Countdown on for Sunderland's first Tall Ships Races
Excitement is mounting as Sunderland moves ever closer to hosting The Tall Ships Races for the first time in the city's history.
And it is showing in the form of ever-increasing numbers of social media messages and emails, said Michelle Daurat, the project director for the Sunderland leg of the event.
There are palpable signs that the event is not far off now, she said.
“We got some lovely letters, retweets and Facebook messages when we had the big campaign when there was three months to go,” said Michelle.
“We are getting more and more emails as the days go and there is clearly more awareness and excitement building.”
Real signs that the races are on the way willsoon be seen in Sunderland.
“We shall be doing dredging and installing pontoons,” said Michelle.
So far, she said, a lot of the time had been taken up with planning the event and making decisions.
But now that there are just over 80 days to go, the planning to be ready for July is ramping up.
People can expect to see signage around the North East, promoting the fact that The Tall Ships Races are coming to Sunderland, said Michelle.
And then, as we get down to the last couple of weeks before the spectactle arrives, specialists will move in to build the Tall Ships event ‘village’.
The people of Wearside can play their own part in the coming weeks and months, said Michelle.
“We need people from Sunderland to be really strong, positive, ambassadors for the city and the event.
“We need them to be really proud of what we have all been able to achieve, to be happy and give people a warm welcome to Sunderland.”
Sunderland will be the first leg of the 2018 races.
Once the fleet leaves on Saturday, July 14, it will race to Esbjerg, in Denmark, where it will stay from July 18 to July 21.
Then the ships will sail the Cruise in Company leg to Stavanger, in Norway, for a stay from July 26 to July 29.
The last port is Harlingen, in Holland, and the ships will be there from August 3 to August 6.
To find out more about Sunderland’s event, visit www.tallshipssunderland.com.