The plans for hosting The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 are moving ahead with great pace and the event zones and quaysides which will welcome ships and visitors alike have been identified.
Visiting ships will be berthed on both the north and south side of the River Wear near the National Glass Centre on Manor Quay, with some of the largest vessels moored on the opposite bank at Corporation Quay.
Hudson Dock within the port will also be open to the public allowing everyone to get up close and in many cases get on-board these majestic vessels.
Sunderland City Council’s Head of Events Victoria French said: “With 49 ships signed up so far and the opportunity to get a few more, this is shaping up to be a huge event.
“By including quays on the north side of the river and also the west side of Hudson Dock we will be able to host everything from crew activities and visitor entertainment to access to ships and even the opportunity to take a sailing trip on one of these beautiful vessels. With everything from ships and fireworks to live music and a Georgian Festival, there will be something for all and I encourage everyone to come along and join in with this fantastic occasion.”
The vessel berthing areas are part of four main event zones. Port of Sunderland, (Zone A) East End, (Zone B) St Peter’s Campus, (Zone C) and on Saturday 14 the coast from Roker to Seaburn (Zone D). All zones will host a full entertainment programme with activities for all. Zone D, which runs the full length of Roker and Seaburn, has been selected to give the perfect viewing area for watching the Parade of Sail as the ships leave Sunderland for the race to Esbjerg.
The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 will also give many residents their first opportunity to see the workings of the Port of Sunderland. Recently celebrating its 300th anniversary the port continues to grow and is a positive contributor to the city’s economy.
As one of the UK’s largest municipally owned ports, Port of Sunderland has a deserved reputation for providing first class port handling services. It covers an area of 106 hectares and within its boundary, as well as port operations, a wide range of tenants undertake a variety of port and maritime-related activities and industrial operations.
Director of Port of Sunderland Matthew Hunt said: “This is both a challenging and exciting time for us here at the port. Working with other teams and organisations we aim to deliver an event the city can be proud of. It will be a fantastic spectacle and I, like many, look forward to welcoming the ships and crews from across Europe and beyond.
“We’re also delighted that many residents will get a rare opportunity to come down and visit the site and get an idea of the size and scale of operations here. For centuries the river and port have been at the heart of Sunderland and we are working hard to keep this proud tradition going.”
The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 runs from Wednesday 11-Sat 14 July, concluding with a spectacular Parade of Sail along the city's fantastic coastline. For more information please visit the website or follow on Twitter