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Ship Ahoy! Torbay sets course to attract tall ship events

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: November 28, 2012

Stavros S Niarchos by Roy Riley

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A TORBAY Tall Ships Association has been set up as part of a campaign to attract more tall ships events to the Bay.

The new group recently met at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club.

During the event, Mayor Gordon Oliver explained the local history of Tall Ships to the group including the fact that the Bay hosted key events between 1956 and 2006.

He also discussed how events could benefit the local economy today.

He said: “It has been my ambition to form this association for some years and it is great to have made a start.

"The Tall Ships ethos reflects the Bay’s heritage over centuries when it has been a place of shelter for large and small vessels including Royal Navy ships.

"I am pleased to say that is still fulfils this task today.”

There are real economic benefits to hosting these type of events in the Bay, said Mr Oliver.

Also by attracting Tall Ships, particularly those with naval connections, there is the opportunity to strengthen current international links and develop new partnerships.

He added: "Tall Ship events can create national and international media attention and a range of opportunities for community involvement and enjoyment. There are also potential training opportunities for local young people.

“Regatta visits are organised years in advance by organisations such as Sail Training International and the London Sailing Project, so it is important to show we are willing to host and welcome tall ships to the Bay.”

Kevin Mowat, Torbay Harbour Master, said: “The Tall Ship Stavros Niarchos is a regular visitor to Brixham, most recently visiting during Fishstock.

"The interest that Tall Ships generate in the Bay is always significant, they can attract large crowds who love to view these beautiful vessels and queues often form when they are open for onboard visits.

“In 2006, Tall Ships set sail from Torbay for a 50th anniversary celebration and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh gave the signal to start the race, just as he did back in 1956.

"The Mayor, Gordon Oliver, was instrumental in organising the celebrations and helping with that event which saw a large number of Tall Ships on the start line in Tor Bay.

“We understand that we cannot accommodate the larger vessels alongside with our existing infrastructure but we know we can host a Tall Ships event. To be able to attract more of these wonderful ships to the Bay would certainly be beneficial to residents and visitors and hopefully we can build on the 50th anniversary celebrations.”

Nigel Rowe, Chairman of Sail Training International 2002-2012 and now a Patron, said: “Torbay did a great job under Gordon Oliver’s direction hosting the start of The Tall Ships Races series from Torbay in 2006 and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first race which started in Torbay in 1956.

“Torbay has a strong historical and current connection with Sail Training and Tall Ships. In 2006, the coveted solid silver Torbay Cup was introduced and is presented every year at the end of The Tall Ships Races summer series to a young trainee for outstanding individual achievement and personal effort.”

Doug Prothero, Sail Training International’s new Chairman, said: “The creation of the Tor Bay Tall Ships Association is a very welcome development. Although it will be difficult to bring a Tall Ships event to Torbay until the port can accommodate a fleet alongside, sail training vessel operators will be delighted to have the opportunity to visit the town and find a friendly welcome.

“We hope the Association will now also be the vehicle to help more young people from Torbay benefit from the sail training experience through participation in our events.”

Host ports are integral to the success of any Tall Ships event. Once STI has selected the sea area all the relevant ports in that region are invited to bid to be a host port. There are many economic, social and community reasons why a port may bid to become a host port for the Tall Ships races.

Torbay donated ‘The Torbay Cup’ to the STI in 2006 when the last race was run from the Bay. A cup is presented to a deserving young person participating in the Tall Ships Race each year.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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  • realityzone  |  December 07 2012, 8:29AM

    Well now gordonbennett - or is it Dave David, pouring out your usual bile about the Mayor, you seem to be obessed with him, his background and his failures. So then, how successful are you that you sit in such critical judgment? Tell us what field you are so successful in and we can compare your acheivments wit those of the Mayor. If you read these posts objectively, which does not seem likely, you will know that my concern is with the obvious bias in the H & E which I find inexcusable whoever it is applied to.

  • gordonbennett  |  December 04 2012, 7:03PM

    realityzone....tuck Oliver up when you put him to bed tonight, you most definitely are the only one who cares about this man. Do not give him a kiss for me. The image of that pineapple is all that he has ever done for the bay, nothing else is down to him. A failure at school, he failed his exams to get into the grammar school, and now he is controlling a multi million pound spending Council, he has not the brain for this, come to that the members of the Council are also useless. He is trying to welcome companies from North America to invest in Torbay, I can think of three large American companies that have tried and failed in the Bay and the link road will not bring any investors to the Bay. Torbay is failing just as his pineapple is, a bloke who sells houses is not to be trusted. An old age pensioner at that. Oh I see in last weeks Herald Express, which you never buy, you only read online, that another cruise ship is coming to the Bay, Oliver says it is great for the Bay, the passengers come ashore and get on coaches and are driven from the Bay to Buckfast Abbey, Plymouth, Exeter and Dartmouth because Torquay, Paignton and Brixham have nothing to offer the passengers, add to that the fat Charlie Drake that is Stringer greets them, that is enough to put anyone off.

  • MaryGee  |  December 04 2012, 5:28PM

    Yet more boirng events held in Torbay. And they wonder why tourists do not come here anymore. Muhahaha

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  • realityzone  |  December 03 2012, 3:52PM

    Cruey, wild assumptions you are making. Of course I am not the Mayor's PR in fact I rarely come across him. I am more interested in heavily biased reporting against the present Mayor, which quite a few people are commenting about. You obviously missed my response on this subject last time so I repeat it for you. "I am not carrying a torch for Gordon Oliver or indeed any individual. He is an experienced local politician who should be quite capable of defending himself on a political level. Dealing with a monopoly local press set up is a different issue, it can affect us all. What I am passionately concerned about, as hopefully you are, is that we should have fair and balanced reporting in our local press, such as it is."

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  • Cruey  |  November 30 2012, 9:09PM

    @Reaityzone......up to you if you support the Mayor. are you his PA I am wondering.. it was not a snide negative comment but a damn FACT...... Torquay is only one town of the Bay.... I will not bother responding further as cleary you are the no 1 fan and whatever anyone says against the mayor you jump in with both feet ......whatever !!!!!!!!!!!

  • realityzone  |  November 30 2012, 5:26PM

    Well here is a piece of positive new for the Bay, shame then that it leads to a rather snide and negative comment about the Mayor, who, if you have been paying attention, is involved in a lot more than attracting maritime events.

  • Cruey  |  November 30 2012, 12:41AM


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  • plughole  |  November 29 2012, 7:18PM

    Fantastic! Will be wonderful to see such beautiful ships in the bay.

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  • ColinTheComet  |  November 28 2012, 6:12PM

    A good idea: something that would be attractive to holiday makers AND of interest to locals. In addition, I think it would be great to have a smaller local heritage boat moored in Torquay inner harbour, to bring some interest to the area - perhaps we could 'borrow' a boat from the Brixham fleet?

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