Tall Ship crew bids for double Diamond win

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A TALL ship crew is hoping to claim another title as it races on the high seas.

The Black Diamond, based at Hartlepool Marina, set sail yesterday in the third leg of this year’s Tall Ships Races.

The five-day course will see the crew pull out all the stops as it sails from La Coruna, in northern Spain, to Dublin.

The boat claimed first place in its class in the race last year and Black Diamond owner Barry Nelson is hopeful of more success this year.

He said: “Hopefully we will win this race and we are going for a first place just like last year.

“We took some damage to our long distance radio during the first race in the Bay of Biscay and had to retire. We weren’t the only ones, a number of other vessels also did.

“The weather has ben very hot for the crew, around 35 degrees some days.

“The crew members are working hard and have been very much hands on. They enjoyed the cruise up the Portugal coast ready for the start of the next race.”

Rough weather forced The Black Diamond to pull out of the first race from Saint Malo in France to Lisbon, Portugal.

In the second race from Lisbon to Cadiz, in Spain, she finished ninth in her class and 25th out of 34 for the race overall.

After arriving in Dublin she will compete in a race to Liverpool as part of the Irish Sea Regatta.

The Black Diamond will then cruise back home via Northern Ireland and the east coast of Scotland.

The crew is due to return back to Hartlepool around September 16 after setting sail for the races on June 26.

The Black Diamond is competing in the tall ships Class C races for boats under 100ft.

She is once again being skippered by Hartlepool seafarer Calvyn Whitehand, 30, and is joined by around 25 volunteer crew members.

Click this link to follow The Black Diamond’s progress as it happen.