Sail Training International has confirmed that Falmouth is the first host port to be signed up for the Iberian Tall Ships Regatta 2014. The event, involving some of the largest and most spectacular Tall Ships in the world, will take place in September 2014.
The Regatta is at an early planning stage, with Greenwich, London, the second port to be signed up, with the third port in either France or Spain to be announced. Falmouth has secured its place in the Regatta thanks to the proven success of the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta in 2008, the Tall Ships Race event in 1998 and as a Tall Ship friendly port since their first ever visit in 1966.
Cornwall Development Company will be responsible for delivering the event in Falmouth to Sail Training International requirements, on behalf of Cornwall Council. The Festivals and Events Team at Visit Cornwall will work in partnership with Falmouth Town Council, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, A&P Falmouth, Falmouth Tall Ships Association, Cornwall Marine Network, National Maritime Museum Cornwall and other partners and sponsors to be confirmed.
“The confirmation that Falmouth will be hosting the 2014 Tall Ships Regatta will be a tremendous boost to the economy of Falmouth. The benefits will be felt across all sectors of the business community and will put Falmouth and Cornwall at the forefront of national and international media attention once again,” commented Cllr Joan Symons, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Culture and Leisure, Cornwall Council.
When the Tall Ships last visited Falmouth in September 2008, the fleet of ships, including nine of the majestic square rigged A Class vessels, created a fantastic spectacle set against the iconic backdrop of Falmouth Harbour framed by Henry VIII’s twin castles of Pendennis and St Mawes. The economic impact of the event left a lasting impression on the area, attracting 100,000 visitors and generating over £12m for the local economy.
“We have this great opportunity again in Falmouth to bring many major sail training ships to Falmouth and show them the hospitality that is synonymous with the town. We are delighted to be chosen to be part of this prestigious race,” said John Hick, Chairman of Falmouth Tall Ships Association.
“Falmouth’s association with the sea and ships has been a part of Cornwall’s heritage for centuries and Falmouth always gives an enthusiastic welcome to these ships of bygone times”.
Peter Cardy, Chief Executive of Sail Training International said, “Falmouth is reputed to be the third largest natural harbour in the world and is therefore an excellent venue for a Tall Ships Regatta. The event will be a great opportunity for individuals of all ages and organisations to be involved and take part in a world class event. As well as being a great location, the welcome and support the Tall Ships can expect here is second to none. We’re really looking forward to coming back and working with the dedicated team that delivered such a successful event in 2008.”
Dates for the Regatta will be announced when all the ports have been selected and the Race course determined.