the May Cup | 50th Anniversary Race



On the Water at 1:00 PM | First race starts at 1:30 PM | BBQ at Clubhouse starts 5.30pm

Helford River Sailing Club is set to commemorate a remarkable milestone this summer as it prepares to host the 50th running of the May Cup on July 15th 16th. The annual family sailing race, with its long history, holds a special place in the hearts of the May family, whose deep connection with the Helford River spans several generations.

The love affair between the May family and Helford River began in the 1950s when Susanna May’s grandparents, Jack and Lynn Hills, first holidayed in the picturesque village. During that time, Fido May’s parents resided in Restronguet, and he often ventured to Helford, fostering a fondness for the area that would be passed down through the generations.

In the early years, Jack Hills became a member of the Helford River Sailing Club, fuelling his family’s passion for sailing. The three Hills siblings, Susanna, Martin, and Mimi, grew up learning to sail on the river, immersing themselves in the exhilaration and serenity that the Helford waters provided. Their early experiences on the water laid the foundation for a lifelong connection with the sailing club.

The family’s association with Helford River Sailing Club solidified when Susanna and Fido tied the knot and started a family of their own around 1964 or 1965. The May family’s sailing adventures extended beyond the river, with memories of a voyage to France aboard a Silhouette 17 etched in their minds from those early years. While Fido preferred the speed of motorboats over traditional sailing vessels, he always found a way to contribute by serving as the rescue boat for various river events and Falmouth Week, demonstrating his unwavering support for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). Through these endeavours, he forged connections with the skippers of working boats around Falmouth, further enriching the family’s maritime experiences.

In the May family’s sailing chronicles, a special place is reserved for the oyster dredger named Mary Rose, a vessel treasured by all. While Mary Rose was never raced due to its unfavourable tacking capabilities, it symbolized the spirit of family togetherness on the water, providing countless unforgettable moments for the May family.

In 1971, Susanna assumed the role of a dedicated sailing instructor, teaching her children and others in the community how to sail in a Mirror dinghy. This endeavour inspired Susanna to organize a handicap race that would bring together sailors of all ages and abilities. Her husband, took it upon himself to find a trophy, leading to the birth of the May Cup in 1973.

As the years passed, the May family’s sailing journey evolved. In their teenage years, they entered the Delta cohort, an entirely different sailing experience. Their vessel, Triton, numbered 19, competed in the Delta Championship, the Nairn Cup, and the regular weekly races. Sailing in the 1970s presented its challenges, with courses set from The Point and Bar, venturing out to Gew or the Nare and up to Groyne. The competition was fierce, and the podium was a coveted prize, often being a battle to see who could challenge the formidable Winfrey family. Throughout those summers spent on the river, the May family forged deep connections with other local families and holidaymakers, creating enduring friendships that have lasted to this day.

Entry Form click here


First – Magnum of Tattinger Champagne

Second – Bottle of Tattinger Champagne

Third – Bottle of wine

There will be a Hog Roast at the HRSC Clubhouse after the sailing is finished for the day and the terrace bar will be open to quench the thirst of weary sailors.

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