The Poly

24 Church St, Falmouth : 01326 319461
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society

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Maritime History > Record Breakers // 1960s

Situated at the western end the Western Approaches, with its extensive natural, safe harbour, Falmouth has always been the destination of choice for vessels arriving from the Americas, Africa, India, the Orient, and Australasia. "Falmouth for Orders" was the instruction given to masters of sailing ships when heading homewards from distant ports. Intrepid small-boat sailors, following 'in their wake', arrived in Falmouth after achieving remarkable feats of endurance - Robert Manry crossing the Atlantic in his diminutive 'Tinkerbelle' in 1965; Sir Robin Knox Johnson circumnavigating the globe singlehanded and non-stop in 'Suhaili' in 1969; Dame Ellen Macarthur setting the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation in 'B&Q' in 2005. Not to forget a range of unusual and unique craft, from bottles to rafts.


Robert Manry

Robert Manry arriving in Falmouth on 17 August 1965 in his diminutive yacht Tinkerbelle after crossing the Atlantic from Falmouth, Massachusetts in 78 days. Tinkerbelle, an extensively modified Old Town ‘Whitecap’, was a mere 13.5 feet (4.1 metres) long, and the smallest vessel ever to have made the crossing at that time.


Tall Ship Christian Radich Tug St Mawes 1966

The tall ship Christian Raddich, escorted by the Falmouth tug St. Mawes, leaves Falmouth at the start of the 1966 Tall Ships Race. Christian Raddich is well known for her starring role in the BBC TV drama series 'The Onedin Line' which ran from 1971 to 1980.

Location: Falmouth

Robin Knox-Johnston

Robin Knox-Johnston and his yacht Suhaili arriving off Falmouth on 22 April 1969 after the first-ever solo, non-stop circumnavigation. His reply of "Falmouth" to the challenge made by Falmouth’s Custom Officer "where from?" is on a par with those contemporary words of Neil Armstrong when he took his first step on the surface of the moon: "one small step for man...".

Photo copyright: Alison George, née Osborne


Contributed: Alison George, née Osborne
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© The Poly - The Poly is the trading name of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Limited, a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England and Wales with company registration number 03909555 and registered charity number 1081199, with its registered office at 24 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG