AS the Tall Ships upped anchor and made their way across Falmouth Bay for Sunday’s Parade of Sail, they were joined by the largest flotilla of boats in living memory with around 100,000 people viewing it from shore.
Falmouth harbour master Mark Sansom confirmed it was the largest number of craft he has witnessed in his 20 plus years with the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners while John Hick, Falmouth Tall Ships chairman, said: “Without a doubt there were more craft, and more people on the water than any of us have seen in living memory.
“Today is the grand finale of months and months of the hardest work and detailed planning and Cornwall has indeed done itself proud. Hundreds of people have worked tirelessly to make this all possible.
“As these 44 magnificent giants take to the water, alongside a panorama of supporting vessels, it is an emotional moment for us all. Everything has gone so smoothly and the team here has come together to provide an exemplary event for our fifth Tall Ships. Once again it has been delightful welcoming Sail Training International and we are grateful to have all the ships and crews with us here in Cornwall.”
James Stevens, the race chairman for Sail Training International, added: “Falmouth is undoubtedly one of the best natural harbours in the UK – a truly fantastic backdrop. It’s a stunning port to enter and exit; deep water and a beautifully sheltered harbour that is ideal and navigationally very simple. This means the ships can concentrate on the trainees, many of whom are sailing on a Tall Ship for their first ever race – an historic race given that it’s the first ever from one British port to another.
“Falmouth, and Cornwall at large, has really put its foot on the accelerator for this event – everyone from the street cleaners and rubbish collectors to the volunteers, the harbour master and the organising team, it has just been phenomenal. The whole atmosphere of the town has been really buzzing in a way unique to Falmouth with a real feeling of pride from the people of the town. This energy has invigorated the whole event and the ships, their Captains and all their crews are sailing out with Cornish memories that will stay with them for life.”