Cornwall LivingIssue #124
Sea and shore
Does Falmouth Week really need an introduction? Perhaps not. After all, it has long since been a staple event for calendars here in the south west.
Falmouth Week 2022 is among a host of other similar events both here and around the wider UK, that are helping to bring the colours and sounds of culture back into our lives. In fact, even as I type (perhaps harder than I intend to, given my own lack of a ticket), Glastonbury Festival is just getting underway…
What’s really grabbed my interest, however, are the events set to unfold this summer in Falmouth from 5th to 14th August. Why? It may sound like a cliché, but this year’s event is determined to return bigger and better than ever, and the dedicated organisers behind both the shoreside and on-the-water events are excited to once again welcome thousands
of locals and visitors as they flock to the town to enjoy ten joyous days of land-lubbing and sailing.
As always, a wide-ranging programme of family friendly events will give visitors plenty to think about when planning their visit, with live music in the Falmouth Week marquee on Church Street Car Park and fun activities on The Moor. We are also excited to learn that the Red Arrows will be taking to the skies in their usual spectacular style, wowing crowds with their impressive and gravity-defying aerial display. We just need to keep our fingers crossed for good weather!
Having said that, let’s not wish the wind away altogether. After all, what would Falmouth Week be without the thrills and spills of the annual Falmouth Sailing Week regatta? The event is an open one, which means that whether you’re a relative novice to the racing scene, or have a high-performance IRC rated yacht, there will be a class for everyone. Divided into two fleets – the Bay Fleet and the Carrick Fleet – there will be seven classes to enter within the Bay, and nine in the Carrick. There will also be five class options for dinghy sailors this year, with a final allocation of classes due to be announced on 5th August.
Indeed, fingers across Falmouth town are currently crossed for similar conditions to last year, which saw a total of 150 boats entering Falmouth Sailing Week. Good sailing breezes allowed for some great racing in both Falmouth Bay and the Carrick Roads, on all seven days. “We were delighted to be able to run a near-normal Falmouth Sailing Week after the restrictions of the previous year,” says Nigel Sharp, Chairman of the Port of Falmouth Sailing Association, “and we were particularly lucky with the weather.”
This year, the format of the regatta begins with a Skippers’ Briefing and Competitor’s Reception at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, on the eve of the first day of racing. The following morning will see the first day’s racing hosted by the Helford River Sailing Club, on Sunday 7th August, followed by Mylor Yacht Club on Monday 8th and Restronguet Sailing Club on Tuesday 9th. Wednesday 10th provides competitors with a standalone, long-distance race; for the Bay Fleet, the Ancasta Champagne Race is by now well-established and immensely popular, while the Carrick Fleet, for the second year running, will battle for places in the Mainbrace Rum Race. With the standalone events complete, Thursday through to Sunday will be filled with the highs and lows, in several classes, of the final, three-day series. Hosting for these will be provided by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, St Mawes Sailing Club, and finally, Flushing Sailing Club, where regatta teas and the prizegiving will take place.
With so much going on, it’s perhaps unsurprising that events like Falmouth Week could not go ahead without the support of local businesses. This year, Hine Downing Solicitors sponsor the Falmouth Working Boat series; Mylor Yacht Harbour sponsor the Sunbeam series and, new for 2022, is Falmouth Black Rock Cornish Gin, who will be sponsoring and donating prizes to the Shrimper 19 class three-day series. Also on board this year are Mylor Rigging, who will be providing a rigging support RIB and advice to aid the crews. As Jane Wright, Spokesperson for the Port of Falmouth Sailing Association, explains: “Without the support of local businesses, regattas like this would be impossible to organise. We are indebted and thankful for their involvement – it’s a wonderful way for the community to work together.”
As always, the sailing is set to generate a buzz of excitement around the town as visitors gather to watch the races unfold – especially those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land. But, as we’ve already touched upon, spectator sport is by no means all the shoreside has to offer at this year’s Falmouth Week! Kicking things off on Friday 5th August, is the Pink Wig Event. Back after a three-year hiatus, with the addition of a pre-parade party at The Greenbank Hotel, the popular Pink Wig parade is always a sight to behold, culminating in a Pink Wig Roman Party in the Falmouth Week marquee on Church Street car park. Moving into Saturday, and you’ll want to secure a suitable spot between Falmouth Rugby Club and the Falmouth Week marquee. That is, if you want a good view of the Falmouth Carnival Parade! Headed up by the Falmouth Marine Band, this parade promises a dramatic riot of colour and sound. Later in the evening, the Carnival Night will bring revellers a night of musical entertainment from Falmouth Soul Sensation. Free to attend, doors open at 7pm – just be sure to wear your dancing shoes.
Other highlights of the week include a performance by The Wurzels on Sunday 7th August, then by Reef on Monday 8th, who are set once again to take the stage and delight the adoring crowds that Falmouth Week always draws. Tuesday sees the introduction of a new event – the Love Train Gospel Music Night – during which Ley Adewole and the Falmouth Community Gospel Choir will be taking to the stage for their Falmouth Week debut. Wednesday is packed with highlights, including the RNLI Fun Day, offering the whole family the chance to meet those behind some of the best-loved local charities, including Sea Sanctuary, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the RNLI and more.
The Action Sports Tour will also be taking place in Events Square on Wednesday; prepare to be amazed as you watch this incredible group perform jaw-dropping stunts on bikes and skateboards, with a new ramp in store for 2022 that brings the promise of double backflips. Later on, one of the UK’s most beloved Funk and Soul DJs, Craig Charles, will be performing, and I think it’s fair to say that we’re all crossing our fingers for fair conditions for the hotly anticipated Red Arrows display.
With plenty more happenings taking place around the town, including a Comic and Movie Fest on Saturday 13th hosted by the True Butterflies Foundation, performances from Bad Manners (Thursday 11th) and local cover bands The Bohemians and Fleetwood Bac (Friday 12th), it seems the organisers behind Falmouth Week 2022 are determined to make any day you spend in Falmouth between 5th and 14th August one that you’ll remember. “The Falmouth town team has a long history of bringing unique and fun events to the town, and this year’s Falmouth Week is no exception,” says Richard Gates, Falmouth Town Manager. “The last two years have been a struggle for everyone, so we’re delighted that our live events are back with a bang!
“Alongside our event partners at the Port of Falmouth Sailing Association and South West Bars and Events, we’ve worked hard to pull together a packed and varied programme both on the water and on shore. There really is something for everyone; from live music to fun, family friendly activities, not to mention the Red Arrows!”
In short, says Richard, “we’re convinced you’ll have a wonderful week”, so if you’re yet to set in stone your summer plans,
be sure to block out some time between 5th and 14th August and make your way to Falmouth Week. Whether your passions lie in the weighing of anchors, or in keeping your feet planted on terra firma, this is not an event to be missed. Visit falmouthweek.co.uk to find out more.