The race start of the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2016 from Blyth to Gothenburg enjoyed perfect conditions with sunny skies, clear visibility and support from the Royal Navy.
First over the start line in Class A was Shtandart (Russia) who also stole the show in the Parade of Sail, demonstrating great seamanship while leaving Blyth Harbour under full sail. First to cross the start line in Class B was Skonnerten Jylland (Denmark) with Urania (The Netherlands) leading the Class Cs and Ds.
“Race start conditions were ideal – with a steady following breeze and calm seas. The forecast looks good for a fast passage across the North Sea to Gothenburg, although variable winds will see vessel speeds fluctuating.
“Special thanks go to the Royal Navy who were a tremendous help in providing three naval ships for the race start. Thanks to their professionalism all aspects of the race start sequence went smoothly.”
Mike Bowles, Race Director at Sail Training International.
Current class placings on corrected time (at time of publication) – as shown on the leader board of YB, the satellite tracking system. These results are updated every 15 minutes.
Class C and D
Blyth is Delighted
Blyth has reported that it’s delighted with the success of the event – the largest to have taken place in Northumberland.
Activities stretched from the beach right up to the town centre. Highlights included the crew parade and the re-enacted Blyth carnival, which involved 1,000 people on the Saturday afternoon. It also included a nightly fireworks performance, which was accompanied by a film and musical score created by Swedish artist Cecilia Stenbom and UK composer Chris Sharkey, who have worked with local people from Blyth and Gothenburg to produce the performance.
The event culminated in the Parade of Sail on Monday afternoon, when the international Tall Ships fleet left the Port of Blyth, accompanied by a flotilla of up to 70 vessels which sailed down the coast to St Mary’s Lighthouse, before sailing five miles out to sea ready to start their 400+ nautical miles race to Gothenburg.
The event was hosted by Northumberland County Council, in partnership with the Port of Blyth and Fergusons of Blyth. Fergusons is one of the UK’s leading privately owned haulage companies and the biggest in the North East, and it was the Principal Sponsor for the event in celebration of their 90th anniversary.
Whilst final details are being calculated, it’s estimated that tens of thousands of people from across the UK visited the event.
A detailed analysis will take place over the next few weeks to evaluate the event and to determine the extent of the impact on the local and regional economy, which was expected to be in the region of £8 million.
Photo: Class A, Shtandart (Russia), was the first vessel to cross the start line in the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2016 race to Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo by Richard Sibley.