The largest barque ever built arrives in Newhaven

Attracting attention -
Attracting attention -

Newhaven residents awoke to the arrival of an unusual visitor on Monday - the largest barque ever built.

The Sea Cloud II, one of two sister ships, has the timeless elegance of windjammers of days gone.

The largest barque in the world.

The largest barque in the world.

From a distance, this three-masted vessel looks like it has sailed straight out of a time machine yet she is only 14 years old.

She was built in South Africa and her 23 sails were made in Poland.

They are woven to her masts and hull by 13 miles of rigging.

The main mast stands 57m (187ft) above deck and she carries up to 96 passengers.

Peter Warwick, naval historian and author, spoke of his experience when he sailed on her: “I love Sea Cloud II because she really does embody all the best sailing experience, with her canvas wings, she heels into the wind and glides through the water.

“There is no engine noise. You feel connected to the wind and the sea. It’s a thrilling experience.”

The ship was in Newhaven so that passengers could visit Viscount Gage at Firle Place, home to the Gage family since the late 15th century.

The Sea Cloud then left Newhaven bound for Bruges, Belgium, for more cultural delights.