Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour Marina is today (Thursday 19 April) welcoming one of Europe’s biggest classic sailing ship races.
The Race of the Classics involves a flotilla of 18 tall ships, which left Rotterdam earlier this week, before making their first stop at Ostend. They then sprinted over to Ramsgate, the only British stop on the route, and, from there, the ships will spend tonight in the town, before returning to Amsterdam, leaving Ramsgate tomorrow morning (Friday 20 April).
The race is now into its 19th year and is organised by students, with the ships crewed by a mixture of international students, accompanied by professional sailors, all competing for the Heineken Challenge Cup. It is the largest event of its kind in Europe to involve non-professionals on tall ships.
Head of Maritime Services Dominic Evans said: “The Race of the Classics is a stunning sight and we are delighted to welcome them back to Ramsgate, the first time they have made a stop here in three years. The last time they visited us in 2004, they attracted huge crowds to welcome the students and sailors to the country. If you haven’t had a chance to see the ships before, it’s well worth a visit as they look completely at home in the beautiful setting of Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour Marina.”
I'll put up some piccies later. Meanwhile, if you're very lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of them on the Ramsgate Harbour webcam.
Tall ships off Ramsgate this morning