Six more vessels are coming to Sunderland - and that means the Tall Ships fleet now heading for Wearside is 42-strong.
Everything from a French Navy vessel to a ship which is more than 130 years old has signed up for the city’s leg of this summer’s spectacle, from Wednesday, July 11, to Saturday, July 14.
The newly registered ships include De Gallant, Caroline af Sandnes, JR Tolkien, Challenge Wales, Dyrafjeld and Hosanna.
Class C vessel Hosanna has been operated by Ecole Navale, the French naval academy, since 2010. She has been sailing for the benefit of the academy students as well as young sailors from a variety of different backgrounds.
Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “It will be fantastic to welcome these latest crews. Not just from Ecole Navale but also from elsewhere in France, Norway, The Netherlands and certainly not forgetting Wales.
“Just these six vessels give an indication of the truly international nature of this event.
This is truly great to hear. The fact that so many ships are confirming their attendance is great reflection of the work that is already underway to make the four day event one of the biggest celebrations the region has ever seenVictoria French
“Sunderland continues to develop a reputation as a welcoming city capable of successfully hosting huge events. I hope that as many people as possible find a way to become involved, support the event and give visiting crews a fantastic welcome.”
Other ships coming to Sunderland include:
• De Gallant, an 88ft Class B Gaff Schooner. She sails mostly in the North Sea, the Baltic and the English Channel as a sail training ship.
• The 72ft Class C cutter Challenge Wales which takes part in sail training activities predominantly around Wales, Ireland and the South Coast of England.
• Caroline af Sandnes a 65ft Class B Gaff Cutter from Norway. She is over 130 years old and was originally named Trine and operated as a sailing cargo vessel.
• J.R.Tolkien is a Gaff Topsail Schooner from Holland. She was originally built as a sea-going tug named Dierko, and was converted to a schooner in 1994. She was renamed in honour of the British Author JRR Tolkien.
• And the 98ft Dyrafjeld which is a Norwegian “jakt” Gaff Ketch.
She was built in 1889 and is among the world’s oldest wooden vessels still sailing. This gem of a training ship is based in Oslo.
Head of Events for Sunderland City Council, Victoria French said: “This is truly great to hear. The fact that so many ships are confirming their attendance is great reflection of the work that is already underway to make the four day event one of the biggest celebrations the region has ever seen.”
“This will be the first visit for each of the newly registered vessels into Port of Sunderland and we’re really looking forward to welcoming them here. We are proud to play our part in helping to deliver a truly iconic event.”
For further information about The Tall Ships Races 2018 follow the team at www.tallshipssunderland.com , Twitter @TallShipsSund or on Facebook at TallShipsRacesSunderland