Hosting for the sixth time after six years since 1966, Falmouth is set to sail a major economic triumph on the highly-anticipated Magellan-Elcano 500 Series 2021 Tall Ships Race on August to celebrate the 500th year since the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and Basque explorer Juan Sebastian Elcano circumnavigated the globe.
The French port of Dunkirk was supposed to host the said event but the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on their economy causing them to withdraw just last week.
The race is set to start at Falmouth’s port on August 19 with a number of 40 large vessels arriving a week prior to the said date. For the success of the event, Falmouth and Sail Training International (STI) will once again coordinate with each other.
However, the locals and visitors will still need to follow guidelines to safeguard themselves from the virus. With the number of COVID-19 cases still rising, Falmouth will have to follow all the essential government guidelines. So, it’s expected that this event will be more different and even stricter than the previous ones.
Among the unique and unforgettable activities that Falmouth locals and visitors will get to experience is a water-based inner harbour tour which is different from the usual tours, a shoreside programme arranged by Town Team and South West Bars and Events, and the traditional Tall Ships Captain’s Dinner which will happen at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.
Falmouth BID manager Richard Wilcox, one of the organisers for the 2021 Tall Ships Falmouth race, is positive about the economic impact of these events saying: “This is another brilliant example of the partnerships that work so well in Falmouth, coming to the fore to secure this opportunity.
“These events are not only wonderful occasions, thanks to the hard work of many individuals, organisations and volunteers but they provide a significant economic boost as well.
“The 2014 Tall Ships Regatta that the team put on, for example, injected over £10 million into the Falmouth area and given the current climate, we are planning for a programme of proactive initiatives and activities for 2021 that can support the local economy and provide a welcome boost for business.”
Falmouth town mayor Steve Eva expressed his excitement over the news and extended his heartfelt gratitude to the people who worked behind the scenes saying: “This really is fantastic news for the town and Falmouth Town Council is only too pleased to support.
“Credit must go to the efforts and behind the scenes negotiations by our team in Falmouth for securing this event for the benefit of our community, businesses and visitors alike.
“We have a strong pedigree in delivering memorable tall ships races and regattas over the years; they really hold a special place in the hearts and minds of so many. We greatly look forward to viewing the ships under full sail in Falmouth Bay once again!”
John Hick, the Falmouth Tall Ships Association’s chairman, echoed the mayor’s sentiments adding: “Cornwall’s maritime heritage is world-renowned and we look forward to delivering another prestigious event here in Falmouth.
“We also enthusiastically welcome the owners and captains of the Sail Training International fleet and invite them once again to grace our historic port with their wonderful sailing ships.
“Our highly experienced team, collaborative working groups and ever-willing volunteers will provide a first-class service and warm-hearted Cornish hospitality.”