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Regatta beats the odds

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: August 26, 2008

  • Fastest Pasty Eater in the West, Leo Blamey, winner of the pasty eating competition in Fowey.

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THIS year's Fowey Royal Regatta surpassed all expectations yet again and a special treat could be on the cards for next year's event.

The Red Arrows cut vibrant trains of coloured smoke in the sky while crowds 'oooed' and 'ahhhed', delighted at one of the most famous and impressive visual displays to be found anywhere.

Against the odds of augmented Red Arrows air display fees, the onset of a recession and the wettest August in 100 years, the money was raised, the sun shone and the planes soared.

Years of traditional ceremony, dance, carnival processions and of course, sailing, unfolded throughout the jam-packed week of shows and activities.

Fowey town crier, Michael Penprase received recognition of his 30 years of service in an emotional ceremony and mayor Anne Boosey proudly crowned the carnival queen, her attendants and king, before a procession wound through town.

The mayor said: "It has been another tremendous year and to have the guardship here was a real honour."

The day saw the traditional carrying of the giant pasty from Polruan to Fowey and it was a triumph.

Children put their collective imaginations to the test to decorate gingerbread – one was transformed into a mermaid with bikini.

Hours later it was lunch time and grown men wolfed down steak pasties so fast even sailors with the strongest stomachs turned away in disgust. There was vomiting and there was rapturous applause.

Regatta organiser, Graham Jane, said: "We were absolutely delighted with this year's regatta – the sun came out when we needed it to.

"The Proper Cornish Day was really popular and people packed the quay on the Saturday for the Abba Revival show.

"We will continue to rely on the car park charges to fund much of the cost and we only ever try to cover costs.

"People filled Fowey – we have people say to us that once you have done the regatta you'll be back again. Traders were pleased with the turnout because one week of regatta is the equivalent of a sizeable amount of winter trading.

Mr Jane said there was hardly any trouble this year, and paid his thanks to the efforts of local police who had a visible presence in the town all week.

He added: "Special thanks must go to Restormel and Serco who had the town beautifully clean after a very busy week."

Mr Jane said people could be in for an extra treat next year. They were in talks with a much in demand band – a set which event organisers can wait up to two years to successfully book.

● Next week readers can look forward to full results and picture coverage of Fowey Carnival and more Royal regatta shots, along with a feature on Fowey town crier, Michael Penprase recently honoured for his 30-year service to the town.

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    Ian Hetherington, Essex  |  September 01 2008, 7:13PM

    As with everything it's all about balance - if you did this every day it would be a problem but is once a year really an issue???

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    Nigel Killjoy, Truro  |  August 27 2008, 2:38PM

    In these days of concern about obesity and healthy eating, is a pasty eating contest the best example to set?