THE JUMBO PROJECT LAUNCHES ITS' FIRST BOAT.
For the first time in over 100 years (and a year to the day since the Project began) a St.Ives 'jumbo' has been launched in the harbour. She is a replica of the smallest class of fishing lugger which was developed specifically for St.Ives in the 1880's and ironically named after the famous circus elephant.
Unable to resist the desire to get sailing, she was towed by tractor across the sand to meet the incoming tide ahead of the scheduled mid-afternoon launch. We apologise to all those who consequently missed the actual 'launch'. After short speeches from the owner and Jonny Nance, the builder and instigator of the Project, the jumbo was formally named 'Celeste' by Matthew Care. His words and soft W. Cornish accent provided a brief moment of local acknowledgment and gravitas to proceedings whilst the jumbo's bows were baptised with water from the well at Trevail.
To the celebratory sounds of the steel band she was
off as soon as she was afloat to meet Happy Return (the restored Porthleven lugger) which arrived
shortly having sailed around land from
The traditional Launch Day fare of saffron buns and ' a dish o' tay' were provided in the Shore Shelter. The first stage of the Project was concluded with some local songs and a few beers at the Union Inn.
The next stage
Not only is she authentic but she's attractive and, most importantly, has already proved herself most exhilarating to sail which bodes well for the next stage of the project: we are now anxious to attract sponsors for the building of a second identical jumbo to be based at St.Ives in order to establish a new racing class for the town.
If successful, this project has the potential to reverse the steady decline of the waterfront community.
Racing Jumbos will be a dynamic means of encouraging (especially young) people to engage with the sea and each other, to learn skills of seamanship, develop self-esteem and - almost by default -to discover a sense of pride in the town's rich heritage. All this whilst filling the harbour and bay with activity providing a spectacle for all to enjoy. This is not a new idea but one that has had a lot of success worldwide. It is simply that it's particularly well-suited to the St.Ives of today.
To this end the owner has generously made Celeste available for the members of the sailing club to use on
occasion. Tomorrow, Saturday 22 September, will be the first of these. This is your chance to acquaint yourself with the jumbo, experience sailing a lugger and the source of this wild enthusiasm! To register your interest please call Martin Potter of the St.Ives Sailing Club today on 07753 861844.