Kelpie of Falmouth, MAHON XII COPA DEL REY 2015
Eventful times were experienced in Mahon this year. Maybe I'll reveal all in a book one day, for now I'll carry on letting the dust settle and move over to the sailing...
I was here to photograph and film KELPIE OF FALMOUTH, the 1929 American schooner, now MARIETTE's racing tender. With good conditions, if a little light for so many sizeable yachts in attendance, stunning backdrops made up the difference. Most of my week was spent filming KELPIE from on board and from the tender.
The crew were made up from MARIETTE crew, such as Konrad Camper, Gerry Atkins, Hannah Rouse, Matt Elliot, Louis, George Thompson, Pablo Shelton, and race crew so – Paul Guthrie, Holly Latham, Riener Van Damme, Jars Valey, and Guido Cavalazzi and Stjepan Marinovic Fila – the latter two are both from North Sails Italy. KELPIE's captain, Milos Brnjevarac ran the crew while Charlie Wroe, captain of MARIETTE was helming. Not all crew the crew from that list made it on to 79ft KELPIE at once, some were on watch on board MARIETTE and some even driving me in the tender. Matt the engineer from MARIETTE was fixing fridges as I remember and Hannah or, rather, "Daisy", his lovely girlfriend was busy perfecting things down-below alongside Patrick Weeks our wonderful chef. I was given the guest cabin on MARIETTE to my surprise! What a way to do Mahon hey?!
This town is the most beautiful place, the deep harbour is hugged by dense rock that bounces the most gorgeous light around and you're surrounded by fortifications dating back to the 18th Century – they're everywhere.
We visited Fort Marlborough and Fortress of Isabel II – La Mola. I didn't take my camera as I had enough to deal with, getting on a motor bike with injuries from the last accident. My knee, still swollen from falling off a bike after MARIETTE's 100th birthday bash in Falmouth, was angry – I'd leant on it for quite sometime in the RIB while filming in a swell.
It is difficult you know, filming boats when they're powered up and creaming along, usually looking their best. You're having to hold your body taught to compensate for movement, one eye concentrating on the scene the other is tuned in for rogue tender drivers and press boats while also wave watching, generally though peripheral vision is down. With two hands on the camera that's currently worth more than my car you've no hands for yourself (which goes against what my Dad's always said - one hand for the boat Emily, and one for yourself!). Any kind of swell makes this filming business nothing short of exhausting and on this shoot, something had to give and it was my knee.
Once ashore from that shoot, the whole knee was swollen but, to my joy I was sat comfortably in Latitude Bar with a beer and that leg at a right angle. Across the table Guy Robinson, race crew that week on Hallowe'en, offered the advice of ice packs and to go to hospital or at least see a doctor, "infection in the bone isn't good and that may well be one". The long and short of this is that between Franco Zammorani, Mainsheetman / retired doctor from the NY40 'CHINOOK', and Noe Baron, a would-be A&E nurse currently distracted by classic yacht racing, available medical advice was as abundant as the free gin I consumed later. I'm sure if I'd have needed a surgeon, and by the way amputation of the leg was offered by multiple drunken sailors in Club Marítimo, I'd have found one. Thank you to all that offered advice though.....
The footage shot of KELPIE OF FALMOUTH will be showcased on Classic Yacht TV - the link is below.