Ready, steady, Sunderland! This year Sunderland, UK, will be the start port for the Tall Ships Races 2018, (Wednesday 11 – Saturday 14 July) kicking off the celebrations in a port that celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2017. As the excitement for this fantastic maritime celebration builds, we’ve taken a closer look at this city by the sea.
The Port of Sunderland is at the heart of the North East coastline on the mouth of the River Wear and will welcome the international Tall Ships fleet for the start of the Tall Ships Races 2018 for the very first time.
Moving on from its past of heavy industry Sunderland has regenerated itself into a strong, bustling city, making the most of its fantastic coastal location and easy access to beautiful countryside.
It doesn’t matter what it is that sparks your interest, Sunderland has something for everyone as theatre, art, music and sport play a major part in the Sunderland lifestyle. Taking in some history at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, climbing to new heights at the Sunderland Wall climbing centre, or exploring the city’s miles of beaches are just a few of the many things that make the city such a great place to visit.
Along with having one of the UK’s major ports, Sunderland also has a vibrant culture with lots of events taking place, from theatre and comedy shows at the Sunderland Empire Theatre to days out at Sunderland Aquatic Centre or Roker Park – the home of English football club Sunderland A.F.C. from 1898 to 1997 before the club moved to the Stadium of Light. You could also go along to Port 300, an exhibition which is running until February this year and celebrates the port’s 300th anniversary.
The city itself also has a rich heritage including links with the first US president, George Washington, with his family home Washington Old Hall located in the city. There is also the National Glass Centre where you can learn about the history of glass making… and if you’re daring enough, you can also walk along its glass roof.
Sunderland is a fantastic city and has a lot to offer from its culture to its coast, all of which make it a fun and beautiful place to visit and a great host port for the Tall Ships Races 2018. Its 300,000 strong population, including more than 60 nationalities and speaking over 30 languages, are a friendly and passionate people.
About the Tall Ships Races 2018
Everyone is invited to take on the challenge of sailing in the Tall Ships Races 2018, which will take the Tall Ships fleet from the UK to Denmark, then Norway and finally finishing in the Netherlands.
Sunderland is expected to host around 80 Tall Ships over four days, with plenty to see and do. There will be opportunities to visit the ships, entertainment for all the family, sports activities for the crew and a fantastic crew parade. Finishing the event will be a spectacular Tall Ships Parade which will see the whole fleet leave Sunderland and head to the open sea just five minutes away, ready for the start of the first race.
The first race will provide an opportunity to take in the bracing fresh sea air on a four day passage across the North Sea to Esbjerg, Denmark. This race will provide you with ideal racing conditions, which will help you hone your existing or new-found sailing skills. You’ll also have lots of time to bond with your crewmates in what will be an unforgettable sailing experience.This will be followed by a scenic Cruise-in-Company from Esbjerg, Denmark to Stavanger, Norway and then a final race from Stavanger to Harlingen, Netherlands. Cultural festivities and celebrations are also on offer at every port stop.
Each port will offer a variety of different programmes, all packed with events and activities to keep crews and visitors entertained throughout the Tall Ships’ visits.
Did you know you can take part in this fantastic adventure at sea? Berths are still available for both races and the Cruise-in-Company. You can find all the entered vessels on our Tall Ships Races 2018 event page.
Taking part in the Tall Ships Races 2018 offers you the chance to take part in many different and exciting challenges. These include things such as climbing the mast, raising the sails, preparing a dinner in the middle of the ocean and taking part in watch duties. You’ll learn new things and make new friends from around the world.
It’s a once in a lifetime experience you won’t forget.