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Richard Mille Classic Yacht Regatta: Falmouth welcomes some of the world's most spectacular yachts

by Louise Midgley 29 May 15:04 BST 2-15 June 2023
Richard Mille Cup 2023 © Ewan Lebourdais

Some of the world's most spectacular yachts are gathering in Falmouth Harbour for the first events of the Richard Mille Cup, as the luxury Swiss watchmaker brings its prestigious regatta back to the Cornish port deemed a perfect showcase from which to admire these classics of the pre-war era.

Twelve classic yachts will give spectators on land and sea views of exhilarating action in and around Falmouth Bay with the racing fleets of Schooners and Cutters crewed by some of the best sailors in the world.

"What a wonderful time for the Port of Falmouth, with the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club hosting the amazing Richard Mille Cup once more in 2024," says the RCYC's new Commodore Richard Pugh. "These truly magnificent and iconic yachts generate excitement and interest for sailors and 'land-lubbers' alike.

"In these very early days of my tenure as Commodore of the RCYC and on behalf of us all at the Club I extend a warm welcome to owners, skippers, crews and spectators in Falmouth. Have a wonderful regatta."

Falmouth Harbour with the RCYC as Regatta hosts will again showcase the first events of the two-week competition featuring historic yachts - beginning with a welcome on Sunday 2 June for more than 300 owners, crews and their entourages.

Three days of inshore racing in Falmouth Bay from Monday to Wednesday will be followed by a passage race to Dartmouth, Devon and coastal racing in Cowes, Isles of Wight before the grand finale in Le Havre.

In Falmouth racing will begin each day at 10:30, subject to weather conditions, and should finish at around 15:00, with race organisers aiming to bring the finishing line as close to Pendennis Point as conditions allow.

Land-based spectators should get some tremendous views from Pendennis, Rosemullion and St Anthony headlands. Spectator boats are welcome but will be required to keep a wide berth of the racing fleet at all times, especially ahead of the start where the huge vessels will be manoeuvring and requiring substantial sea room.

While in Falmouth Harbour the boats will be berthed at Pendennis Marina and the larger vessels moored between Caldy, Cutty Sark and Frigate buoys.

The Royal Cornwall Yacht Club has been a feature of Falmouth's iconic harbour since 1871 and as a vibrant club today hosts many national and international events. During last year's Richard Mille Cup the RCYC Sailing Trust took eighty local young people out on the water to watch the racing aboard the pleasure boat Princessa and proved such a focus the watchmaker is supporting a similar outing this year.

"It's important to us that the wider community feels included, with the opportunity to enjoy what is a very rare sight in this country," says Event Director at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club Sarah Hancock. "This year 95 young people from all over Cornwall will have a memorable day out aboard the Princessa, feeling very much part of the event and even sporting the same branded Richard Mille regatta hats and wristbands worn by the race team and crews.

"We hope that we can contribute to the promotion of our local area, hosting the owners and crews for an opening reception at Trelissick House with its stunning views over the Carrick Roads and for prize-giving at the National Maritime Museum."

Falmouth Harbour CEO Miles Carden adds, "Falmouth - the third deepest natural harbour in the world with a history steeped in boatbuilding and renovation - is an incredibly hospitable port town. Mooring and berthing in the heart of our inner harbour accentuates the spectatorship of the Richard Mille Cup for the community and for crews and guests - an opportunity to step straight off these beautiful boats into our vibrant town.

"Hosting the prestige and size of these vessels is not without its complexities but all do-able thanks to a brilliant Harbour team. We are delighted to again be hosting the start of this incredible race."

The Richard Mille contenders are invited owners and charterers of yachts built before 1939 or faithful replicas of such yachts, with vessels competing in the Schooner and Cutter categories.

The event includes racing and social events organised by the Royal Cornwall and the Royal Dart Yacht Clubs, the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes and the Société des Régates du Havre.

As befitting such a prestigious event, the three-foot-high Richard Mille trophy was designed by Garrard, jewellers to the British Royal Family for the last 300 years and designers of the America's Cup trophy 170 years ago.

The second Richard Mille Cup will take place from June 2 to June 15 2024 with further details of the events, races and competing vessels announced in due course. For more information visit www.richardmillecup.com

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