Watchmaker Richard Mille is gathering some of the world’s most beautiful classic superyachts in Falmouth Harbour from June 10 for three days of fierce competition hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, which launch the luxury brand’s new sailing event.
The first Richard Mille Cup will take spectators back to the classic yacht races of the late 1800s – with phase one seeing Falmouth’s harbour and bay dominated by towering wooden masts and billowing sails on twelve authentic wooden vessels – some of which are well over a century old.
Falmouth Harbour will showcase the first events of the two-week competition featuring historical yachts from Great Britain and France. It will begin in Falmouth and finish in Le Havre, with three days’ hard fought coastal racing in each of Falmouth and Cowes, and passage races to Dartmouth and Le Havre.
“Classic yachts bear a living, breathing testimony to the highest values of workmanship, heritage and tradition passed on to us through centuries,” said Richard Mille. “By creating this challenge, we aim to set sail through history and to bring this high-end craft very much back to life.”
Some of the yachts, including the 65m three master Adix and the 42m twin masted schooner Mariette have been restored or refitted on many occasions over the years by Falmouth’s own superyacht specialist Pendennis Shipyard – in between their voyaging and competing across the world.
The Richard Mille Cup will pit these classic vessels against each other in both inshore and offshore competition with more than 200 sailors expected to participate in the racing.
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.
“We are extremely proud to have been selected as the initial venue for this special and innovative event in the yachting calendar,” said RCYC Commodore Sarah Hancock. “It should prove a major spectacle and attraction for Falmouth, with over 200 participants arriving in port and be a very rare opportunity to see such stunning yachts competing seriously against each other.”
Boats will be racing from Falmouth from June 11-13, starting each day at 10.30am with a start line approximately 800 metres off Pendennis Point.
Depending on weather and wind, the vessels will race across Falmouth Bay to a turning mark off the Manacles, then sail up channel towards Fowey and turn again to Falmouth with the finishing line off the Falmouth beaches or Pendennis Point, should conditions allow, at approximately 3pm.
Spectator boats are welcome but will be required to keep a wide berth of the racing fleet at all times.
While in Falmouth Harbour the boats will be berthed at Pendennis Marina and the larger vessels moored near Caldy and Frigate buoys. On Wednesday June 14, the Richard Mille fleet will race from Falmouth to Dartmouth.