An estimated 50,000 people flocked to Falmouth at the weekend to soak up the atmosphere of the 14th International Sea Shanty Festival which enjoyed its biggest crowds to date.

With perfect weather for the countless outdoor performances through the town and at the main stages, as well as in pubs, and the sell-out Falmouth Packet Gala Concert, there is sure to be a bumper amount of money heading to Falmouth RNLI's 150th anniversary appeal.

Unbelievably, Betty Stogs from Skinners beat her goal of raising £6,000 for the RNLI, which is the most money raised yet, with still more to be counted. Betty even took a dip in the harbour to encourage more donations, and reached her target during the closing ceremony thanks to the generosity of the crowd.

Betty said: “I’ve had a great time this year, as always, and the people of Falmouth (and beyond) have been so very giving. The festival is one of the biggest events for me, and I really enjoy meeting everyone and raising money for the Falmouth RNLI.

"An anonymous donor even placed a blank cheque in my bucket, in case I missed my target, which was absolutely amazing. I’m very happy that together we raised over £6,000, and I got a dip the ocean for my troubles.”

Town manager and chairman of the organising committee, Richard Gates, said: “It takes an unbelievable amount of planning and hard work to ensure an event of this scale comes together as well as it has done. I would like to thank everyone who is involved and especially the festival committee. The money raised has been truly amazing and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped with our fundraising. We will know the exact amount raised for the RNLI in the coming months."

Two group winners were announced for the Beat Betty Competition - The Pirates of St Piran, who raised nearly £3,000 with counting still underway; and Breton group Nordet, who were the individual winners, raising over £100 per member.

Steve Skinner, director at Skinners Brewery, said: "Skinner’s are so proud to be involved in this fantastic Cornish event for the 14th year running. We’d like to thank all the Falmouth pubs, singers and organisers for all their support and hard work to make this event such a success each year and of course Betty Stogs who simply loves this festival and looks forward to it many months in advance. We’re looking forward to 2018 already."

Neil Chadwick, co-founder and chairman of Seasalt, added: “We’re very proud to have been able to support the Sea Shanty Festival again. What a wonderful weekend of people coming together to celebrate Cornwall’s maritime heritage and culture, something that inspires our collections and is a really big part of what makes Seasalt unique.”

The dates for the next two years have already been confirmed, so shanty lovers can start planning their next visit straight away. They are June 22-24 in 2018 and June 14 to 16 in 2019.