Meet the man who will manage the Sunderland Tall Ships site

Get ready for scenes like this in Sunderland - and Mike will make sure it all runs smoothly.
Get ready for scenes like this in Sunderland - and Mike will make sure it all runs smoothly.

An expert in maritime events is set to steer the Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 to success.

Mike Richmond has been appointed as site manager for next summer’s festival and he’s no stranger to the races.

Mike Richmond who has been appointed site manager for Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.

Mike Richmond who has been appointed site manager for Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.

“I’ve had some sort of role in every Tall Ships Race for almost 20 years,” he said, “but each one is different and will always bring new challenges with it.”

A fleet of up to 80 ships will arrive in Sunderland next July and will dock for four days before embarking on the first leg of their race.

Mike added: “It’s always a fantastic event, and it’s my job to make sure it runs smoothly on the land.”

Mike began his career in sporting events before working with local authorities and the International Festival of the Sea, ahead of founding his own events company.

I’ve had some sort of role in every Tall Ships Race for almost 20 years but each one is different and will always bring new challenges with it

Mike Richmond

His role next year will be ensuring everything on land runs smoothly. With four city sites hosting events, he is more than aware of the challenges it may bring.

“Working on events in operational ports is always a bit of a challenge, but we have done it several times before, and I know we can do it in Sunderland too. It just takes a lot of hard work and planning.

“The ships are always going to be the main attraction, and that side of operations is demanding for the host port. At the same time there is also the monumental effort by a whole team of people to ensure the event zones are up and running for the visitors and crews.”

The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 is expected to be the biggest free family festival in the UK next year, attracting around 1.5m people over four days

It all begins on Wednesday, July 11 when the ships sail into the city.

After that, the exciting attractions will include street theatre, a parade, live music and displays.

It culminates on Saturday, July 14, with a parade of ships along the coast as they set sail for their first leg of the race to Esbjerg, Denmark.

Mike added: “There is a lot to organise but we know we can make this event a big success. We are all fired up, ready to roll and looking forward to it.”

For further information about Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 visit www.tallshipssunderland.com