THE Commanding Officer of the navy vessel that will play a starring role for the Falmouth Tall Ships regatta has said it is an “honour” to do so.
Lieutenant Commander Steven Banfield, is the Commanding Officer (CO) of HMS Severn. The river class off shore patrol vessel will be one of the starter ships kicking off the tall ships regatta from Falmouth to Greenwich later today.
Speaking with the West Briton Mr Banfield said: “It’s great to be a part of this spectacular event. It’s an honour to be part of the tall ships regatta.”
The vessel, which is also used to protect UK fishing ships, will play host to local dignitaries as well as Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall Edward Bolitho.
“The crew enjoy coming to Falmouth. It’s a wonderful place to be,” added the 34-year-old Lieutenant Commander.
The tall ships will line up along Falmouth Bay tomorrow to begin the race from Cornwall to Greenwich in London.
John Hick, organiser of Falmouth Tall Ship regatta, said he expects around 120,000 people to watch the ships get ready to set off.
“We expect to see people from the Roseland and all along the coastline, line up to watch the regatta move out,” he said.
Mr Hick believes the event has injected a cash boom to the tune of £6 million for the Falmouth economy. Businesses in Falmouth town centre have reported an increase in trade.