PREVIEW: The Tall Ships Races

Posted on July 9th 2018 by Whats on Northeast

A NORTH East city is preparing to welcome visitors – and vessels – from around the globe for an international festival of sail.

From 10-14 July, the city of Sunderland will host The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 – five days of ships, markets, circus, theatre, music and entertainment before the races officially begin.

And along with sailing ships from countries as far afield as India, Russia and Vanuatu, performers are travelling across Europe to entertain the 1.5m people expected to attend the event.

After the spectacular 5-day festival, the ships leave the River Wear on 14 July, they will race to Esbjerg, Denmark, moving on to Stavanger, in Norway, from where they will race to Harlingen, in The Netherlands.

As start host port, Sunderland has arranged a packed schedule of events for the five days of the festival, from fairgrounds and markets to live music, art workshops, exhibitions and displays. Performers from around the globe will join homegrown talent for a series of spectacular shows at event zones around the city. Highlights include Finnish all female circus act Sisus Sirkus, who will showcase their trapeze and circus skills on a 9m high aerial wire.

There are short fireworks displays at 9.30pm on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July, from the East side of the Port. The best viewing points are in the port.

Pyrotechnics will also be part of the artistic performance by Cirque Bijou, taking place at 9.30pm on Friday 13 July. This high-wire walk will take place over the river and up to the Wearmouth Bridge. This is best viewed from Event Zone C.

And, on Thursday 12 July at 3pm, the crews will take part in a spectacular parade through the city –  with the Hells Angels leading the way.

The Crew Parade will set off from the Civic Centre Car Park and the route will go along Burdon Road, Fawcett Street, across Wearmouth Bridge, down to Bonnersfield, finishing at the stage area at St Peters Campus.

And, as the sun sets over the River Wear, on Friday 13 July, three of the world’s most highly skilled wire walkers will attempt a unique feat of daring and possibly set a world record – by crossing the River Wear on a high wire.

On Saturday 14 July, its line-up will include Norwegian indie band Beezewax, performing tracks from their most recent EP, Out of the Window and Swedish YouTube sensation Gunhild Carling – famous for playing three trumpets at the same time.

Four event zones will play host to food retailers of all types and sizes, selling cuisine as varied as Thai, Bangladeshi street food and German bratwurst. At the Port of Sunderland, catering highlights include French tartiflettes, snow cones from Blyth-based Antoninos, gin and craft ales from Stockton-based Gin Without Borders – and the traditional British seaside staple, fish and chips.

Lebanese food, macaroni, noodles, and ice cream and doughnuts are among the treats in store for visitors to the Town Moor and East End and, at St Peter’s, French and Greek cuisines are the order of the day. While at the seafront and Summer Streets Festival, visitors can tuck into everything from burgers and sausages to chicken, chips and ice cream.


For more information about The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018, visit follow on Twitter @TallShipsSund or Facebook at: Tall Ships Races Sunderland.

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