Thursday, September 15, 2011

The America's Cup Meets Cornwall

I guess that a majority of people who either don't live in the locale of Millbrook and its much larger, but infinitely less attractive neighbour Plymouth, might be unaware that the city is currently hosting one of the weeks of racing that constitutes the America's Cup World Series.

I am also assuming that most people (like me only a few weeks ago) are completely unaware that such an event even exists. Of course I'd heard of the America's Cup itself - I just didn't know that there are lots of preliminaries in which mildly mad sailing types get very wet indeed in order to gain the right to challenge for the trophy a couple of years hence.
I was on the Cremyll Ferry this evening, heading homeward after a hard day's money counting in the airless little backroom that passes for an office just off platform two. Sharing the deck space with us regular commuters was an America's Cup W.S. team. I have no idea which country/team they represented; their skipper (for want of a better word - he was older than the rest and seemed to be in some semblance of charge) had an antipodean accent, so perhaps they were the New Zealand mob...

Skipper Chris of the Cremyll Ferry turned down their "competitors' travel passes" and they duly coughed up their £1.20 each to cross to the Edgcumbe Arms.

As we approached the westward side of the river mouth and the inn came into clear view one or two of the yachties made comments about how the inn's name should be pronounced Edgcumbe Arrrrrrrms. As we moored  by the slipway another commented that this pronunciation must be right as we'd just landed in Cornwall.

Afraid I couldn't resist it - using my yokelest accent I corrected him.

"Youm's bin in Kernow since youm's been on the water, buy. You's bin racin' in Kernow an'all. The water's Cornish, not English."

This is almost entirely true, fact fans - Cornwall starts at the median high water mark on the Devon side and includes almost all of Plymouth Sound except the immediate surround of Drake's Island.

I wonder if there'll be any beer soaked yachtie tales of a blind Cornishman (neither of which is strictly true of me) muttering nonsense at them......

photo shamelessly half-inched from

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