Race programme – Sunday to Saturday
Falmouth Sailing Week aims to provide top-level competitive racing in a fun atmosphere, using a variety of courses during the week, followed by enjoyable teas, presentation of prizes and entertainment at a different host club every day. Many of the competitors combine the racing with their annual family holiday! There are many viewing points on the banks of the River Fal to see the Carrick Road ﬂeet racing such as the coastal walks around the estuary. Another good vantage point looking out to the Bay and also looking down on Carrick Roads is Pendennis headland, especially the ramparts of Henry VIII’s Pendennis Castle.
Photo Credit, Above: Mark Collett
Following the race brieﬁng on the evening of Saturday 5th, racing will begin on Sunday and continue until the following Saturday. The main regatta is a sequence of races over seven days, with courses laid in Falmouth Bay and the Carrick Roads. All levels of sailor – expert or beginner – are catered for.
The Bay Fleet
The Bay Fleet races in 15 square miles of open water outside the harbour. The area has been the venue for many prestigious events over the years ranging from iconic J-Class superyachts to the Finn World Championship won by Falmouth’s own Ben Ainslie shortly before winning Olympic Gold in 2012. The Bay Fleet comprises Firebird catamaran, IRC and YTC (South West Yacht Time Correction) yachts. There will be both Regatta (“round-the-cans”) and Windward-Leeward racing for most classes. Some Bay Fleet competitors will race on Wednesday in the Ancasta Champagne Race. The Champagne Race is a longer, coastal race in Falmouth Bay and adjacent water to the NE.
In 2023 welcome the IRC South West Championships as part of the 3-Day Bay Fleet series from Thursday to Saturday.
Photo Credit: Hilton Willott
Falmouth Harbour is the 3rd largest deep-water harbour in the world, after Sydney and Rio de Janeiro. The Carrick Fleet races in the lower estuary – an area some 2 miles long by 1 mile wide – and, weather permitting, may also venture a short distance outside the harbour mouth, beyond Black Rock. Classes comprise Ajax, Shrimper 19, Sunbeam, Falmouth Working Boat, Falmouth Gaffer, Piper OD / Rustler 24, and YTC. On Wednesday the Carrick Fleet sail a long-distance race, the Mainbrace Rum Race.
Skippers’ Reception and Brieﬁng
There will be a brieﬁng for competitors on the evening of Saturday 5th August, followed by Competitors’ and Sponsors’ Reception at the RCYC to include complimentary cocktails from Mainbrace Rum, music by the Simon Latarche Jazz quartet and supper options to pre order of Paella and Eton Mess.
Details will be published nearer the time and in the sailing instructions.
Presentation of Prizes
Each day, one of the clubs will host teas and other refreshments followed by presentation of prizes. Family and friends of competitors will be most welcome at the club while racing is in progress.
Photo Credit: Paul Gibbins Photography
Sunday, Helford River Sailing Club & Royal Cornwall Yacht Club (Carrick Fleet)
Monday, Mylor Yacht Club
Tuesday, Restronguet Sailing Club
Wednesday, Royal Cornwall Yacht Club
Thursday, Royal Cornwall Yacht Club
Friday, St Mawes Sailing Club
Saturday, Flushing Sailing Club
The presentation of overall series prizes will take place at Flushing Sailing Club on Saturday evening. Followed in 2023 by the IRC SW Championship Prize giving. A complimentary launch service will be available during the evening to take participants to Flushing Sailing Club from Falmouth (Royal Cornwall Yacht Club), and back again.
Photo Credit: Ian Symonds
THE ANCASTA CHAMPAGNE RACE - WEDNESDAY
For some 60 years Falmouth Week has included a long coastal race on Wednesday for offshore yachts, with prize bottles of champagne – in 2023 it is the prestigious Champagne Race!
The tradition commemorates an occasion back in 1951 when friends Lord Shawcross and H. A. J. (Jack) Silley, owner of Falmouth Docks, were competing in a yacht race off Falmouth. The spirit of competition was so keen that the friends broke away from the main race in which they were taking part, in order informally to settle the result between themselves. The loser, in good grace, presented a case of champagne to the winner, and so the legend of the Champagne Race was born .
In 1955 Philip Fox, the then chairman of GC Fox & Co, started the ﬁrst ofﬁcial Champagne Race, to be sailed under the auspices of the Falmouth Town Regatta Committee, by donating a case of champagne as ﬁrst prize.
For the Bay Fleet the Champagne Race usually attracts a strong daily entry by boats drawn by the challenge that the race presents. Long courses, in keeping with the tradition of the event, are set to suit the conditions and the boats taking part.
In 2022 the Champagne Race returned to its roots by being only for larger boats. The course area encompasses the whole Bay and extend up the coast to Gull Rock and beyond. The ﬁnish is usually to the west side of Pendennis headland.
Ineligible boats will race shorter courses for champagne prizes.
The Champagne and cups will be presented after the racing at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.
TO RECEIVE THEIR CHAMPAGNE, WINNERS MUST ATTEND THIS PRIZEGIVING
Photo Credit: Jane Wright
MAINBRACE RUM RACE - WEDNESDAY
2021 saw the introduction of a new event for the Carrick fleet – a standalone long-distance race on Wednesday not counting towards any series.
This will feature again in 2023 with prize-giving at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.
Photo Credit: Jane Wright