Falmouth owes a huge debt of gratitude once again to the A&P Group and the management at the docks for committing their two prime ship repair berths to accommodate the visiting tall ships fleet this week, writes David Barnicoat.

John Hick, founder and chairman of the Falmouth Tall Ships Association and Falmouth chairman of the Regatta said there simply would not be an event without the enduring support of A&P.

He has congratulated A&P Falmouth for the “major part” it has played in bringing this summer’s Tall Ships Regatta to the town.

Both of the County and Duchy wharves are in ship repair terms high earners for the A&P Group, a fact that the town and Cornwall wide businesses should recognise.

A&P managing director Peter Child said: “A&P are pleased to be able to support the Tall Ships event in such a positive way. We all realize the importance of Tall Ships to Falmouth and Cornwall. We made the commitment of our main berths early in the planning to ensure the event could take place and now with over 40 vessels expected in the port everyone is delighted.”

The facilities provided by the docks was one of the deciding factors which the Regatta organisers, Sail Training International, took into consideration when confirming Falmouth as host port for the start of the 2014 Tall Ships event.

The docks has in the past provided berths and shore side facilities for the 1982, 1998 and 2008 Tall Ships Races.

Drawing up plans to safely berth the 2014 fleet has been ongoing for several months as new entrants joined the list of ships or others such as the Kruzenschtern dropped out at the last minute.

Behind the scenes A&P’s marine operations manager Captain Tony Lowe and his deputy Nigel Fearn and tug master Luke Wills, have been working closely with draughtsman Richard Lawrence to ensure that all the ships slot in nicely alongside one another with the largest ships on the inside berths to allow proper gangway access for the public.

Royal Navy officer Lt Commander Mike Lynch also based at the docks has played a pivotal role in securing HMS Severn as a VIP platform on race day when she will be at one end of the designated start line.  He will handle business for the foreign naval ships in the fleet.

Overseeing the tallships operation and infrastructure  has been former port operations director Mike Reynolds and Drystan Jones who took over from Mike several months ago.