On the 10 anniversary of the award-winning event, an ‘oar-some’ line-up of SEVEN ships have been confirmed as part of a superb programme of attractions at Gloucester Docks on 27-29 May.
As well as the ships, the festival feature lots of fun and excitement for all the family, including action-packed sword fighting displays from Captain Jack, live music and dancing, a vintage fairground and stalls selling a variety of food and drink.
Jason Smith, chief executive of event organisers Marketing Gloucester, said: “We’re really proud to have been able to attract so many fantastic tall ships to this year’s festival.
"Ten years on from the first Tall Ships Festival, it’s extremely fitting that a record number will be taking part at this year’s event.
"It’s come a long way in such a relatively short space of time and we’re confident that this year’s festival will be the best yet.”
The ships appearing at the Gloucester Tall Ships Festival are
La Malouine: Built in Gdansk in Poland in 1972 under the name of Bogdan, the boat was originally a tug that served in the former East Germany until 1992. Renamed Willem and then La Malouine by then owner Francois Bertrand, she was bought by Michel Diss at the end of 2012.
The Matthew: Built between 1994 and 1996 in Bristol, the ship is a replica of the original Matthew that John Cabot sailed to Newfoundland in 1497. As well as being famous for its history, The Matthew has been in a number of BBC productions such as Boats That Built Britain , The Hairy Bikers , Don’t Tell The Bride and Antiques Celebrity Roadshow .
Lady of Avenel: Built in Gdansk Shipyard, Poland in 1968. The brigantine square rigged ship comes in at an impressive height of 22 metres, making this one truly unmissable! Bought by Heritage Sailing Academy in 2012, she is now mainly used as a platform for adventure sailing.
Johanna Lucretia: Built in 1945 in Belgium as a fishing vessel, she was converted into a recreational ship in 1952 and sailed Dutch waters. She was bought by a British citizen in 1989, refitted to comply with British regulations by Gloucester firm T Nielsen & Co Limited, and used for training and chartered trips. She was found abandoned in Gloucester Docks in 2008 and required major restoration work to get her into the shape she is in today.
Olga: Built in 1909 and now a piece of living history, she is not a large tall ship but a beautiful wooden vessel. Originally Olga would have ranged from Bristol Channel to Lundy looking for tell-tale mast heads or smoke stacks of inbound vessels she could pilot. Now owned and managed by Swansea Museum, she sails all year round taking out volunteers and community groups.
Keewaydin: Built in 1913 and believed to be the only surviving Rye-built sailing smack, she carried refugees from Denmark to neutral Sweden during the Second World War. In 1963 she was converted into a yacht and in 1973 was entered into the first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.
The White Heather: A Cornish lugger, she has operated out of Megavissey and fished out of Falmouth, before being laid up on moorings of the River Fal. She was converted back to sail in 1988 and found a new purpose running sailing trips from Fowey. Under a new owner in 1992, The White Heather sailed to Morocco, Brazil before returning to British shores via the Caribbean. Out of the hundreds of Cornish luggers that were built, The White Heather is one of only a dozen surviving today.