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Tall ships provide £15m boost while dream comes true for Falmouth pilot

By WMNlynbarton  |  Posted: September 02, 2014

Captain Martin at the helm

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It took 31 years, but when Captain Nick Martin took the helm of one of the Tall Ships to visit Falmouth last week it truly was a dream come true.

In 1982 and then at the tender age of seven, young Nick was so smitten with the majestic lines of the sailing ship Dar Mlodziezy that he turned to his mother and declared that one day he would drive that ship.

The 110metre vessel was a highlight of the Falmouth Tall Ship festival, which it has been revealed provided a £15million boost to the port, and when left the harbour it was with a beaming Captain Martin, now a Falmouth Bay pilot, in control.

His mother, Sue, said she could remember the day he set his heart on a career at sea.

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“We had watched the ship from the attic room of our house and he said to me “I’d love to drive that.”

“I said that if he worked hard and it came back to Falmouth he would be able to."

The youngster wrote a letter to the then captain of the ship, which was built as a training vessel.

A few weeks later he received a reply inviting him to come aboard as a VIP next time she was in England and along with his family he journeyed to Southampton to see what life was life on board.

“When we arrived there was a huge queue, but we showed a cadet our letter and we were shown downstairs to meet the captain,” said Mrs Martin.

“It was a lovely day for Nick and from then on it become his driving goal.”

The Poland based ship was on its maiden voyage when it eased into Falmouth in 1982.

Her appearance in the Tall Ship regatta at the weekend was only the second time she had visited Falmouth.

More than 70,000 people visited the regatta site during the first three days and over 100,000 people took to the water on boats and made the most of vantage points around the town for the magnificent Parade of Sail on Sunday.

Richard Gates, the Town Manager for Falmouth has estimated that over 230,000 people visited the Cornish port over the four days and businesses across the town have been staggered by the uplift in sales.

Overall, organisers believe the event provided a £15million economic boost for the port.

For Mrs Martin it also meant the realisation of a dream for her son who was appointed a pilot at Falmouth after working as an officer on the merchant ships between Dover and Dunkirk.

Steering the Dar Mlodziezy was a highlight for the whole family, who hired a boat to travel alongside it.

“He has worked so hard and I was so proud of him,” said Mrs Martin.

“When he was up there on the Dar Mlodziezy I admit that I did have a tear in my eye.”

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