For spectators onshore at Pendennis Point these ships will provide an awesome sight as they manoeuvre between the headland and Black Rock.
The event will no doubt again prove hugely popular not only to residents and local businesses but also to visitors to Cornwall. It was estimated that the final day of the Tall Ships Regatta in 2008 alone attracted 130,000 visitors to the town. Having also previously visited Falmouth in 1966, 1982 and 1998 it is clear the bond between the tall ships and Falmouth is set to continue well into the future to their mutual benefit.
One of the best vantage points is the easily accessible Pendennis Point from where ships can be watched sailing down the Carrick Roads to the estuary mouth and, once out at sea, south across Falmouth Bay as far as the Manacles on the Lizard peninsular.
When not at sea the tall ships will be moored up in the inner harbour close to Events Square and the National Maritime Museum, allowing visitors a wonderful opportunity to get a close look at these historic ships.
For those not content to stay on dry land there are even opportunities to get afloat for either short daytime sailings or by signing up for berths on longer passages. Bookings are likely to be essential so interested parties seeking more information should contact the or Sail Training International in advance.
Falmouth has a maritime trading history heavily associated with many different designs of tall ship including the majestic ocean going clippers, coastal trading vessels and, in particular, the Packet Ships of the 17th and 18th century that were largely responsible for Falmouth’s early prosperity and position of importance delivering mail, cargo and passengers quickly all over the world.
Since the coming of steam in the mid 19th century the running of tall ships as cargo carriers soon became uneconomic and many became rotting hulks scattered on shorelines and muddy estuaries all around the world. Fortunately, todays replicas and some restored survivors of these trading ships still cross the oceans following past trade routes, although instead of carrying cargo they now serve as training vessels and for personal charter.
Nowdays, the Falmouth Tall Ships Association not only provides support and a warm welcome to the crew of any tall ship entering Falmouth waters but is heavily involved in supporting organisers Sail Training International to bring tall ship races to Falmouth waters.
Sail Training International is an extremely worthwhile cause helping young people of all capabilities and nationalities to develop personal skills through training experience aboard tall ships.