A giant of the seas is coming to Sunderland for The Tall Ships Races - and she’s the biggest yet to sign up.
The majestic Mir from Russia, which has a 170ft main mast and is 350ft long, is one of four new vessels to join the Wearside fleet.
It means that nearly 40 ships are now confirmed for the event between Wednesday, July 11, and Saturday, July 14.
Councillor John Kelly, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “I understand Mir is big, very big, and she is very tall. She will be getting a prime berth at Corporation Quay. I know her 200 permanent crew and trainees will be made to feel extremely welcome and plenty of activities and events are being lined-up for all our visitors.
“Her arrival and stay in our city are another highlight for an event that is shaping up to be very spectacular.”
Mir will be moored at Corporation Quay on the south bank across the Wear opposite the National Glass Centre.
The city’s Tall Ships team are working hard behind the scenes with vessel operators to attract a magnificent fleet and this is paying dividends as 24 of the fleet confirmed so far are the larger Class A or Bs.John Kelly
Also now confirmed for July are:
l The Indian Navy’s Tarangini, which joins Urania, as the second military-operated ship in the fleet. She is a 173ft Class A Barquentine ship;
l Jolie Brise is a Class B ship with distinctive red sails and black wooden hull. Owned and operated by Dauntsey School in Wiltshire;
l Aries is a privately owned Class D vessel that will make up part of the ‘small ships community’, which is an integral part of any Tall Ships event.
The first ships are expected to enter the River Wear on Tuesday, July 10.
Coun Kelly added: “The events programme is taking shape, and looking more and more ship-shape as more ships and contributors are coming on-board and I’m confident we can expect some Airshow sized crowds.
“The city’s Tall Ships team are working hard behind the scenes with vessel operators to attract a magnificent fleet and this is paying dividends as 24 of the fleet confirmed so far are the larger Class A or Bs.”
Ships will be berthed in Hudson Dock and at berths on the north and south banks of the river.
One of the highlights will be the Parade of Sail on the afternoon of Saturday, July 14. The fleet is due to begin undocking at approximately 2pm to parade between the Wear’s historic piers in the two hours before high tide at 5.15pm.
The parade bears north along the coast until level with Souter Point, then turns back south to a start line which is four miles east from the piers.
More information on the fleet and the event can be found at www.tallshipssunderland.com