High-wire walker reveals gruelling training schedule ahead of Tall Ships Sunderland performance

High wire walkers will be training as hard as professional athletes in preparation for their appearance at Sunderland’s leg of The Tall Ships Races.

We told yesterday how Cirque Bijou will deliver the dazzling high-wire performance on Friday, July 13, when three artists will walk across the Wear.

High-wire walker Chris Bullzini to traverse the River Wear as part of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland.

High-wire walker Chris Bullzini to traverse the River Wear as part of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland.

One of them is Chris Bullzini and he told us more about the preparations he and his fellow walkers will face.

Chris explained how huge levels of preparation will go into the event.

“On the build-up to something big like this, we will be doing six to eight hours a day of physical work and that will include yoga and meditation as well as work on the wire.

“Athletes will run many kilometres in their training and we are like that in a way.

Athletes will run many kilometres in their training and we are like that. We work on different wire tensions to be able to be as comfortable as possible, so that when we step on the wire, we are physically and mentally prepared

Chris Bullzini

“We work on different wire tensions to be able to be as comfortable as possible, so that when we step on the wire, we are physically and mentally prepared.”

The Sunderland event, he said, was “really exciting and it is a challenge. The whole strategy is for us to be able to achieve the challenges we set. It is all about the training.”

Three high-wire walkers will cross a 700ft-long and 100ft-high rope over the river – at night-time on July 13.

While all that happens in the air, a choir of local singers will be performing rousing melodies from the Wearmouth Bridge.

High-wire walker Chris Bullzini to traverse the River Wear as part of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland.

High-wire walker Chris Bullzini to traverse the River Wear as part of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland.

And below them, a fleet of little boats will sail up the river, each filled with people carrying illuminated umbrellas. The whole show will have a Sunderland theme and will only be performed at The Tall Ships Races which make it unique to Sunderland.

It will all have a theme of Sunderland’s connection to the sea, and Chris can’t wait for the show to become reality.

He said his feelings as he gets near the hour of the performance wll be a “mixture of anticipation and excitement.”

The Tall Ships Races will be in the city from July 11 to July 14.

For further information about The Tall Ships Races 2018, follow the team at www.tallshipssunderland.com, Twitter @TallShipsSund or on Facebook at TallShipsRacesSunderland.