Sunderland ‘bowled over’ by spectacular river visitors at Tall Ships Races

Victoria French, head of events at Sunderland City Council.
Victoria French, head of events at Sunderland City Council.

The spectacular sight of Tall Ships on the River Wear has bowled over visitors to Sunderland.

Victoria French, head of events at Sunderland City Council, briefed the media today on the success of the four-day sailing event so far.

Victoria French briefing the media today.

Victoria French briefing the media today.

More than 50 ships are currently berthed at the Port of Sunderland, and will take part in the majestic Parade of Sail tomorrow.

Visitors to the site have been “bowled over” by the return of so many beautiful ships to the River Wear.

Related content: Live updates from day three of the Tall Ships in Sunderland

Victoria said: “We’ve had loads of positive comments from organisers, from the captains, from the crew of the 50-plus ships about how welcoming Sunderland has been and how welcoming all the visitors have been.

“The crew parade involved lots of people from different countries and they were all interacting with the spectators.

“It was a real carnival atmosphere and it was spectacular to see, especially when they were going across Wearmouth Bridge.”

The international programme of entertainment will continue today with Paolo Nani, from Denmark, set to entertain the crowds as an ice cream-selling clown.

Dutch funk band Tristan will also perform today at 2pm, while Emma Bloomfield will climb the mast of the Santa Maria Manuela to re-enact the legend of Sunderland hero Jack Crawford.

And the fun will continue late into the evening with what promises to be a dazzling display of bravery as high-wire walkers entertain the crowds 100ft above the River Wear.