Following four days of exciting racing and six days of shore-side events the conclusion from all guests and crew is that the Pendennis Cup provides one of the best social scenes and that Falmouth presents some of the most challenging racing conditions of any regatta in the world. As Charlie Wroe, the captain of winning yacht Mariette enthused, “This has been a really great event. The owner, boat and crew all had a fantastic time and winning the regatta was the icing on the cake. The prize giving party was one of the all time best that I’ve experienced.”
Each day the 13-strong fleet dealt with varied conditions and challenges with Falmouth Bay providing an exceptional playground for these yachts. As the eclectic fleet lined up in the bay the spectacle of all the yachts jostling for position ready for their starting run provided an impressive sight off Pendennis Point each day, and tactics around the course just as exciting to the guests watching from the water. The Pendennis Cup welcomed back yachts that have competed in previous years, including the 2010 winner Adela, who provided a dramatic sight around the course as she loomed through the fog on Tuesday, bearing down on the smaller yachts in the Class 2 fleet. A highlight for guests was seeing Adela accompanied to Wednesday’s start line by her new support ship, the 47 metre motor yacht A2, as she set off on her maiden voyage following a substantial 16-month refit at Pendennis.
The 1911 built Gaff Cutter Mariquita always draws admirers amongst the spectator fleet. Unfortunately she struggled on the more blustery days but Friday saw her come into her own as the crew demonstrated their tactical prowess using her classic cutter rig to make the most of the light 5-7 knot breeze. During the race Mariquita chased Mariette around the course, often running parallel to her along the reach and finally taking Mariette at the finish line with an impressive tack just beside Black Rock to win the day’s race, providing one of the most memorable finishes of the week. Unfurled was a new entrant to the Cup this year and provided constant entertainment throughout with her impressive speed and maneuverability consistent with her modern performance design and Sloop rig. Unfurled took line honours in each of the four races, and her second place in the Cup is testament to her competitiveness this year. In the end Mariette snatched victory in the final race thereby taking first place in both the St Petroc Traditional Class and as overall winner of the 2012 Pendennis Cup.
The smaller yachts also provided enthusiasts with a delightful spectacle throughout the week, and have been no less competitive than the larger yachts. On the final day Class 3 was still open with Mikado, Tomahawk, Pinuccia and Firebrand once more closely matched around the course. Tomahawk and Firebrand completed the circuit only three minutes apart, however it was Firebrand, owned by famed yacht designer Ed Dubois, which took the honours and was crowned winner of the Little Dennis Classic Class. Ed Dubois was thrilled with the result and commented “The Pendennis Cup was a truly memorable regatta with a wonderfully friendly and warm atmosphere – great sailing with a wonderful variety of yachts. Falmouth Harbour and its approaches is one of the most beautiful sailing areas in the world and everyone on board Firebrand was so pleased to be there. We look forward to the next event with great enthusiasm!”
It was a fantastic week of sailing, with challenging mixed conditions enabling all competitors to show their prowess. Off the water the regatta showcased the best that Falmouth and Cornwall has to offer, with entertainment ranging from live music by local bands, sea shanties in the Chain Locker pub and the very popular curry night in the Gurkha Restaurant. Alongside these more informal events sponsors Aston Martin and Moët & Chandon added a touch of glamour to the proceedings.
Guests enjoyed drive experiences in the Aston Martin Rapides, on display in Events Square throughout the week, and Moët & Chandon hosted a five-star gourmet champagne tasting lunch held in the historic Bridon Ropes building at Pendennis shipyard.
Toby Allies, Sales & Marketing Director at Pendennis commented “attracting over 20 yachts for the Pendennis Cup and J-Class events has attracted worldwide attention to the town and increased the awareness of our superyacht facilities. We have worked on over half the fleet whilst they have been in port and secured numerous business enquiries as a result of the event. It has also provided a fantastic opportunity for our staff to see superyachts in action first hand.”
The extravagant awards ceremony at Pendennis Castle was a fitting end to an enjoyable and successful week. After the prize giving designers Redman Whiteley Dixon hosted a cool rum bar in their own chill out zone, whilst the Martin Harley Band entertained guests in the main marquee. The champagne flowed throughout the week as magnums were awarded following each race for daily race performance and the Moët & Chandon champagne bar at the final awards ceremony was enjoyed by over 400 guests.