Thar’ she goes!
After being berthed proudly at Corporation Quay, Port of Sunderland, Stavros S Niarchos left the city today.
The two-mast brig, the largest to have been built in the UK in the last century, sailed to the Wear to help promote the Tall Ships Race 2018.
It’s been announced that Sunderland will be the starting point for the world-famous race in July 2018.
On Saturday, hundreds went along to an open day to learn more about the 200ft vessel, which is the biggest to be built in the UK in a century and is named after the Greek businessman and sailor who died in 1996.
Visitors had a great time ringing the ships bell, taking the wheel, exploring the bridge and finding out about her history and the life of crew and volunteers on board with some youngsters signing up to sail on the ship soon.
The weekend provided us all with just a small taste of what it is to come, when we have tall ships of all shapes and sizes berthed up alongside each other during what will be a great cultural event for our city.Councillor John Kelly
The ship offers sail training experiences for 12 to 80-year-olds through its programme of Tall Ships Adventure voyages, ranging from a day sail or longer voyages.
Yesterday, a new group of sail trainees sailed out the Stavros, leaving Sunderland to travel up the coast of Scotland and then down to Blyth having joined the ship the day before.
Roy Love, Captain of Stavros, expressed his gratitude for the wonderful reception that both he and the crew received in Sunderland, and in particular the hospitality and warm welcome of the city.
Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture Councillor John Kelly said: “The visit of Stavros S Niarchos to the city over the weekend was a great success, with more than 700 people visiting the ship in her berth at the Port of Sunderland during Saturday’s Open Day.
“I was delighted to have been invited aboard myself soon after its arrival, to help announce Sunderland has been chosen as the host port for the 2018 Tall Ships Race.
“The weekend provided us all with just a small taste of what it is to come, when we have tall ships of all shapes and sizes berthed up alongside each other during what will be a great cultural event for our city.”