The Tall Ships were back in Liverpool this weekend.
The inaugural Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta saw a fleet of Tall Ships race from Dublin on Sunday 26th August 2012 arriving in Liverpool on Wednesday and Thursday 29th/30th August 2012. The eleven tall ships in the regatta docked in the Albert and Canning Docks in Liverpool until Sunday morning.
There was plenty of activity at the Albert and Canning docksides over the weekend with many of the Tall Ships open to the public accompanied by events including, street theatre, dancing, craft workshops, storytelling, community choirs, shanty groups, and children’s arts and craft activities.
Albert Dock in Liverpool is the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in the UK and provided a beautiful backdrop for the Tall Ships berthed there with the three graces (the Liver Building, Port of Liverpool building and the Cunard Building) in the background as well as the new Liverpool Museum on the waterfront.
The regatta has been organised by charity ‘Sail Training International’ which teaches young people sailing skills and is one of the world’s leading providers of races, events and other services for the sail training community. For the Tall Ships race half of the crew must be aged between 15 and 25 and they learn from the experienced crew members. In the race from Dublin to Liverpool the overall winner was ‘Challenge Wales’ a Bermudian Cutter.
The Dublin to Liverpool race ended this year’s series of tall ships races. The Tall Ships Races 2012 started in St Malo, France in July with the fleet racing across the Bay of Biscay to Lisbon in Portugal, before carrying on to Cádiz in Spain and then onto A Coruna in Northern Spain.
From here the fleet left on 13th of August to head north for the Irish Sea and Dublin. This was the final port of call for the Tall Ships Races 2012. The ships docked in Dublin between the 23rd to the 26th of August.
However for this year eleven of the tall ships fleet of 40 sail boats took part in this the first Irish Sea Regatta leaving Dublin to come to Liverpool.
The ships which came to Liverpool are: the British barquentine ‘Pelican’; the Polish schooner ‘Kapitan Borchardt’; the Dutch gaff schooner ‘Gallant’; the British gaff schooner ‘Johanna Lucretia’; the British gaff ketch ‘Maybe’; the Norwegian Bermudian ketch ‘Prolific’; the Estonian Bermudian sloop ‘St Iv’; the Dutch gaff ketch ‘Tecla’; the Belgian Bermudian sloop ‘Tomidi’; the British Bermudian sloop ‘Black Diamond of Durham’ and the Welsh Bermudian Cutter ‘Challenge Wales’.
The Regatta fleet prepared to leave on Sunday from 10.30am, the vessels mustered and got into formation as they undertook a Parade of Sail in the river from around 1pm. The tall ships came out from the Albert Dock which was thronged with spectators. They went up river and escorted by the veteran tugboat the Brocklebank, which is owned and run by the Merseyside Maritime Museum, they took the tide and came back down the River Mersey passing the Liverpool Pierhead, Wallasey Town Hall and Seacombe Ferry on the Wirral side of the river. They then went out to sea returning to their home ports across Europe.