Huge Norwegian vessel confirmed for Hartlepool's Tall Ships Races 2023 by delighted organisers

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A “majestic” ship from Norway will take part in next summer’s world-famous Tall Ships Races in Hartlepool, organisers have announced.

The 107-year-old Statsraad Lehmkuhl is the first vessel to sign up in the Class A category for the races’ largest vessels.

At around 300 feet long and with three masts, she is expected to make for an impressive sight when she docks in town in July 2023.

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Councillor Shane Moore, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “With a length of nearly 100 metres, the impressive three-masted Statsraad Lehmkuhl is an absolutely stunning ship and I can’t wait to see her in Hartlepool.

“She’s such a majestic ship and our first Class A vessel to sign up for Tall Ships Hartlepool 2023 – this means she’s in the largest category of tall ships.”

The vessel was built as a training ship for the German merchant marine under the name Grossherzog Friedrich August, before being transferred to the United Kingdom as part of the war reparations in 1920.

In 1921 she was bought by the former Norwegian cabinet minister Kristofer Lehmkuhl.

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With the Hartlepool Tall Ships now less than a year away, organisers are keen for local people and businesses to be involved.

Opportunities brought by the event, between July 6-9 next year, include becoming a sail trainee on a participating vessel, a volunteer or a sponsor.

Businesses can also register their interest in having a presence at the event.

Expressions of interest can submitted online at

Event director Catherine Honey said: “Once we receive your expression of interest, we will contact you later in the year to provide more information about the opportunities available.”