Hartlepool is celebrating after winning its bid to host the prestigious Tall Ships Race in 2010.
More than 100 vessels will visited Hartlepool in 2010.
The town will welcome up to 125 tall ships after being chosen by race organisers Sail Training International to be the finishing point for the race.
The news is a major boost to the North East, after Newcastle/Gateshead hosted the 2005 race on the River Tyne.
The Teesside town will join Antwerp in Belgium, Aalborg in Denmark and Kristiansand in Norway as race hosts.
Hartlepool already has good links with tall ships after almost 40 vessels visited Hartlepool in 2005 en route to Tyneside.
During their stay, the ships will be berthed in Jackson Dock and Hartlepool Marina, and there will be a host of special events organised in celebration.
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: "We knew we had the capability and the passion to be a top class host port and we are delighted that the race organisers felt the same."
By 2010 a multi-million pound Victoria Harbour development will be well under way.