Carrick Councillors voted unanimously for Falmouth to host the Funchal 500 Regatta tall ships event, taking place on 10th-13th September 2008, at their Full Council meeting of 20th February 2007.
Councillors agreed for Carrick District Council to be the accountable body for the regatta, working in partnership with Tall Ships International Ltd, Falmouth Tall Ships Association, Cornwall County Council, Cornwall Enterprise, South West Regional Development Agency, A&P Falmouth, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, Cornwall Marine Network, Falmouth Town Council, Carrick Leisure Ltd and Fal River Links. Other organisations will be included as the management of the event progresses.
Falmouth last hosted the Tall Ships Race in 1998 when a total of 258,000 visitor days were calculated to contribute a total of £24 million to the local economy. The Funchal 500 four day regatta will be a smaller event than 1998; however it is anticipated that up to eight of the large A Class vessels will assemble in Falmouth for the start of the race providing a magnificent sight. The Regatta will be the centre piece of year long celebrations commemorating the 500th anniversary of the founding of Funchal, in Madeira and the race will leave Falmouth on Sunday 13th September heading to the Port of Aveiro in Ilhavo, Portugal, before a second race to Funchal, Madeira.
Cllr Gill Wilson, Portfolio Holder for the Local Economy stated “Carrick is thrilled to have the opportunity to host this prestigious event and to welcome Tall Ships from ports from all over the world once again to Falmouth. The regatta is yet another opportunity to raise the profile of Falmouth as an international maritime centre and visitor destination and brings with it significant economic benefits not only to the District but to Cornwall”.
The event will cost in the region of £250,000 to stage in Falmouth and major partners have already committed financial and in kind support. With formal approval granted this week, sponsorship opportunities will now be explored, for further information contact Carrick Tourism Service on 01872 224384.