active in the winter as the fishing industry has declined, but with well known Cornish fishing families still owning boats the tradition of working in the winter and racing in the summer continues. With their massive sail areas and brightly coloured topsails they are a stunning sight for spectators when finishing their daily races inside Fowey harbour in front of the Royal Fowey Yacht Club. They leave the harbour and head back to Falmouth on Friday 19 August.

For cruisers, the week starts with the traditional handicap coastal passage race to Flushing and an overnight stay before racing back to Fowey on the Monday. There are then three days of back to back races in St Austell Bay and a final race on Friday. Morvagh Sailing Project yacht 'Helen Mary', a 57ft ketch, will be taking part in the coastal races and crewed by local juniors many of whom will be getting their first taste of big boat sailing. The cruiser fleet is raced on a handicap system allowing yachts of different sizes and types to race on the same course and be scored according to their finish time corrected to account for their rating. Fowey Regatta uses the International Rating Certificate (IRC) and the South West Yacht Time Correction (SWYTC) system. IRC is run as a single class and SWYTC is split into three divisions including a class for those who choose not to use spinnakers.

The Fowey Rivers are always a popular sight in Fowey Harbour, each boat with its own distinctive colourful set of sails, and over thirty will take part in regatta. Based on the design of a fifteen foot knockabout first published in Yachting World and Motor Boating Journal in April 1939 the first Fowey River was built by Hunkins Yard of Polruan in 1950. By 1965 there were 36 boats. Since the early 2000's there has been increased interest and boat number 71 was recently launched with 72 following soon, both built by local boatbuilder Marcus Lewis.

Also unique to Fowey are the Troy class keelboats, a local 'one-design' class of Fowey, first conceived in 1929. The boats are made of sawn timber, measure 18ft long (22ft including bowsprit) and have a lead keel weighing 1500lbs. Class rules require traditional wooden varnished spars and that the boats be built by a local boat builder and kept within a 10 mile distance of the River Fowey. The Troy fleet will be out in force for the regatta, including T12 Barbara who was re-launched in 2021 following a total rebuild by Marcus Lewis, of a boat that was recovered as a wreck from the Outer Hebrides, winning him 'Best Restored Sailing Vessel under 40ft' in the Classic Boat Awards 2022.

The dinghies will start their morning races outside the harbour and complete courses in the bay directly outside Fowey harbour entrance. In the afternoon they start and finish from a committee boat positioned inside the harbour, racing on Tuesday to Friday. On Saturday the annual children's race will be held in the harbour.

The junior sailors have their own race day on Monday 15 August and there is competition for juniors in all classes through the week as part of the regatta itself.

After racing each day sailors can gather at either Royal Fowey Yacht Club or Fowey Gallants Sailing Club for a relaxing drink, great food and prize-giving for that days races. There is also plenty of onshore entertainment, accommodation, pubs, restaurants and spectacular scenery for visiting sailors and spectators to enjoy in the delightful historic port of Fowey.

Entry is free for under 25 helms. Full details, Notice of Race and online entry can be found here.

For more information please contact Fowey Sailing Committee at . Details of all Fowey sailing events can be found at Follow Fowey Sailing Committee social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @foweysailing.

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