'Fantastic to see River Wear full of ships once more' - visitors wowed by Tall Ships in Sunderland

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Visitors have been wowed by the Tall Ships in Sunderland - and Wearsiders have been full of pride to see the river full of ships once more.

Event chiefs are keeping visitor figures under wraps until after the event, but the crowds on the first official day of the Tall Ships spoke for themselves - with organisers pleased to report very positive feedback.

Tall Ships fill the Wear.

Tall Ships fill the Wear.

Michelle Daurat, project director for the Tall Ships in Sunderland, said: "Yesterday was the first official day and it was a lot busier than the preview day on Tuesday, which is what we expected.

Follow Day Two of the Tall Ships on our live blog here

"We've had brilliant feedback from visitors, and people have been saying its fantastic to see the River Wear full of ships once again."

Michelle said today will be another amazing day of events, with the highlight being the crew parade - which starts at 3pm, and will feature 1,200 people.

She said: "The crew parade is always a highlight of any Tall Ships Race - it's an opportunity for all of the crews from all of the ships to show off, and all the crews will be carrying banners with their ships' names."

But Michelle added that there will be unique elements for the Sunderland parade.

All the 152 Sunderland sail trainees who are taking part in the race will also be part of the parade, carrying their own banner and wearing orange t-shirts.

And the parade will be led off by 50 Hells Angels, who have their base in the East End at the heart of the Tall Ships events.

The Hells Angels do have a nautical link - their HQ was used as a recuperation hospital after the Battle of Trafalgar.

Close Act, a walkabout group of electro-drummers on stilts from The Netherlands.

The crew parade sets off from Sunderland Civic Centre at 3pm and will go along Burdon Road, across Wearmouth Bridge, down to Bonnersfield, finishing at the stage area at St Peters Campus.

he parade ends with the Crew Prize-giving Ceremony at St Peter’s, led by Sail Training International – which organises the Races - and attended by The Mayor of Sunderland.