Falmouth Working Boat Race – Falmouth Week 2014
Falmouth Working Boat Race : The Falmouth working boats have survived as a racing class because of the nature of the oyster fishing which has continued in the Roseland and in the river Fal for hundreds of years. This video was made during Falmouth week 2014
The native oysters grow in the shallow waters of the upper reaches of the Carrick Roads from which they must be dredged under sail or oar. No power may be used. This restriction has preserved the fishery. Local fishermen believe the ideal dimensions are a waterline of some 24ft and a draft of no more than 4ft 6ins. The boats have to work the beds under sail and are generally operated by one man. In the winter the boats fish and in the summer they race in the summer evenings. Races are organised by the Flushing Sailing Club.
Most working boats carry no engine and under a full racing sail they are a handful for even the most experienced sailor. The long keel and limited visibility to leeward for the helmsman means that manoeuvrability is limited.
If viewing the boats when they are under way while on the water take care to give them the room they require. A good vantage point is on Trefusis point or the quay in front of the Flushing Sailing Club as the cross the finish line.