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Auckland farewells tall ships

Published: 10:02AM Monday October 28, 2013 Source: ONE News

Thousands of people have turned out to see the vessels that took part in Auckland's Tall Ships Festival set sail.

Around 12,000 people lined the waterfront this afternoon to watch the ships leave Auckland as a fleet in the Parade of Sails.

Several tall ships, waka and the HMNZS Wellington were moored and open for the public to board at Hobson Wharf, Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf over the weekend.

Organisers said 151,000 people visited the wharves, and thousands took the time to walk through the ships.

Around 6,000 people boarded the Spirit of New Zealand, and more than 4,000 boarded the Lord Nelson, including one 101-year-old and 50 people in wheelchairs.

The event was a once in a lifetime experience for many people, said Waterfront Auckland chairman Sir Bob Harvey.

"It's been a fantastic success for Auckland and New Zealand," he said.

The ships sailed into Waitemata Harbour on Friday, having raced from Sydney.