TALL SHIPS’ RACES FLEET RECEIVE ROYAL SALUTE
The Princess Royal is to help launch Liverpool’s celebrations as the host port for the start of The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 this week.
HRH Princes Anne will be visiting the Albert Dock on Friday, July 18 to tour two of the 60 vessels on show in the city until Monday, July 21.
The royal visit will last an hour and kick-starts a four-day maritime extravaganza with one of the largest Tall Ships fleets ever seen in Britain expected to attract up to 800,000 people.
An army of more than 1,000 event personnel – including 200 ‘08 volunteers – will be ready to handle the city’s busiest weekend in decades, with the Open Golf Championships taking place at the same time just 15 miles up the river at Royal Birkdale.
To handle visitors a fleet of 25 buses are on standby as are three park and ride sites with 6,000 spaces at Aintree Racecourse, Speke Hall Avenue by John Lennon Airport and Hooton Old Airfield on the Wirral, off Jct 5 on the M53. All are AA signposted and parking is £8 a day.
A high water mark of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations, the fleet of 60 vessels are expected to start arriving on the River Mersey from Wednesday, July 16 with more than 2,000 trainee crew members to be entertained by the city.
The majority of the larger Class ‘A’ Tall Ships will moor in the Wellington Docks – two miles north of the Albert Docks – including two of the world’s biggest: The Mir of Russia and Dar Młodzieży of Poland. At 359ft from bow to stern both are longer than Wembley football pitch.
The event officially opens at 12noon with activities until 10pm on Friday. Celebrations, including a Shanty music festival and street theatre, run from 10am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. Wellington Dock will close to the public on Monday, July 21.
Liverpool’s Tall Ships celebrations climax from 2pm-4.30pm on Monday, July 21 when the fleet gather for the spectacular Parade of Sail, led by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll.
The first race to Maloy, Norway begins at 1pm on Wednesday, July 23. The Tall Ships’ Races are organised by Sail Training International as a means to showcase the activity that is sail training. The Tall Ships’ Races are supported by Antwerp.