Tall Ships ahoy! Boats arrive for Northumberland’s biggest event

The Thallasa and Shtandart in Blyth last night. Picture by John Tuttiett
The Thallasa and Shtandart in Blyth last night. Picture by John Tuttiett
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The biggest event to hit Northumberland – The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta – is here.

A fleet of magnificent Tall Ships is sailing into Blyth for a fantastic four-day festival.

Oosterschelde

Oosterschelde

Ships are already arriving in Blyth. The Dutch Thalassa and Russian Shtandart berthed at Port of Blyth last night.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to visit the Regatta, which opens at 10am tomorrow and runs over the bank holiday weekend.

Up to 30 vessels from Poland, Russia, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania and Germany, as well as closer to home, are berthing in Blyth. Visitors will be able to go on board some of the ships to meet the crews and captains and find out what life is like on a Tall Ship.

As well as the fleet, the event also boasts five areas of free entertainment for all the family, stretching for one-and-a-half miles, including a crew parade, street theatre, fairground rides, local food and drink, and live music.

The Shtandart. Picture by Sail Training International.

The Shtandart. Picture by Sail Training International.

Each of the first three days will end with a spectacular fireworks display, part of an amazing entertainment show, choreographed around a specially-commissioned 20-minute music and visual performance.

The event reaches its climax on Monday when the ships leave in a majestic Parade of Sail as they head across the North Sea on a 500-nautical-mile journey to Gothenburg, Sweden.

Northumberland County Council, in partnership with the Port of Blyth and Sail Training International, is hosting the prestigious event – the UK’s only regatta in 2016.

Fergusons of Blyth, one of the UK’s leading privately-owned haulage companies and the biggest in the North East, is the principal sponsor for the event in celebration of its 90th anniversary.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at the county council, said: “This is what we’ve all been waiting for – a wonderful August Bank Holiday experience for residents and visitors to the county when the Tall Ships Regatta comes to Blyth.

“It’s going to be a fantastic free event with something for everyone across five entertainment zones from the beach to town centre, plus spectacular fireworks displays and evening performances.”

Keep up to date with the Regatta online – www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk