Falmouth Olympic Torch Relay – A Day to Remember
Last nights spectacular firework display out in Falmouth harbour marked the closing of the successful Finn Gold Cup 2012 and the start of the UK leg of the Olympic Torch relay.
Behind all the bunting and entertainment that bring life into the events of Falmouth are a community of people that enhance them even more.
Walking around the boat park on the first day of the gold cup it was hard to believe that we were surrounded by world class athletes preparing themselves for one of the greatest challenges in their sporting careers. All is peaceful and relaxed. Sailors, support teams, families and friends quietly chatted and laughed in the sun. Even the lack of necessary wind didn’t appear to throw up much concern. From the vantage point of the ‘watersports centre’ balcony we began to understand why.
Peppered among the competitors and crews are the high vis’ waistcoats of volunteer staff busy organising each tiny detail. Drivers steadily come and go with sailors, crew and families. Caterers busily preparing sort after energy replenishing food. Boat owners ferrying water officials and media crews. Phones are quickly answered and relevant information conveyed and not a scrap of litter is left behind.
Today as hundreds of people lined the streets around Falmouth to witness the relay the same, albeit less quiet order was evident. Over one hundred volunteers took part in the proceedings. As with any high profile event there will always be a certain level of frustration such as being faced with the back of a strangers head just as you set-up that perfect shot. Or the over eager flag wielding infant who clearly has no idea what it is they are witnessing and just as you lean forward to get a closer look you are poked in the eye with it. Fortunately the charm of Falmouth and its people who are ever ready to ensure a good time is had by all is more often than not the memory that leaves with its visitors.
The success of the last few weeks is due, in part, to the relentless commitment of volunteers from the local community and surrounding areas. Sue Mantel of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club has been the driving force behind one hundred and fifty plus ‘shoreside’ volunteers during the Gold Cup week.
‘Preparations have taken over nine months and thanks must go to not just the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club but to those who have volunteered from the ambassadors, members of other yacht clubs in the port, friends and family. Everyone who was approached has stepped up.’
In true ‘Falmouthion’ style hoteliers, guest house owners and residents all went that little step further to ensure the town and her visitors had a day to remember.