Hundreds of eager trainees arrived in Blyth today (Sunday 28 August) ready to join their ships for the race start to Gothenburg, Sweden tomorrow. These included eighty trainees from Blyth – known locally as the ‘Northumbrian Navy’ and sixty trainees who arrived from Gothenburg, plus many more.
Everyone is busy preparing to depart Blyth tomorrow for the start of their big adventure, sailing across the North Sea and the Captains were briefed by the Sail Training International Race Team, local weather forecasters from the British Royal Navy and the Harbour Master from Gothenburg.
Parade of Sail
Predictions of clear skies and a beautiful day are in place for the Parade of Sail tomorrow (Monday 29 August).
Vessels will begin un-docking from 1230. HMS Tyne will lead the Parade of Sail and a harbour exclusion zone will be implemented for the duration of the parade from 1200 hours until all the Tall ships have departed. Once the vessels have left the port channel exclusion zone a large flotilla of leisure craft are expected to accompany the fleet southwards.
Visitors unable to take to the water will have the benefit of enjoying the spectacle from a wide variety of vantage points along the coast, including St Marys Lighthouse just north of Whitley Bay.
The race start is from 1800 on Monday 29 August, five miles from the coast across a mile long start line, following straight on from the Parade of Sail.
The British Royal Navy have been drafted in to support the race start. The start line vessel is HMS Tyne – the first of a trio of River-class patrol ships built to safeguard the fishing stocks in UK. The ship is one of the busiest in the fleet as she spends on average nine out of every ten days of the year at sea.
The other end of line vessel is HMS Grimsby a British Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunter. HMS Explorer has been drafted in to be the no-go zone vessel. This makes this race start the first time the Tall Ships Races and Regattas have had three British Royal Navy vessels involved in a race start.
The fleet will benefit from favourable light to moderate westerly winds which will allow the new trainees on board to gain their sea legs in good conditions while learning about life on board. The weather forecast is predicting that these favourable conditions will continue for the duration of the race with slightly fresher breezes likely to develop after the first 24 hours.
Gothenburg is hosting the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta in Frihamnen, at the heart of Gothenburg harbour.
Lena Malm, Lord Mayor of Gothenburg said,
“This is an event the people of Gothenburg has longed for since 1997 when the Tall Ships Race last visited the city. The event reflects parts of Gothenburg’s soul. The people of Gothenburg love the sea and are proud of its history as a trading and shipping city. The city also has high sustainability ambitions, which corresponds well with the Tall Ships events values.”