Crowds gather along the banks of the River Lee to catch a glimpse of the tall ships as they leave Cork Harbour.

The flotilla of sail training vessels were led by the Irish boat Asgard II evoking the elegance and romance of another time.

It made a magnificent and colourful spectacle as the biggest and most beautiful of the world's sail training vessels made their way down the Lee.

The fleet spent four days in the centre of Cork with three hundred thousand people turning out to see them.

Taoiseach Charles Haughey visited the crews of some of the ships and posed for photographers at the Asgard’s wheel. He also met crew on board the Sir Winston Churchill.

As the flotilla reached Cobh, the Taoiseach took the salute on board the naval vessel LÉ Eithne and a gun salute was sounded. As the fleet reached Roches Point, the next leg of the race resumed heading for Belfast.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 July 1991. The reporter is Michael Ryan.