Falmouth set to host 2014 Tall Ships Regatta
Falmouth is set to host the 2014 Iberian Tall Ships Regatta.
Up to 25 majestic tall ships could visit the port in September, bringing thousands of extra visitors into the port and providing a welcome boost to the economy.
John Hick, chairman of the Falmouth Tall Ships Association, made the annoucement this morning at a press conference at the Maritime Museum.
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"We have this great opportunity to bring many major sail training ships to Falmouth and show them the hospitality that is synonymous with the town," he said.
"Falmouth's association with the sea and ships has been part of Cornwall's heritage for centuries and Falmouth always gives an enthusiastic welcome to these ships of bygone times."
A whole host of activities will run through the town, including carnivals, fireworks and children's art as well as parties of board the ships and sailing and hundreds of crew, including young trainees, will be welcomed.
The Falmouth festival is being delivered by Cornwall Development Company to Sail Training International requirements, with Visit Cornwall working in partnership with Falmouth Town Council. Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, A&P Falmouth, the tall ships association, Cornwall Marine Network, National Maritime Museum Falmouth and other partners.
Greenwich in London and Santander in Spain are expected to be the other ports running a leg of the festival.
The last time Falmouth hosted the event was in 2008, which generated around £12 million for the local economy, but it has also done so in 1996, 1982 and 1998.
Sam Groom from Visit Cornwall said: "It makes economic sense and we didn't look at the PR value of the event then. Having Greenwich on board is advantageous as Visit Britain will be promoting it.
"We have built a reputation with Falmouth as a port to hold the Tall Ships and satisfy what is required. We had so many positive comments from 2008 and hopefully we can do the same in 2014."
Cornwall Council has underwritten the event to the tune of £100,000 and plans will be drawn up to bring in a further £80,000 through donations and sponsorship as well as organising around 200 volunteers to help manage the three to four day festival.
Mr Hick added: "The event will be a great opportunity for individuals of all ages and organisations to be involved and take part in a world class event.
"As well as being a great location, the welcome and support the Tall Ships can expect here is second to none."