A&P Group’s Falmouth yard has welcomed two majestic tall ships to the docks this week, keeping the port’s association ith historic sailing ships alive.
Both vessels have made a welcome return to Falmouth – the Polish vessel
Fryderyk Chopin just a few months after she left the docks, and the Norwegian Sørlandet for the first time since 1966.
A&P Falmouth’s County Wharf, where both ships are berthed, has quickly
become a focal point for visitors and locals.
Falmouth’s association with tall ships dates back centuries and the town always
welcomes these restored vessels back with enthusiasm. It is also a reminder
that the next big Tall Ships event is 2014 and Falmouth with A&P’s support
will be bidding hard to host the spectacle.
Peter Child, Managing Director of A&P Falmouth, said: “It is always a
pleasure to see these magnificent tall ships back in Falmouth. Seeing them
moored alongside County Wharf, with the Falmouth skyline in the background, is
a wonderful reminder of the town’s historic association with ships, which
A&P is extremely proud to be part of.”
The Fryderyk Chopin entered the port under full sail for the first time since
she lost both masts in a freak Atlantic storm en route to the Caribbean last
November. She became a familiar sight in Falmouth, while a new rig was
constructed and installed at A&P’s Falmouth yard before once again setting
sail for the Caribbean.
workforce built two new steel masts, both 100ft high taper rolled and weighing
8 tonnes each, plus a new bowsprit. The aft mast also contains the stainless
steel exhaust which had to fit perfectly inside the mast without touching. All
the aluminium spars were repaired, some having been very badly damaged, and
A&P’s riggers renewed all the vessels rigging and stays, a major project on
its own. Finally when built and painted the heavy lift section lifted both
masts into position using two cranes in a complex tandem lift from horizontal
to vertical and then bolted into position.
The 57m Sørlandet, the oldest operating fully rigged ship in the world, was last
in Falmouth 45 years ago. She arrived on Monday. She is a three-masted former
school ship built in 1927 and is now used for adventure sailing for young
people from her base in Kristiansand, Norway.
Both ships are in Falmouth
as part of a continuing programme of visits by tall ships from around the
world. John Hick, founder and chairman of Falmouth Tall Ships Association said
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome these two vessels back into port and it
is great to see Chopin fighting fit again.”