South West Wales

Bristol Channel's historical pilot cutters to race off Mumbles

Pilot cutter vessels Olga and Alpha Image copyright Ray Potter
Image caption Pilot cutters Olga and Alpha will be in action off Mumbles

Five historical vessels are set to go head to head in races off Swansea.

Bristol Channel pilot cutters, all built between 1904 and 1909, will be taking part in a regatta off Mumbles on Saturday and Sunday.

They include the 56ft (18m) Olga, which is owned by Swansea council and has undergone refurbishments above and below deck thanks to lottery funding.

The other pilot cutters taking part are Alpha, Dolphin, Mascotte and Peggy.

They will be leaving their moorings at Swansea marina at about 08:00 BST on both days, with the races starting at 09:30.

Built for speed, the vessels were used to take pilots out into the Bristol Channel to intercept sailing barques and then guide them back to their home ports.

Frances Jenkins, from Swansea council, said the city has a rich maritime heritage and the races were a "fantastic spectacle" and a "great opportunity to be transported back to yesteryear".

The event is part of this summer's Enjoy Swansea programme.

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