Fan­tas­tic to see so many boats on the Wear again – race or­gan­iser

Sunderland Echo - - Front page - By Chris Cord­ner chris.cord­ Twit­ter: @ccord­nerjp

Vis­i­tors have been wowed by the Tall Ships in Sun­der­land – and Wear­siders have been full of pride to see the river full of ships once more.

Event chiefs are keep­ing vis­i­tor fig­ures un­der wraps un­til af­ter the event, but the crowds on the first of­fi­cial day of the Tall Ships spoke for them­selves – with or­gan­is­ers pleased to re­port very pos­i­tive feed­back.

Michelle Dau­rat, project di­rec­tor for the Tall Ships in Sun­der­land, said the first of­fi­cial day of the Wear­side leg – Wed­nes­day – was “a lot busier than the pre­view day on Tues­day,which is what we ex­pected.

“We’ve had bril­liant feed­back from vis­i­tors, and peo­ple have been say­ing its fan­tas­tic to see the River Wear full of ships once again.”

Michelle said yes­ter­day’s crew pa­rade was “al­ways a high­light of any Tall Ships Race – it’s an op­por­tu­nity for all of the crews from all of the ships to show off, and all the crews will be car­ry­ing ban­ners with their ships’ names.”

But Michelle added that there will be unique el­e­ments for the Sun­der­land pa­rade.

All the 152 Sun­der­land sail trainees who will sail to Es­b­jerg from Satur­day had also been in­vited to be a part of the pa­rade, car­ry­ing their own ban­ner and wear­ing or­ange T-shirts.

One of them was 65-yearold Hazel McGre­gor – a re­tired head­teacher who spent her ca­reer at Cots­ford In­fants School in Hor­den.

She said: “It is great that we will take part in the pa­rade in our city and it is nice to see so many other peo­ple tak­ing part.”

Hazel, from Wash­ing­ton, will be sail­ing out of Sun­der­land this Satur­day on the Santa Maria Manuela.

But be­fore then, she joined more than 1,000 peope on the crew pa­rade which was led off by 50 Hells An­gels, who have their base in the East End at the heart of the Tall Ships events.

The Hells An­gels do have a nau­ti­cal link – their HQ was used as a re­cu­per­a­tion hospi­tal af­ter the Bat­tle of Trafal­gar.

Close Act, a walk­a­bout group of elec­tro-drum­mers on stilts from the Nether­lands, fol­lowed the bik­ers on the pa­rade, which started from Sun­der­land Civic Cen­tre, went along Bur­don Road, across Wear­mouth Bridge, down to Bon­ners­field, fin­ish­ing at the stage area at St Peter’s Cam­pus.

The pa­rade ended with the Crew prize­giv­ing Cer­e­mony at St Peter’s, led by Sail Train­ing In­ter­na­tional, which or­gan­ises the Races , and at­tended by The Mayor of Sun­der­land, Coun Lynda Scan­lan.

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