1. ITV Report

Gallery: Rare treat for maritime enthusiasts as stunning fleet of Tall Ships make unplanned visit to Ipswich

The ships in Ipswich today. Photo: ITV News Anglia

Once in a while its nice to get a surprise.

But they don't come much bigger than the one that blew into Ipswich Harbour this week.

The wind which has brought much of the air pollution this way diverted an armada of Dutch Tall Ships into port that had been taking part in a North Sea race.

A gallery of images can be seen below

An easterly wind brought the Tall Ships to the region. Credit: ITV News Anglia
Mariners flocked to Ipswich to get a glance. Credit: ITV News Anglia
The ships had been taking part in the North Sea race. Credit: ITV News Anglia
Hundreds of Dutch students were taking part in the race. Credit: ITV News Anglia
The ships are due back in the Netherlands by Sunday. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Like bird watchers flocking to a new arrival, mariners from far and wide headed to Ipswich before the ships departed these shores.

ITV News Anglia managed to get there as well and speak to Richard Watkinson from the Ipswich Maritime Trust.

Click below to hear what Richard had to say about the unplanned visit

"The Dutch have an annual North Sea race, and they weren't planning to come to Ipswich but because the winds were easterly they couldn't make the port they intended to.

Although the easterly winds brought a bit of pollution, the benefit was these wonderful Tall Ships from Holland."

– Richard Watkinson, Ipswich Maritime Trust