Head of business and operations at National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland, Michelle Daurat, has again been placed at the event organising helm of The Tall Ships Races, this time for Sunderland 2018.
Eight years ago Daurat project managed the Races when Hartlepool was picked as the host port of the international event.
On 11 July 2018, a fleet of 80 vessels is expected at the port of Sunderland, on the North East coast, in preparation for The Tall Ships Races 2018.
The event is expected to be a driving force behind four days of events in the city, before the ships depart for Esbjerg, Denmark.
The 2010 event attracted a million visitors to Hartlepool and boosted the North East economy to the tune of £26m.
Daurat and her four-strong team will work on the 2018 project.
“The Races is Europe’s largest, free, family festival and around 1.5m people are expected to visit Sunderland over the four-day event,” she says.
Entertainment will include street theatre, food and refreshments, displays and live music and be spread across five event zones, beginning on 11 July when the ships will lower their gangways to visitors and crews will take part in inter-ship sporting activities.
On 12 July, the programme of culture and entertainment will begin, followed by a prize-giving ceremony at Keel Square.
There will also be a major artistic commission on the riverside and the Summer Streets Festival will open its doors in the evening at Seaburn’s Recreation Park.
“In logistical terms, this is a massive operation,” Daurat adds, “bringing together a vast number of participants from across the city and further afield.
“Sunderland was once the biggest shipbuilding town in the world with a maritime heritage second to none – and it is also my home town, so I am incredibly proud to be involved with this event and determined to do it justice.”