Falmouth selected to host prestigious Tall Ships race for 2023

The race is expected to bring in around 150,000 visitors to Falmouth when it returns in 2023 Credit: ITV News

One of the world's best loved tall ship races is returning to Cornwall next summer.

The Tall Ships Race Magellan-Elcano will return to Falmouth on the 15-18th August 2023 after nearly a decade on since it last hosted.

This will be the sixth time Falmouth has hosted the prestigious regatta and race, with the inaugural one for the town being held in 1966 and the team who fought to get it back to Cornwall say it has been missed.

"It's brilliant" says Falmouth Town Manager Richard Gates.

"We were going to [host it] in 2021 and of course, the pandemic delayed it. So we're really, really pleased that it's going to be back in the town."

  • Organisers and backers discuss the importance of the event

Around 150,000 visitors came to the Tall Ships race in 2014, with Falmouth BID saying that it brought in around £10.5 million for the local economy in Cornwall.

Richard Wilcox, Executive director of Falmouth BID says "It's huge, socially it's enormous" and with Falmouth hosting more than any other UK port "it's the adopted home of the tall ships".

Chief Executive of Falmouth Harbour, Miles Carden says while there are some small to medium sized tall ships resident in Falmouth the ships coming are a completely "different scale".

"It would be a massive opportunity to see the bigger ships back into the port and they'll be a full blown tall ships event with Falmouth being that first and last port in the UK.

"Seeing those ships disappear over the horizon to next destination is just incredible."

A welcome return for the Tall Ships Races after being postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic Credit: Falmouth Tall Ships

Tall Ships Falmouth 2023 will be underwritten by Falmouth Town Council, with financial support from its key partners Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) and Falmouth Tall Ships Association.

The event officially starts in Falmouth on Wednesday 15th August with tall ships arriving in the days leading up from all over the world.

Activities and shoreside events will take place throughout the regatta days including the visually stunning Parade of Sail before the race sets off on Friday 18th August 2023.

The teams will then follow a course from Falmouth to A Coruna in Spain, then onward to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon before finishing in Cadiz, Spain.

Further details on what ships are arriving and timings for activities will be announced nearer to the date.