It was almost 50 years ago that Falmouth hosted its first Tall Ships festival and with three others under its belt since then, organisers certainly know what to expect and what it takes to stage a successful event.
The first was held in 1966 with the port welcoming the majestic vessels back again in 1982, 1998 and most recently in 2008 for the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta.
This week’s Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta boasts 46 vessels including 11 of the larger Class A ships which will be moored alongside Duchy and County Wharves in Falmouth Docks and be open to the public, free of charge, on Thursday between noon and 8pm and from 10am until 8pm on Friday and Saturday. Access can be gained through the docks’ gates or there will be ferries running from Prince of Wales Pier.
The other ships will be moored at Port Pendennis Marina and on the Falmouth Haven moorings in the inner harbour, but will not be open to the public.
None of the ships will be open on Sunday as they will be undocking ahead of the Parade of Sail which will see the entire fleet make its way from Carrick Roads, across Falmouth Bay to Rosemullion Head where the race will start.
Away from the ships, there is an entire programme of shore-side events planned across the town with the main regatta entertainment centres located on Events Square, within the docks and on Church Street car park. There will also be activities in Kimberley Park, on The Moor, at Pendennis Castle, on Gyllyngvase Beach, Custom House Quay, the Falmouth Hotel, the Maritime Museum and other venues throughout the town.
One of the most colourful events of the regatta will be the ships’ crew parade which will feature the crews from naval ships marching in their national navy uniform alongside the other crews, many of whom will be in fancy dress with Falmouth Marine Band also taking part. The parade will start from Events Square at 4.30pm, led by the Culdrose Volunteer Seahawk Band, and will make its way through the town centre to The Moor and then back again.
For full details of what’s happening when, pick up an official souvenir programme or go online to www.falmouthtallships.co.uk.