Falmouth looks set to host one of the biggest sailing jamborees in June, marking the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s departure at the start of the 1968/9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race
Sailing clubs in France, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands are planning to join other groups from Ireland, the UK south coast and Bristol Channel to make the pilgrimage to Falmouth to salute the Suhaili skipper, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and his yacht in a parade of sail around Falmouth Harbour on 14 June.
Sir Robin set out from Falmouth on 14 June 1968 and was the sole finisher in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race. In doing so, he became the first man to sail solo non-stop around the globe – a feat that remains one of the most significant sailing achievements during the past century.
In this salute to solo sailing, Suhaili will be joined by other classic globe girdling yachts, including Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV and Sir Alec Rose’s Lively Lady, together with the entire fleet of 2018 Golden Globe Race yachts.
The Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail is the climax to a week of celebrations commencing over the weekend 9-10 June.
Organised by Falmouth Town Team and the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club where Sir Robin stepped ashore on his return half a century ago, the busy programme includes a reception at St Mawes Sailing Club on 12 June and a commemorative dinner for Sir Robin hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club on Wednesday 13 June, together with a firework display.
The Parade of Sail takes place on Thursday 14 June, and will pass close to Trefusis Point, Pendennis Point, St Mawes Castle and Carricknath Point, to provide the public and those afloat in Carrick Roads a clear view. In the afternoon, the Golden Globe Race fleet will start from a line off Pendennis Castle in the SITRaN Challenge charity race to Les Sables d’Olonne, France as a warm-up to the 50th anniversary Golden Globe Race which will commence from there on Sunday 1 July 2018.
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Falmouth Harbour and the Helford River offer one of the most picturesque cruising grounds in the British Isles, and with Falmouth Classics Regatta starting a week later on Friday 22 June, the Suhaili festivities are part of a much wider attraction to visit this region of Cornwall.
Falmouth harbour master, Capt Mark Sansom, said: ‘There is significant capacity for visiting vessels within the Estuary and at facilities in Falmouth, Penryn, St Mawes, Mylor and Truro. Capacity is not infinite, but we have accommodated large numbers of visitors in the Harbour during past Tall Ship events. There is a good supply of visitors moorings and alongside berths available, together with a large anchorage in Falmouth inner harbour. If necessary, we can recommend further anchorage areas, taking account of the prevailing conditions at the time.’
Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail:
9-11 June: Vessels arrive in Falmouth Harbour. Suhaili, Gipsy Moth IV, Lively Lady and 2018 Golden Globe Race fleet open for public viewing at Falmouth Haven Marina
12 June: Reception at St Mawes Sailing ClubWed. 13th June: Commemorative Dinner for Sir Robin Knox-Johnston at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club + firework display
14 June: AM: Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail.
PM: Start of the SITRaN Challenge charity race for the 2018 Golden Globe Race fleet from Falmouth to Les Sables d’Olonne, France
22-24 June: Falmouth Classics Regatta
01 July: Start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race from Les Sables d’Olonne, France