Harbourmaster Hoping For ‘Stunning’ Maritime Gathering

St Mary's Harbourmaster, Dale Clark

St Mary’s Harbourmaster, Dale Clark

The St Mary’s Harbourmaster is hoping that sailing vessels, old and new, will come to Scilly for a maritime gathering in May, which could become an annual event.

Dale Clark says St Mary’s has been added to the itinerary of the Old Gaffer’s Association tour of Britain for the first time. They sail vessels with traditional square-shaped ‘gaff-rig’ sails, rather than modern triangular types, and will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

They’ll be stopping off on the islands during the weekend of May 11th and 12th, the weekend after the World Pilot Gig Championships.

Dale says around 20 traditional vessels, including a few impressive 75 footers, have already signed up for the visit, but he’s hoping they’ll be joined by others just for the weekend.

Sailors from as far away as France and Holland have already enquired about the event.

And the organisers are hoping to fit in a packed weekend of activities for the visitors. There will be talks by local historians, a session with the Redwings and a visit to the gig sheds on Saturday morning, followed by the annual ‘Tresco Tack’ sailing race in the afternoon and an evening barbecue on Porthmellon beach.

On Sunday, Dale says they’re hoping to organise a ‘procession of sail’ with all the visiting vessels sailing past the entrance to the harbour, which he says should be a ‘stunning sight.’

The weekend following the Gig Championships is sometimes a bit of a lull, says Dale, so this is one way to keep the excitement and enthusiasm going.