Hartlepool Case History

Tall Ships Port Visit at Hartlepool, August 2010


  1. Tall Ships at dawnThe Tall Ships Races are world-famous and now extend to a number of events each year in different parts of the globe.  The races are celebrated for their very worthwhile aims of sail training for youth and international friendship as well as the highly professional way in which they are run. Sail Training International who run the races were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. The biggest race generally comes to the UK once a year and in 2010 it was the historic port of Hartlepool who played host.Guests on tall shipsSuch a visit represents a unique hospitality opportunity for stakeholders in the event and businesses in the area. They also create excellent financial support the ships taking part as well as useful PR and marketing material for all concerned.  It’s a high profile event that has a big impact on the local economy and involves careful media liaison and handling of international protocols.  It was the largest free event in the UK in 2010 and requires a team of experienced marine professionals to make the Tall Ship commercial agenda tick. Topsail Events are uniquely placed to deliver on this requirement but, of course, the trick is to make it work financially for all concerned…


  1. Guests on tall ships 2Topsail has won tenders to be the official ship hospitality and charter supplier at the last 3 port visits in the UK: Liverpool, Belfast and Hartlepool. In effect the role requires us to operate in a ‘green field’ port site, creating workable hospitality and other commercial activation with a fleet of vessels who come from all over the world. Catering is key of course and making sure the menus, the entertaining spaces and facilities (on ship and on shore) are up to the job is where our special knowledge comes in.Hartlepool QuaysideOur extensive digital library of ships’ images, plans and specifications certainly speeds the sales and marketing process and, although we say it ourselves, the ability to speak with authority to customers about an almost totally unknown form of corporate hospitality has contributed a great deal to our success. Equally supplier relationships are just as important, over many years we have formed long-standing relationships with many Tall Ships with a high degree of mutual trust. This is invaluable when it comes to delivering the event, not just in operational terms, but with regard to contracts and finance.FireworksAbove all close liaison with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency is vital to ensure that we are operating with UK and foreign-flagged vessels both legally and safely. Hartlepool once again saw us working with a packed charter schedule for sponsors, local businesses as well as special packages for the visiting public on a very wide variety of static as well as cruising charters. We devised, marketed, sold, operated and delivered a successful ship charter operation at the UK’s largest maritime event in 2010…and we made it work financially for all concerned.