Royal Helena signs up for Tall Ships Race 2018 in Sunderland

Royal Helena Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

By Kris Jepson

The captain of Bulgarian ship, the Royal Helena, has registered for the Tall Ships Race 2018, which will begin its first leg at the Port of Sunderland on Saturday 14 July.

Launched in 2009, the sail training vessel Royal Helena, is a three mast barquentine which can take up to 100 trainees.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

She will be one of 80 tall ships to take part in the race next summer, which sets sail to Esbjerg in Denmark, before the second leg to Stavanger in Norway and then onto the finish line at Harlingen in the Netherlands.

One hundred trainees from the North East will have the opportunity to take part in the race and organisers are hoping that it will bring in around 1.5 million visitors to the region.

Today race organisers inspected the port to assess how prepared it is for hosting a successful tall ship spectacular next summer.