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Sunderland welcomed an international fleet of over 80 Tall Ships in summer 2018. The Tall Ships Sunderland four-day event attracted over 1.5million visitors to the city with a stunning display on the banks of the River Wear and the Port of Sunderland. Tall Ships Sunderland took place from July 11 to July 14, 2018. The Tall Ships regatta previously came to Blyth, Northumberland on August Bank Holiday weekend in summer 2016.
The majestic vessels congregated in the River Wear and Port of Sunderland as they prepared to embark on a spectacular race covering over three hundred nautical miles to Esbjerg in Denmark, a cruise in company to Norway, calling at the coastal city of Stavanger, then undertaking the final leg of the 2018 Races to the beautiful city of Harlingen in the Netherlands. In total they will cover more than one thousand nautical miles over three weeks, giving thousands of young people a thrilling sail training experience, developing new skills, sharing fantastic memories and making friendships that will last a lifetime. As the start host port for The Tall Ships Races 2018, Sunderland welcomed over 50 Tall Ships that travelled from all corners of the globe to reach the city and share in the celebrations. The beautiful vessels were themselves centre stage at this breathtaking event, allowing free public access at set times on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the event. A captivating programme of entertainment and cultural activity was delivered across the city over four days, stretching from Port of Sunderland, a hidden gem at the heart of maritime activity in the city, over to the north banks of the River Wear, home to University of Sunderland and the award-winning National Glass Centre, travelling up through the city centre to Keel Square, an attractive public space and boulevard full of Sunderland’s heritage and over to the twin coastal resorts of Roker and Seaburn, with beach sporting activities and spectacular viewing points as the ships arrived and departed. Each day offered something different, keeping the crowds entertained and ensuring that The Tall Ships Races 2018 in Sunderland remains a cherished memory in the minds of visitors for many years to come.