Film still featuring 'Guide Me' from 'Wind, Tide & Oar' (2024), courtesy Huw Wahl.
Film still from 'Wind, Tide & Oar' (2024), courtesy Huw Wahl.
Film still from 'Wind, Tide & Oar' (2024), courtesy Huw Wahl.
Film still from 'Wind, Tide & Oar' (2024), courtesy Huw Wahl.
Film still from 'Wind, Tide & Oar' (2024), courtesy Huw Wahl.

Using a 1960s hand-wound camera, Huw Wahl shot Wind, Tide & Oar over a three-year period. In that time he followed a diverse array of traditional boats and the people who sail them as they journey through rivers, along coastlines and across open seas.

The film offers a poetic perspective that uncovers the unique rhythms and motivations of engineless navigation and invites deep reflection on our relationship with the natural world.

Huw Wahl was introduced to sailing by his sister Rose Ravetz, on her Falmouth quay punt Defiance. This experience produced the first shoots of the project, which grew into a sibling collaboration of multiple proportions. Rose Ravetz will join her brother for a special evening screening and talk on 11 July – read more.

Wahl also worked closely with sailors in Cornwall, including Jude and Jonno Brickhill, whose boat Guide Me features prominently in the film, Giles Gilbert, whose boat Dorothy is based on the lines of an original St Michael’s Mount post boat, and Jonathan Bailey, who fishes for oysters in Falmouth Harbour from his 23ft gaff-rigged cutter Katrina.

Making this film has taught me so much about what it means to sail engineless, but also a huge amount about filmmaking. Both are deeply rooted – during their best moments – in feeling. Whether that’s intuiting the right time to tack or the right time to press the shutter, each requires the practitioner to enter a trance-like state of concentration, deeply connected to their surroundings, almost instinctive in their reactions. If we can learn something from the sailor, it’s that response is the key to our navigation in the broadest sense.

– Huw Wahl, Director

The presentation of the film at CAST will include additional footage from the making of Wind, Tide & Oar, with a focus on some of the land-based workmanship that is essential to the maintenance and production of traditional boats. Rose Ravetz has written detailed notes on the materials and processes shown, the boats which feature, and on some of the sailing techniques seen in Wind, Tide & Oar. Her notes can be found here.

Huw Wahl is a filmmaker and artist who has won international recognition and showcased his award-winning work globally. He uses analogue film to explore the transformative potential of creative action. His last film The Republics (2020), made in collaboration with the poet Stephen Watts, was shown at CAST in the summer of 2021.

The production of the film was supported by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Historic Ships and 90 people who contributed to a crowdfunding campaign.

Tuesday 2 July 2024 – Saturday 10 August 2024 Film duration 1 hr 23 mins

Screenings begin at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm Tuesday to Saturday

Additional screenings at 4pm and 6pm on Tuesdays