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Cornwall Marine Directory

Yacht Cruising and Racing in Cornwall

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If Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had been built purely for the yachting enthusiast the rustlercraftsman could not have done a better job. Whether you love the freedom of cruising or the thrill of the race this remarkable southwest corner of the British Isles is the jewel in the crown of a maritime nation.

Among this Cornwall’s 300 miles of scenic coastline you will find award-winning beaches, deep secluded creeks and quiet wooded rivers with a cosy pub or good restaurant never far away. For all its natural tranquillity you also have the choice of world class marinas and all the facilities and services the yachtsman might need. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find a better placed and better equipped cruising ground in the UK.

From the compact charm of ports like Fowey and Looe to the maritime bustle of Falmouth – the third largest natural harbour in the world – you’ll will find rivers and coves steeped in history, maritime legend and bathed in the sort of magical sunlight that catches the attention of artists from far and wide.

Boating traffic in Cornish waters can be equally entertaining – tall ships, including the world’s largest, the Russian sail trainer Sedov, are regular visitors while the Endeavour Replica, a close copy of James Cooks’ original expedition ship, makes regular appearances. It’s not uncommon to find yourself cruising in the company of a movie star as you sight one of the tall ships from Charlestown’s Square Sail which are no strangers to Hollywood filming assignments.

As well as being picturesque, the Cornwall’s south coast is a hub of yacht racing – the summer not only sees antique classes racing the Falmouth Classics. There is also plenty of competition at Falmouth Week and Fowey Week regattas. Throughout the season there are also chances to see and get involved in other racing classes. Recently Cornwall has hosted high level racing for J80s, J24s and sunbeams. If you prefer the more sedate, you can watch classic Falmouth working boats battle it out in the Carrick Roads.

This maritime county is not only the start of races such as the exciting Azores and Back (Azab), it is also the choice of high-profile sailors looking to break world records. In 1969 Robin Knox Johnston set out, and returned, to Falmouth in the first non-stop solo circumnavigation of the world and, in 2005 Ellen MacArthur stood in the same port having shaved 241 days off his total.

Serious yacht racing is part of an array of activities on the water which includes many town and village regattas – so whether your expertise is on the foredeck of a J80 or you fancy having a go at rowing a bathtub, there’s fun to be had by everyone.


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