It was the one time performers didn’t want to make a splash as two daring tight rope artists made their way across the Wear - minus a safety net.
Chris Bullzini and fellow artist Johanne Humblet from Cirque Bijou showed off an incredible sense of balance, nerves of steel and a real head for heights as they traversed the River Wear on a tight rope. See amazing pictures from the events here.
Starting at Panns Bank, and using only a pole for balance, Chris climbed 100ft high to Wearmouth Bridge along a 700ft long high wire suspended across the river in a spectacular finish to the third day of the Tall Ships Races in Sunderland.
As if that wasn’t difficult enough, he was joined part way through the performance by Johanne as she climbed from a fishing boat, up a ladder, to join him on the wire.
Thousands lined the river banks to watch the spectacle, which also featured a 100-strong choir singing on the bridge while a fleet of small local boats circled underneath. The crowds were further dazzled by performers holding LED umbrellas in a choreographed display at Panns Bank.
Heg Brignall, from Seaham, wrote the music which accompanied the show, which was watched by her family from Sunderland.
The enchanting piece, inspired by the seascape of her home region, was performed by Heg with her band The Wolf Choir.
She said: “It is very exciting to be doing this with all of my family here.”
After a tense half hour scaling the height of the bridge, Chris and Johanne both made it safely to the top, a feat which was marked by a short pyrotechnic display under the bridge, creating a stunning waterfall effect.
Thousands tuned in to the Echo’s live feed of the stunt, the like of which has never been seen in the city before.
Christine Bussey said: “From a southerner who married a Mackem, who has lived here for five years, you should all be proud of where you come from. This is amazing.”