Hartlepool tall ship welcomes return of races in 2023 and confirms intention to enter
Hartlepool’s own tall ship has hailed the return of the Tall Ships to the town in 2023 and confirmed it plans to enter the event.
Black Diamond of Durham, which is berthed at Hartlepool Marina, has taken part in the Tall Ships Races for 20 years, and has twice been the winner of its class.
It was announced last week that Hartlepool is to be a host port for the races in the summer of 2023 for another four-day festival which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors.
It will be the first time the town has held the event since 2010.
Black Diamond owner Barry Nelson is looking forward to the event.
He said: "We have raced in the Tall Ships continuously since 1996 to 2018 and have represented the town all those years
"We’re over the moon that it’s happening again. It’s good for the town, it will bring a lot of money in.
"We do intend to enter the race in 2023 because Hartlepool’s our home port.
“We have already had some people contact us who are interested in joining us.”
Hartlepool will be the first port of call in the races which will start from Denheldar in the Netherlands.
Black Diamond, which is skippered by Barry’s stepson Calvyn Whitehand, races in Class C for vessels under 100ft long.
She is usually manned by a crew of up to 10 people, half of which must be under 25 years old.
They get real hands-on experience in everything from navigation, steering, watch keeping and changing the sails.
Barry added: “We’re a small vessel so the crew members all get totally involved in the whole running of the vessel.
"They get a lot more out of it with it being a smaller vessel.”
Last year's Tall Ships Races were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In 2018 when Black Diamond last entered she finished second in her class and fourth in the overall race which includes vessels from all four classes.
She and the crew were welcomed back into Hartlepool Marina with flags flying in the sun.
Black Diamond took part in a sail past in Jackson Dock with Royal Navy vessel HMS Example to mark the announcement of the Tall Ships combing back to Hartlepool last Friday.