Hartlepool Tall Ships 2023 to be 'just as spectacular as 2010' says race chief as planning steps up a gear

The return of the Tall Ships Races to Hartlepool in 2023 is due to be just as spectacular as when the town first hosted the international sailing event, organisers have said.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 4:55 am

Planning for the major event is due to step up a gear in 2022 in readiness for the four day spectacle in just over 18 months time.

It was announced in March that Hartlepool was to be a host port for the races in the summer of 2023 – the first time since 2010 when hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country flocked to the town.

The Hartlepool leg of 2023’s event has now been confirmed for Thursday, July 6, to Sunday, July 9.

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Thousands of people at Hartlepool marina during 2010's Tall Ships Races in Hartlepool.

Race director Paul Bishop, from Sail Training International, said: “We would expect ships from not just Europe but around the world.

"With a bit of luck two or three grand ships from South America which always put on a fantastic show.

"We’re certainly expecting something of the same magnitude of 2010.”

In that year, 52 vessels of all different sizes sailed into the marina.

Hartlepool Tall Ships 2023 stakeholders. Front from left, Cllr Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. Back from left, Clair Duncan, operations manager of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, Denise McGuckin, Hartlepool Borough Council's managing director, Gemma Ptak, Hartlepool Borough Council assistant Director, and Allan Henderson, director of Hartlepool Marina.

Detailed planning will get underway in 2022 with race organisers working closely with Hartlepool Borough Council, the port and other stakeholders.

A Hartlepool-based project manager has been appointed, and Sail Training International hope to come to town for a technical visit.

Paul said: “It’s a big event to put on, there are a lot of moving parts.

"It is all about the detail and being prepared.”

It is expected between 50 and 60 vessels of varying sizes will be part of 2023’s fleet which is due in town by midday on July 6.

All of the ships crews are due to take part in a parade through the town on the second day and prize-giving for the second leg of the race.

Paul added: “I’m personally very excited. I really enjoyed being race director in 2010.

"Hartlepool as a town has such a maritime heritage, really in its DNA. And there was such a positive buzz around the place.”

Organisers are hoping there won’t be any Covid restrictions in place come July 2023.

Hartlepool’s bid to host the event was backed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Hartlepool Marina, and PD Ports.

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