With just over a week to go the 2012 Pendennis Cup looks set to be the most exciting yet with double the entries on last year.
There will be including an impressive number of 40m+ yachts, with many already in Falmouth putting in some practice in the bay, putting the crew through their paces and learning local conditions.
Competitors from previous regattas will battle alongside an expanded fleet for victory. The schooner Adela, winner of the Pendennis Cup in 2010, is a regular visitor to Pendennis having been rebuilt by the yard in 1995, and will be defending her title vigorously.
This year also welcomes Athos, the world's largest privately-owned two-masted schooner at 61.2metres, one of the most technologically sophisticated classic sailing yachts.
Organisers say it will be fascinating to see her perform against such an impressive fleet, and in particular another first timer Eleonora, built in 2000 as an exact replica of the gaff schooner Westward.
The elegant beauty of both Mariette (1915) and Mariquita (1911) has been seen racing in Falmouth before, and they always draws a mini fleet of spectator boats whilst at sea. Mariette is a stunning Herreshoff designed classic gaff schooner, and Mariquita a 38m William Fife Gaff Cutter which took part in the Queen's jubilee pageant. Both are experienced in the international racing circuit with Mariette recently winning at the Westward Cup.
The more modern yachts that have confirmed entry include Bare Necessities, Bequia, Breakaway, Unfurled and Velacarina. There is also a fleet of smaller yachts in Class 3 that, although not as impressive in stature, are just as competitive. This fleet includes Tomahawk, Mikado and Firebrand.
The racing is organised by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, with the daily battles taking place in the area running from Gull Rock off the Roseland Peninsula down to the Manacles by the Lizard Peninsula. The entrance to the harbour, overlooked by the castles of Pendennis and St Mawes, will provide a striking start and finish line, with each race following a pursuit format. Yachts will be presented with awards at the final ceremony and party to be held at the spectacular Pendennis Castle on Saturday, July 7.
The fleet will be moored at Port Pendennis Marina throughout the week and easily seen from the town's main Events Square or the viewing gallery at The National Maritime Museum, Cornwall. A race office situated in Events Square will provide the public with an overview of the participating yachts, a daily update on the performance of the yachts and race conditions, as well as screening footage from the previous days' racing. The public will also be able to see some of the on-water action from Pendennis Point, Gyllyngvase Beach and St Mawes.
The first race kicks off at 11.30am on Tuesday, July 4.