Excitement builds for the 2015 Sutton Harbour Classic Boat Rally in Plymouth

A host of vintage vessels will be heading into Britain’s Ocean City next month when Plymouth hosts the 28th annual Sutton Harbour Classic Boat Rally.

The increasingly popular rally has become one of Plymouth’s best-loved events, with visitors flocking to Sutton Harbour every summer to see dozens of classic boats moored in the heart of the city’s vibrant waterfront.

This year, Sutton Harbour will have even more to offer visitors of all ages with an array of traditional fairground rides on shore, alongside stalls, street theatre acts and entertainers, throughout the four-day event which runs from July 24th – 27th.

More than 60 classic sail and motor boats including Luggers, Gaff Rigged Boats, Bermudan rigs and Schooners will be moored in Sutton Harbour’s 5 Gold Anchor Marina, including many vessels on the National Register of Historic Ships.

This year’s star attraction will be Grayhound, an iconic three-masted lugger and an exact replica of the original Grayhound built 200 years ago on Cawsand beach. Originally a fast revenue boat, Grayhound later switched sides to become a privateer, enjoying a lively history. The Grayhound replica was also built locally at Millbrook, and launched in 2008. She is over 100ft long and has sailed halfway around the globe but the 2015 rally marks her first visit to Plymouth.

Other feature boats expected to draw the crowds include two grand Island Trust vessels – Tectona, a large ketch built solidly of teal in South India, and Pegasus, a replica Bristol Channel pilot cutter, as well as the return of the remarkable World War One Motor Torpedo Boat (DCB 1), which visited during the 2014 rally. 

John Gallagher from Plymouth Classic Boat Rally Ltd said: “We’re delighted Grayhound is joining us this year, and honoured to welcome back the amazing DCB 1, which was built for the Royal Navy in 1916 and was able to be remotely controlled via an overflying plane, which was technology so ahead of its time, making this an especially fascinating vessel.

“We are finalising arrangements for this year’s rally now and expect it to be even bigger and better than ever before, with great support from our sponsors Sutton Harbour Holdings plc to help us expand the offering, as well as improving facilities for those boats attending.”

On shore there will be plenty to enjoy with a vintage helter skelter and traditional fairground funny mirrors in Quay Square alongside the marina, and storytellers from Stiltskin will be roaming the harbourside and Barbican area alongside other street theatre acts. Charity stalls and streetside vendors as well as Royal Navy reserves will be based in Quay Square and at Quay Point, and roaming science experiments will be provided by the National Marine Aquarium.

Charlotte Malcolm, Commercial Marketing Manager for Sutton Harbour, added: “Every year the Classic Boat Rally attracts an increasing number of people to Sutton Harbour to enjoy seeing these glorious boats bringing a fascinating glimpse of the past into the present day, and giving a spectacular showcase to our city’s unique waterfront quarter. Sutton Harbour Holdings plc is proud to sponsor such a pivotal event in the events calendar for Britain’s Ocean City, and a highlight of the summer for so many residents and visitors in Plymouth offering a fantastic family day out for all ages to enjoy.”

Find out more about the Sutton Harbour Classic Boat Rally and updates on vessels taking part by visiting the website www.experiencesuttonharbour.co.uk, or follow @ExperienceSH on Twitter.