'Fastest schooner in the west' returns home to Cornwall

First published in News Falmouth Packet: Photograph of the Author by , Ex-Reporter/Photographer

The classic schooner Kelpie of Falmouth has arrived at her new home port for renovation after a 9,000 mile trip that started on the west coast of the USA.

The 84-year-old record breaker, dubbed, “the fastest schooner in the west”, completed the trip to Cornwall almost completely under sail and will undergo works at Gweek Quay Boatyard on the river Helford.

Well known on the west coast of America for smashing a 54-year racing record as well as her triumphant efforts as a US Coastguard vessel during World War II, the ship (known previously in the USA as Kelpie) called in to eight countries along the way.

Charlie Wroe, director of Asgard Yachts, is managing the restoration project.

He said: “The crew have done remarkably well to deliver her safely home during a season with such changeable and challenging weather conditions.

“I am really looking forward to overseeing the fit-out of this beautiful boat in a place with such excellent maritime heritage.

“I think a lot of people are anticipating Kelpie of Falmouth's return to the racecourse where she belongs.”

Charlie is also the skipper of Mariette, the Herreschoff-designed schooner that swept the board this summer with a whole host of regatta wins – including the Pendennis Cup.

He has high hopes for Kelpie of Falmouth, his additional project, to go on and achieve a similar racing pedigree.

Planned works to the 80-foot staysail schooner, built in 1928 at the famous Harvey Gamage Shipyard in Maine, USA, include modifications to her rig, interior and a new teak deck.

Kelpie of Falmouth will be the largest classic vessel that Gweek Quay Boatyard near Helston has welcomed for refurbishment work.

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