Tall ships to come back to Cornwall for Falmouth regatta
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to swarm into a Cornish town to welcome the Tall Ships as they glide gracefully into port.
Yesterday, it was confirmed Falmouth will host Iberian Tall Ships Regatta 2014 with the promise of millions of extra tourism pounds pouring into the local economy.
When the ships last visited Falmouth in September 2008 some 100,000 visitors flooded in generating more than £12 million for local businesses.
Falmouth takes its place for the forthcoming event alongside Greenwich in London – a third port in either France or Spain has yet to be announced.
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The town's credentials for taking part were secured not only with the 2008 visit but also as a result of the Tall Ships Race event in 1998.
Cornwall Development Company – on behalf of Cornwall Council – will be in charge of making it all go smoothly to Sail Training International's strict standards, who are running the regatta.
A whirl of events surrounding the main attraction will be organised by groups including Visit Cornwall, Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth Harbour Commissioners.
Joan Symons, Cornwall Council's portfolio holder for tourism, culture and leisure said Falmouth and beyond would reap the rewards of taking part.
She said: "The benefits will be felt across all sectors of the business community and will put Falmouth and Cornwall at the forefront of national and international media attention once again."
John Hick, chairman of Falmouth Tall Ships Association said he was "delighted" the town had been chosen to be part of such a prestigious race.
He said: "Falmouth's association with the sea and ships has been a part of Cornwall's heritage for centuries and Falmouth always gives an enthusiastic welcome to these ships of bygone times."
Sail Training International's original aim was to hold the event next year but the ports could not be secured in time.
Peter Cardy, chief executive of Sail Training International said Falmouth's reputation as a sailing town spoke for itself.
He said: "Falmouth is reputed to be the third largest natural harbour in the world and is therefore an excellent venue for a Tall Ships Regatta.
"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."
Dates for the regatta will be announced after the third port is confirmed and the race course has been decided.