Britain’s Ocean City will be welcoming dozens of historic vessels this weekend as Plymouth once again hosts the enormously popular Sutton Harbour Plymouth Classic Boat Rally.
The 28th annual rally is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the city’s spectacular waterfront, with a host of family-friendly entertainments on offer shoreside throughout the four-day event which runs from July 24th–27th.
As well as enjoying the chance to see classic boats moored in the heart of the city, Sutton Harbour will be hosting traditional fairground rides, live music, street theatre acts and entertainments throughout the weekend.
This year’s rally will feature around 70 boats comprising dinghies, classic sail and motor boats, Luggers, Gaff Rigged Boats, Bermudan rigs and Schooners.
Vessels, including many listed on the National Register of Historic Ships, will be moored in Sutton Harbour’s 5 Gold Anchor Marina, and pontoons will be open to the general public from 10am-5pm on Saturday, July 25th and Sunday, July 26th for people to view the boats.
Star attractions for the 2015 rally include Grayhound, an iconic three-masted lugger over 100ft long, and an exact replica of the original Grayhound built 200 years ago on Cawsand beach, which will be making her first visit to Sutton Harbour Plymouth Classic Boat Rally. Grayhound was originally a fast revenue boat but switched sides to become a privateer, enjoying a lively history. The Grayhound replica was built locally at Millbrook, and launched in 2012.
Other remarkable vessels taking part include two grand Island Trust vessels – Tectona, a large ketch built solidly of teak in South India, and Pegasus, a replica Bristol Channel pilot cutter.
John Gallagher from Plymouth Classic Boat Rally Ltd said: “Once again, Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour Classic Boat Rally looks likely to be an even bigger and better event than in previous years, and thanks to the great support from our sponsors Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, we have improved facilities to offer those boats attending, and lots of entertainment going on shoreside too.
“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming all the vessels attending the 2015 rally, and especially delighted Grayhound will be joining us this year, along with some very special traditional and classic boats, some local and others from far away.”
Charlotte Malcolm, Commercial Marketing Manager for Sutton Harbour, added: “This year the Sutton Harbour Plymouth Classic Boat Rally will be bigger than ever before, with so much going on shoreside all weekend as well as the fantastic array of historic boats moored in the marina. The rally is always a tremendous showcase for our city’s unique waterfront and a chance to see Plymouth’s historic quarter brought to life, and Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc is proud to once again sponsor such a key event in the calendar for Britain’s Ocean City.”
Entertainments shoreside will include a vintage helter skelter and traditional fairground wall of mirrors attraction in Quay Square alongside the marina, and there will be charity stalls and streetside vendors based in Quay Square and Quay Point. The National Marine Aquarium’s roaming science buskers will be bringing fun experiments out for visitors to try along the quayside throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday.
Other events planned are:
Saturday 25th July & Sunday 26th July
Pontoons open 10am-5pm for general public to view the classic boats
Live music on the classic yachts from 12pm-6pm including folk and light rock
Storytelling on Quay Square from 11am-11.30am, 12.30pm-1pm, 2pm-2.30pm
Street theatre acts around the harbour from 11.45am-12.15pm, 1.15pm-1.45pm, 2.45pm-3.15pm.
In addition, from 12noon-1pm on Sunday, 26th July there will be a Parade of Sail out of the harbour and past the Citadel before the racing starts at 1pm near the end of Mountbatten Pier, with boats under full sail going out into the Sound.
Throughout the weekend, there will be competitions, raffles and offers, including a chance for the public to vote for the best boat and enter a prize draw, or enter the National Historic Ships Register Photo Competition with a snap you’ve taken at the event.
Post your photos to the Sutton Harbour Facebook page and use the hashtag #suttonharbourclassicboatrally to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Find out more about the Sutton Harbour Plymouth Classic Boat Rally and updates on vessels taking part by visiting the website www.plymouthclassics.org.uk, or Sutton Harbour’s regularly updated website at www.experiencesuttonharbour.co.uk, or follow @ExperienceSH on Twitter.