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Incredible sight as world's most spectacular superyachts race in Cornwall

Twelve classic yachts crewed by some of the best sailors in the world have been thrilling spectators with exhilarating action

  • 16:46, 4 JUN 2024

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People in Cornwall have been treated to an incredible sight this week as some of the world’s most spectacular superyachts and classic yachts have been racing close to shore. Gathering in Falmouth for the first event of the Richard Mille Cup, twelve classic yachts have been thrilling spectators on land and sea with views of exhilarating action in and around Falmouth Bay from the racing fleets of Schooners and Cutters crewed by some of the best sailors in the world.

Described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta, the Richard Mille Cup began in Falmouth this week, and ends in France on June 15. Three days of inshore racing in Falmouth Bay from Monday to Wednesday will be followed by a passage race to Dartmouth, Devon and coastal racing in Cowes, Isles of Wight before the grand finale in Le Havre.

“What a wonderful time for the Port of Falmouth, with the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club hosting the amazing Richard Mille Cup once more in 2024,” says the RCYC’s new Commodore Richard Pugh. “These truly magnificent and iconic yachts generate excitement and interest for sailors and ‘land-lubbers’ alike.

“In these very early days of my tenure as Commodore of the RCYC and on behalf of us all at the Club I extend a warm welcome to owners, skippers, crews and spectators in Falmouth. Have a wonderful regatta.”

Read more: Giant cruise ship arrives in Cornwall - and leaves immediately

Falmouth Harbour with the RCYC as Regatta hosts are showcasing the first events of the two-week competition featuring historic yachts - which began with a welcome on Sunday, June 2, for more than 300 owners, crews and their entourages.

There are 25 pictures in this photo story - click on the 'Next' button at the bottom of the page to see them all.

Pictured is pilot cutter Alpha. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Pictured is pilot cutter Alpha in Falmouth Bay on the second day of racing for the Richard Mille Cup.

Pictured is Peter Lucas, skipper of Cynthia. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Peter Lucas is the skipper of Cynthia, one of the classic yachts competing in the races this year and built in Falmouth in 1910. The gaff cutter is the only completely engineless yacht taking part in the event.

Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Each day in Falmouth, racing has begun at around 10:30am, and finishes at around 15:00, with race organisers aiming to bring the finishing line as close to Pendennis Point as conditions allow.

Children are taken out on a pleasure boat to watch the races. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

During last year’s Richard Mille Cup the RCYC Sailing Trust took eighty local young people out on the water to watch the racing aboard the pleasure boat Princessa and proved such a focus the watchmaker is supporting a similar outing this year.

Children are taken out on a pleasure boat to watch the races. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

“It’s important to us that the wider community feels included, with the opportunity to enjoy what is a very rare sight in this country,” says event director at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club Sarah Hancock. “This year 95 young people from all over Cornwall will have a memorable day out aboard the Princessa, feeling very much part of the event and even sporting the same branded Richard Mille regatta hats and wristbands worn by the race team and crews."

Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Sarah added: " We hope that we can contribute to the promotion of our local area, hosting the owners and crews for an opening reception at Trelissick House with its stunning views over the Carrick Roads and for prizegiving at the National Maritime Museum.”

Pictured is the 1911 racing yacht Mariquita. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Falmouth Harbour CEO Miles Carden commented, “Falmouth - the third deepest natural harbour in the world with a history steeped in boatbuilding and renovation - is an incredibly hospitable port town. Mooring and berthing in the heart of our inner harbour accentuates the spectatorship of the Richard Mille Cup for the community and for crews and guests - an opportunity to step straight off these beautiful boats into our vibrant town."

Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Miles added: " Hosting the prestige and size of these vessels is not without its complexities but all do-able thanks to a brilliant Harbour team. We are delighted to again be hosting the start of this incredible race.”

Viveka crosses paths with Monnbeam IV. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Superyachts Viveka and Monnbeam IV cross paths as racing gets underway on Tuesday, June 4.

Pictured is Thalia, one of the oldest active yachts in British waters. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Built in 1889, Thalia, one of the oldest active yachts in British waters.

Pictured is Moonbeam, built in 1903. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Famous racing yacht Moonbeam, built in 1903, sails past St Anthony lighthouse.

Pictured is the 1911 racing yacht Mariquita. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

With more wind in the bay for the second day of racing, the classic yachts were able to show off their speed.

Pictured is the 1911 racing yacht Mariquita. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

The Richard Mille contenders are invited owners and charterers of yachts built before 1939 or faithful replicas of such yachts, with vessels competing in the Schooner and Cutter categories.

Pictured is the 1911 racing yacht Mariquita. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

1911 racing yacht Mariquita was actually used as a houseboat after the Second World War.

Pictured is the 1911 racing yacht Mariquita. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Mariquita came second overall in the Richard Mille Cup last year.

Pictured is Atlantic, a replica of the 1903 three-masted schooner. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Towering over every other yacht in the bay is Atlantic, a replica of the 1903 three-masted schooner.

Pictured is Atlantic, a replica of the 1903 three-masted schooner. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

The original Atlantic held a Trans-Atlantic Race record from 1905 until 1998.

Pictured is Atlantic, a replica of the 1903 three-masted schooner. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Sadly the orginal Atlantic fell into disrepair and was broken up in 1982.

Pictured is Atlantic, a replica of the 1903 three-masted schooner. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

This faithful replica of Atlantic was built in 2008.

Pictured is the 1903 Kelpie. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

Pictured is the 1903 Kelpie.

Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

The event includes racing and social events organised by the Royal Cornwall and the Royal Dart Yacht Clubs, the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes and the Société des Régates du Havre.

Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

As befitting such a prestigious event, the three-foot-high Richard Mille trophy was designed by Garrard, jewellers to the British Royal Family for the last 300 years and designers of the America’s Cup trophy 170 years ago.

royal cornwall yacht club photos

Pictured is Moonbeam IV racing against the backdrop of dark clouds.

Pictured is the 1911 racing yacht Mariquita. Some of the world's most spectacular yachts race on Tuesday, June 4, the second day of the Richard Mille Cup in Falmouth, which finishes in Le Harve, France, on June 15, and has been described as the “most beautiful” Classic Yacht Regatta.

The 1911 racing yacht Mariquita sails past Pendennis Castle.

royal cornwall yacht club photos

The second edition Richard Mille Cup is taking place from June 2 to June 15 2024 with further details of the events, races and competing vessels announced and updated at www.richardmillecup.com

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