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This is a very personal research project for me which evolved from me being a sail trainee in the 1993 Tall Ships Race sailing from Newcastle to Bergen on the STS Sir Winston Churchill. These were 3 of the greatest weeks of my life where I learnt team building and communication and most importantly made friends for life.

When I heard the Tall Ships Race was coming to Sunderland for the first time in July 2018 I wanted to celebrate this fact by creating a fully illustrated hardback coffee table style book and an exhibition of my drawings based on my digital artwork and the Tall Ships Races.

However, as I delved deeper into the history of Sunderland and its shipbuilding heritage; I started to realise that this was going to become a much bigger project and from that came the idea of adding a full chapter dedicated to the shipbuilding history of the City. It was once the largest shipbuilding town in the World and this is something which I felt should be celebrated just as much as the Tall Ships coming to the City!

The book will cover 3 different chapters;

  1. Shipbuilding on the Wear which will include my drawings and rarely seen photos from the Tyne and Wear Archives;
  2. Tall Ships with images of lots of different Tall Ships across the years & finally
  3. The Tall Ships Race (and the life of a sail trainee) which will include my own story and the experiences of other trainees and ship captains alongside my own photos and drawings.
Naomi Austin

Naomi Austin