The largest maritime festival in the world, with around 10,000 sailors bringing 2,000 vessels to a crowd that can reach a million, happens every four years at the port of Brest, in French Brittany.

It’s a week long international party celebrating maritime heritage from around the world with craft displays, music, food and fireworks… and sailors, sailing and showing off their ships. And the boats are of all sizes from Tall Ships to small ships – some people will attend in their dinghy. In between are the old sailing trawlers, the tunnymen and oyster smacks, pilot cutters, brown-sailed barges, salmon punts, steam launches and a host of others that create contemporary vistas from the old age of sail.

It’s all been photographed by Nigel Pert – a photographic artist whose love of the lines of these old boat designs leaps off the pages of this book. Having photographed every festival, often as an official photographer he’s selected from his rich archive of not just the boats but also the people, the events, the nighttime fireworks, the atmosphere of the quayside cafés in a gorgeously produce book that takes you into the heart of this special event. The photographs are complemented with some in-depth and observant details by Dan Houston. With over 200 photographs, many over full frame across its 100 pages this book is a fabulous feast for the eyes for anyone who loves old boats and the old sea ways – which have been coming together at the Brest festival since 1992.

…But don’t take our word for it – check out some of the comments we have had on the back cover.  The book’s text and captions are in French and English, and a French version of the cover exists as well. Click here to purchase.