The historic UK coastal town of Falmouth, Cornwall, has announced it will host the start of the prestigious Tall Ships Race, Magellan Elcano from the 15 – 18 AUGUST 2023.
It will be the first time in nine years that the tall ships race has taken place in Falmouth Harbour and it has been secured once again, thanks to extensive behind-the-scenes work by the award-winning Falmouth Town Team – the partnership between Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth BID, alongside Falmouth Harbour, Perfect Events Group and Falmouth Tall Ships Association. This will be the sixth time Falmouth has hosted the prestigious regatta and race, with the inaugural one for the town being held in 1966.
Tall Ships Falmouth 2023 will be underwritten by Falmouth Town Council, with financial support from its key partners Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) and Falmouth Tall Ships Association. A number of key partners and local businesses will be providing in kind and sponsorship support to help cover the costs associated with hosting the event and there will also be numerous opportunities for sponsors to engage with this historic event.
The event will be organised by the Falmouth Town Team – the nationally commended partnership as highlighted, between Falmouth Town Council’s town management function and Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID), as well as Falmouth Tall Ships Association, Perfect Events Group (PEG) and Falmouth Harbour Commissioners.
The Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Steve Eva reacting to the announcement said: “This really is fantastic news for the town and Falmouth Town Council is only too pleased to support. Credit must go to the efforts and behind the scenes negotiations by our brilliant Town Team for securing this event for the benefit of our community, businesses and visitors. To announce this, having recently delivered a superb in-person Sea Shanty Festival and the news of the National Armed Forces Day is truly incredible! We have a strong pedigree in delivering memorable tall ships races and regattas over the years; they really hold a special place in the hearts and minds of so many. We greatly look forward to viewing the ships under full sail in Falmouth Bay once again!”
Richard Gates, Falmouth Town Manager added: “It’s a welcome return for the Tall Ships Races, after it was postponed in 2020, and 2021, due to Covid restrictions. Our town’s history is intertwined with these magnificent vessels so you could say they are coming home! We’re really excited to be the venue for the start of the races. As always, we look forward to the truly awe-inspiring spectacle of the tall ships as they sail into the harbour.”
Visitors will have the opportunity to board some of the historic tall ships as they will be sited within the A&P Falmouth Docks. Tickets to access these ships will go on sale nearer the time and will be priced at £5.00 for adults and £2.50 children. Commenting on the tariffs, Richard Gates said: “To put on a spectacle such as the tall ships, for the benefit of all requires considerable investment and resource, made especially challenging due to the current financial climate. So, for the 2023 event, it will be necessary to charge an admission fee to help cover some of the costs associated with hosting an event of this status.”
Touching upon the economic impact of such events, Executive Director of Falmouth BID Richard Wilcox, who once again will be one of the lead organisers, said: “We know that the cultural programme is vital to Cornwall. With over four million annual visitors and 50% of those inspired to visit by that offer, we as the Town Team have worked extremely hard over the past ten years to position Falmouth as Cornwall’s year-round events capital. We also know from surveys carried out at the last tall ships occasion in 2014, that the 150,000+ visitors across the four days resulted in a £10.5 million uplift for Cornwall. So the event is not only a wonderful occasion, thanks to the hard work of many individuals, organisations and volunteers, but it will provide a crucial and timely economic boost to the county and its businesses.”
The Falmouth Harbour Commissioners as in previous events, will provide exceptional ‘on the water’ logistical management. Miles Carden, CEO of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners said: ”The Tall Ships Race is an unrivalled opportunity to showcase our amazing harbour to visitors, operators and future investors. The economic impact is significant and is felt across many sectors but in particular it highlights the marine powerhouse that Falmouth has become. We look forward to welcoming these incredible vessels to the UK’s Atlantic gateway and the many visitors that will enjoy the harbour during the event.”
Ship liaison volunteers will also play a key role in ensuring the crews’ experience of Falmouth is a positive one.
Tall Ships Races Chief Executive Officer, Alan James, welcomed the return of the races: “Following the heart-breaking cancellations of this event in 2020 and then again in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot wait to bring the unique spectacle and majesty of The Tall Ships Races back to Southern Europe. Our previous visits to Falmouth, A Coruña, Lisbon and Cádiz have all provided spectacular celebrations for The Tall Ships Races and I am sure 2023 will be no different. Everyone is confident these ports will embrace the International
Tall Ships fleet, with their commitment to youth development and strong maritime legacies which reflect our core values of international friendship and understanding.”
John Hick, Chairman of the Falmouth Tall Ships Association, echoing the Mayor’s sentiments added: “Cornwall’s maritime heritage is world renowned and we look forward to delivering another prestigious event here in Falmouth. We also enthusiastically welcome the owners and captains of the Tall Ships Races international fleet and invite them once again to grace our historic port with their wonderful sailing ships. Our highly experienced team, collaborative working groups and ever-willing volunteers will provide a first-class service and warm-hearted Cornish hospitality.”
Falmouth Tall Ships 2023 key facts:
- The global Tall Ships Races are organised by Sail Training International
- The event will take place between 15 -18 August 2023
- Falmouth is the Host Port for the Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano 2023. The race starts on Friday August 18th 2023.
- The race will be preceded by a visually stunning Parade of Sail and several days’ worth of celebratory shoreside events. Exact timings of the Parade of Sail TBC.
- The Falmouth Tall Ships 2023 event will be underwritten by Falmouth Town Council with financial support from Falmouth BID and Falmouth Tall Ships Association
- The Falmouth Tall Ships 2023 event will be organised by the Falmouth Town Team (Falmouth Town Management and Falmouth BID partnership), Perfect Events Group (PEG), Falmouth Tall Ships Association and Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, with volunteer support from a dedicated ships liaison team
- The tall ships race follows a course from Falmouth to A Coruna in Spain, then onward to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon before finishing in Cadiz, Spain.