Mighty masts sail into Sunderland to give city Tall Ships Race taster

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MIGHTY masts will sail into Sunderland as a taster of what the city can expect from the Tall Ships Race.

Sunderland will be one of the home ports for the 2018 prestigious maritime extravaganza.

In the meantime, a 200ft brig will be opening her decks to the public for an open day this summer.

The Tall Ships Youth Trust will bring Stavros S Niarchos, the biggest ship of her kind to be built in the UK in a century, to the River Wear on July 4.

The open day, which runs from noon to 5pm, will provide the public with the opportunity to go on board, explore her decks and learn more about a modern day square-rigged brig.

If you’ve always wanted to sail a tall ship, there is a five-night taster voyage taking place before the open day.

On this taster voyage, visitors can experience the coastline and a variety of wildlife as they sail in the North Sea.

After the open day, Stavros will be departing Sunderland with a school activities week for 12 to 15-year-olds on board.

This is a chance for youngsters to build confidence and develop teamwork, while learning to sail a tall ship.

The arrival of the tall ships will be the latest chapter in the history of sailing on the Wear.

The city is regarded as one of the early centres for the sport, with sailing having been organised on the river for more than 160 years by Sunderland Yacht Club or its predecessors.

l The taster session runs from June 28 to July 3, and is for 18 to 80-year-olds.

It sails from Blyth to Sunderland and the price is £429.

The school activities week runs from July 5 to 10, and is for 12 to 15-year-olds. It sails from Sunderland to Blyth.The price is £479, with a bursary of £145 available. For details, visit www.tallships.org.