Ross, our warehouse supervisor, took to the water last weekend to take part in the Looe Lugger Festival. His friend, Mal, owns Edith, an original ‘Polperro Gaffer’ that was originally built in Looe around 1890. She is likely to be one of only a handful of these craft left in the world, so her heritage is really special. Edith forms part of the Falmouth Working Boat fleet and she is regularly sailed around Falmouth waters, although due to her weight and small size is uncompetitive in racing compared to the larger (and lighter) ‘B’ class working boats. We spoke to Ross about Edith and what it was like taking part in the Lugger festival.
For the first time in Mal’s ownership (2005), we’ve burnt the boat back to bare wood and started from scratch with a fantastic paint job. Edith’s planks & frames are still largely original, and it’s been amazing to see how the wood has remained in perfect condition for what is essentially 125 years!
We had an amazing weekend at the Looe Lugger Festival races. The sailing on Saturday was fantastic, good winds and a good, fairly short course which kept the fleet within sight of Looe Harbour. There were two races, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Edith was competitive in both, and we managed to catch and pass many of the much bigger luggers even though their class start time was 10 minutes before ours. The action was really close at times, especially at the turning buoys where boats were calling for water. The crew all commented that it’s one of the best days’ sailing they’ve ever had, and made it really worthwhile. It’s just a shame we’ll have to wait two years for the next one!