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.


Latest publication

2 mai 2014

Nice surprise going to the letter box just now. The postman brought me a copy of the latest Wooden Boat magazine. In it is an excellent article by Peter Neill on the great contribution of Bernard Cadoret and his wife Michèle to the traditional boating scene in Europe and probably worldwide, as we now know it. They were of course founders of the French magazine of reference: Le Chasse Marée, but also instigators of maritime festivals in Brittany, the first really major one being Brest 1992 and the competition that resulted in many tradtional craft being recreated. I received a copy of the magazine as I have a photo in the article that I took during the last festival at Brest in 2012. It was a surprise as I didn’t know they were going to use this aerial image they had in their stock of my pictures. An even nicer surprise as there was a cheque included in the package – certain other publications that use my – and other photographers – work, please take note! No endless phone calls chasing over due fees is a true pleasure – thank you the Wooden Boat team.WB.compo

The Lady Anne – Tuiga – Hispania

The Lady Anne – Mariska – Hispania


Les quatre 15 MJ, Mariska, Tuiga, The Lady Anne et Hispania étaient réunis pour la première fois à Monaco lors de la Classi Week 2011. Nous les avons retrouvés lors des voiles de Saint Tropez 2012.

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et Les Voiles de St Tropez vues du ciel




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Les Régates Royales 2012

29 septembre 2012



Du soleil, du vent mais aussi de la pluie, des conditions météo changeantes…

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Each year at the Régates Royales I meet up with my friend Benjy who usually has another invention to show me. This year he has rethought his Stasha stacking dinghy a little and made a version using see through plastic as used in boat covers etc. The Stasha ST.

It is essentially the same as last year’s version, but with that extra dose of fun. Click here to appreciate the effect in my series of photos, including the demonstration of its sailing capabilities during a thunderstorm in the Vieux Port. Plans and full assembly instructions can of course be ordered from Benjy at . See my article  for photos explaining the stacking principle of the Stasha.

Pour cette dernière journée de régate à Nice, j’étais à bord de Pen Duick.

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A l’issue de cette dernière journée, les résultats sont inchangés :

Arcadia pour les « Classique Marconi »

Argyll pour les « Epoque Marconi »

Oriole pour les « Epoque Aurique »


La deuxième journée de régates s’est déroulée dans les mêmes conditions : du soleil et du vent.

Après deux jours de régate, c’est Arcadia qui arrive en tête des classiques Marconi, Argyll pour les Epoque Marconi, et Oriole pour les Epoque Aurique.

Argyll et Oiseau de Feu au départ de la deuxième régate


cliquer pour voir l’album de la deuxième journée

Les Régates de Nice 2012

20 septembre 2012

Première journée avec du soleil et du vent.

Manitou devant l’hôtel Negresco



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  Les Régates Impériales à Ajaccio en Corse sont terminées, cette année, avec du vent et du soleil, malgré un début très difficile à cause de la météo. Quelques bateaux furent même empêchés de venir réduisant un peu la flottille par rapport aux années précédentes.

Parmi ceux présents il y avait trois voiliers avec des équipages venant de trois marines militaires d’Europe : Des Anglais et des Italiens étaient là à l’invitation de la Marine Nationale française. L’équipe de la Royal Navy était à bord de The Blue Peter, la Marina Militare d’Italie avait son propre voilier Stella Polare et pour la troisième année consécutive, la Marine Nationale française avait un équipage sur l‘Oiseau de Feu.

Autrement, pour la première fois aux RI il y avait Kelpie, Alfred Mylne de 1903, Skylark, Sparkman & Stephens yawl de 1937, appartenant à Tara Getty et son tender magnifique : Bluebird.

Cliquer pour voir quelques images

A bord d‘Oiseau de Feu, rattrapant Stella Polare et The Blue Peter

  The Régates Impériales in Ajaccio, Corsica finally finished under blue skies with a reasonable breeze. The start of the week wasn’t the same, the weather conditions even prevented several boat arriving, giving a somewhat reduced fleet for this years’ event.

Amongst those present, however, there was an in European forces challenge played out. The Fench navy invited other navies to participate and a team from the British Royal Navy sailed on board The Blue Peter, the Italian navy raced with their own yacht, Stella Polare and the French chartered Oiseau de Feu, for the third year running.

Newcomers to this year’s meeting included the Alfred Mylne cutter of 1903: Kelpie and Tara Getty’s recently restored Sparkman & Stephens yawl Skylark with her (also recently restored) tender: the magnificent Bluebird.

click here to see some photos