28-31 August 2014

A&P Falmouth praised for commitment to 2014 Tall Ships Regatta

A&P Falmouth has been congratulated this week for the “major part” it has played in bringing this summer’s Tall Ships Regatta to the town.

The vote of thanks came from John Hick, founder and chairman of the Falmouth Tall Ships Association and Falmouth chairman of the Regatta, who said there simply would not be an event without the enduring support of A&P.

It comes as A&P confirms the largest of the majestic tall ships will be hosted for the first time on its two main wharves, County and Duchy, rather than Queen’s Wharf, where the ships have been moored previously.

This is because the RFA Mounts Bay will be docked at Queen’s Wharf for a base maintenance period while the event is happening in August.

Mike Reynolds, Port Operations Director at A&P Falmouth, said: “We are proud and very excited to be involved in this prestigious event once again. This year we have made a significant commitment by providing our two main wharves for the tall ships and adjacent quayside for entertainment and all the facilities that will make it a special occasion for visitors to the port.

“Essentially this means we will have no spare capacity for ship repair or cargo handling business in the yard during the week of the event. Some commercial opportunities may be lost, but we are putting the event on for the benefit of the port and the county as a whole.

“We have a very strong maritime heritage and a long association with historic sailing ships such as these, so we are delighted to be able to keep that alive. It is always a pleasure to see these magnificent tall ships back in Falmouth. Seeing them moored alongside our wharves, with the Falmouth skyline in the background, is a wonderful reminder of the town’s historic association with ships, which A&P is extremely proud to be part of.”

A&P Falmouth was instrumental in attracting the Tall Ships Regatta to Falmouth and one of the inaugural partners for the prestigious Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, which begins with four days of celebrations in Falmouth from 28th to 31st August.

The facilities provided by the docks was one of the deciding factors which the Regatta organisers, Sail Training International, took into consideration when confirming Falmouth as host port for the start of the 2014 Tall Ships event.

A&P is providing significant facilities in-kind for the event, including staff time for planning, wharf space, land, fenders and pontoons and will be opening the dock gates to the public from 28 to 30 August. 

An estimated 200,000 people have passed through the gates of the docks to view and board the tall ships since the event was first hosted in the dockyard in 1982. This year, there are expected to be up to 120,000 visitors to the town, with 90,000 of these going into the dockyard itself to get a close-up view of the ships.

The cruise ships Saga Sapphire and Funchal will be visiting Falmouth during the event, with around 700 passengers being tendered ashore from the Saga Sapphire.

John Hick, Founder and Chairman of Falmouth Tall Ships Association, said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to A&P Falmouth as without the docks facilities, there would quite simply be no tall ships in Falmouth.

“There is no other port in Cornwall with 2,000 metres of hard dock which is needed to host some of these huge ships so we couldn’t do it without the unfailing commitment of A&P.

“In my entire experience with A&P we’ve always had the most wonderful co-operation and response. We are virtually stymying a commercial dockyard for a week. It’s a massive event and a major attraction for the whole county and A&P have played a major part in that.”

Falmouth’s association with tall ships dates back centuries and the town always welcomes these restored vessels back with enthusiasm.

The first Tall Ships Race was held in the town in 1966 and has been back in 1982, 1989, 1998 and 2008.