Wayward pirates scupper world record attempt

A world record attempt for the most pirates in one place failed after “a few” of the 14,000 swashbucklers that had gathered in Penzance accidentally stayed in a pub and missed the count.

Pirates, not in Penzance (Credit: istock)

The Cornish town won the Guinness World Record for the largest pirate gathering in 2011, stealing the title from Hastings, who won back the title in 2013. Since then, Penzance has been trying to reclaim the title.

Pubs in the area had promised to make sure pirates were out and in the count area by 3.45pm.

To succeed the town needed to have more than 14,231 pirates in one place by 4pm on Sunday. Each participant had to have at least two accessories, such as a sword or eye patch, to qualify as a pirate.

But come the count the 14,000-strong crew was not enough to beat the record, with organisers telling the crowd they were short by ‘”just a few”.

“We won’t say how many [were in the pub],” organiser Andy Hazlehurst told the crowd. “We won’t shame those who were down in the Dolphin and that but we still haven’t taught the people who go to the pub to get here on time.”

Speaking on Monday, Mayor of Penzance Dick Cliffe said: “It is a disappointment not to break the record and miss out by such a small amount… The pirates of Penzance is an expression everyone knows – not the pirates of Hastings. They are just impostors.”

He added: “I remember looking into the pub and seeing people in pirate outfits around the time the count was being done. I thought – what are they doing there?

“Whether it is missed communication over the importance of being in the compounds for just ten minutes I don’t know.

“But it is a tough thing to marshal that number of pirates – they are not a group that traditionally are easily marshalled by anybody.”

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