Despite the weather, which had prevented the boats from Mounts Bay attending, caused the cancellation of racing and even threatened the whole event,  Boats in the Bay 2008 went ahead last week end:

“It was a remarkable success snatched from a British summer that continues to disappoint millions!” according to the organizer, Jonny Nance. “We managed to fulfil our objectives by providing a spectacle of sail (with the jumbo sailing on 3 consecutive days), a social event for the community, centred around the harbourfront whilst promoting the aims of the St.Ives Jumbo Association. It may have been physically smaller than 2 years ago, but this was more than compensated for by the increased level of interest and support generated and the warmth shown by those who have become involved. Crucially, the whole event was once again staged without a budget. Services, produce, time, everything has been donated by those who see the social merit of what we’re trying to achieve. Support like this bodes well for the proposed racing class of Jumbos and we confidently look forward to Boats in the Bay 2009.”

In brightening conditions on Friday evening, the event began with a demonstration by the Jumbo ‘Celeste’. With Dolly, Mike Laity’s 6 year-old daughter, at the helm cracking the whip, her crew frantically ‘dipped the lug’ as she short-tacked her way through the moorings. By the time the setting sun finally broke through, participants were enjoying barbecued mackerel fillets outside Shamrock Lodge which had been kindly donated by Matthew Stevens and Son.

The evening concluded at The Castle Inn, Fore Street where Sharps Brewery had laid on a barrel of beer and Frank Davey and friends provided an evening of traditional music.

Although restricted to resident craft and those arriving by road, Saturday morning’s event saw no less than 5 lug-rigged boats sailing within the shelter of the harbour and it’s approaches. During the afternoon, the tide being out, the participating boats were brought on trailers up the slipway to join the replica St.Ives punt and the stand promoting the St.Ives Jumbo Association. This drew much interest encouraging several new members to join. Four more ‘shares’ (at £230 each) were donated for the next jumbo.

The evening’s entertainment was provided by the Cadgwith Singers who began by striking up outside George’s Smock Shop. The jumbo meanwhile was getting into trouble. Earlier she had been launched off her trailer onto the sand to await the incoming tide. Now, with a rapidly freshening wind and a swell building, her anchor was dragging. Jonny Nance, with a press-ganged friend, stripped off and ran to assist Mike Laity, shoving Celeste out through the surf and back to her mooring whilst the choir ashore gustily sang “Will your anchor hold in the Storms of Life?” At the Singers’ suggestion a collection was made on behalf of the Association. Jonny arrived back in time to address the considerable crowd  that had gathered to listen to the Singers. Dressed only in sodden underwear he thanked the Cadgwith Singers, all those who had contributed and briefly explained what the Jumbo Association was trying to achieve.

At the invitation of the proprietor, all adjourned to The Castle where 50 pasties donated by The Cornish Bakehouse were being warmed. A full-on ‘shout’ ensued (including songs by St.Ives-man, the late John Barber) and even Mr. and Mrs. Andrew George MP stopped by to see what they were missing!  

The Jumbo Association next meet on Monday 6th October at 7.30pm at the Shore Shelter, Chy an Chy.

Work on the next jumbo is expected to begin in early October.