Weather window perfect for jumbo event in St Ives Bay
FAIR winds and fine weather created the perfect window for historic craft from around Cornwall to sail to St Ives for the Boats in the Bay Festival at the weekend.
As a result the event had one of its greatest turnouts, featuring luggers and jumbos and even a Bristol Channel pilot boat.
The event is organised each year by the St Ives Jumbo Association, which owns two jumbos – the small fishing luggers designed and built to a classic St Ives pattern.
And while the well-known and much-loved west Cornwall luggers Barnabas and Ripple were star attractions, the jumbos were still at the centre of the action.
The two – the Celeste and the William Paynter – were raced around the harbour in a showcase challenge started by a naval cannon sited for the day on West Pier by Breage's Star Gun Company.
St Ives Jumbo Association founder and Boats in the Bay organiser Jonny Nance said: "We don't just need good weather on the day but also the day before and after, to allow the boats to sail here from Newlyn and Mevagissey.
"Because the weather was kind we had a really good turnout, including four class A luggers – the larger decked luggers that would go out to sea in search of mackerel in the past.
"We even had the Morwenna, a Bristol Channel Pilot Boat. She didn't sail here specifically for the event but it was wonderful to have her here with her blue sail amongst the red of the luggers."
Boats in the Bay is designed to raise awareness of St Ives' maritime and fishing heritage and help fund the Jumbo Association which keeps the town's own distinct luggers alive.
Mr Nance said: "Events like this are crucial to raise awareness. We raced the two jumbos and I skippered the losing boat but it was as much about people getting to see the boats as it was about winning."
The winning jumbo, Celeste, was skippered by Robert 'Bean' Goodden who commissioned her and crewed by St Ives man Dr Phil Slater.
Mr Nance said: "The dream is for other people to build jumbos and for us to race them competitively in the future.
"Already the people of St Ives have taken this event to their hearts. They look forward to it and they support it as a community event, and local businesses give food and drink to give to the visiting crews, and that is what it is all about."