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.”
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.
Hick 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.”
The Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta takes place from August 28 -31.