For the second time in six years, Waterford has played host to the world famous Tall Ships Parade of Sail.

The event marks the end of the four-day festival and sees the fleet depart their host port for the last time to take their positions on the race starting line.

The 45 Tall Ships began their journey from the quayside in Waterford at around 8am and journeyed downriver to the mouth of the Suir at Dunmore East.

Crowds gathered at Passage East and Dunmore East to wave them off – to end to what organisers called Ireland’s biggest ever quayside party.

The first stage of the Tall Ships race 2011 from Waterford to Greenock in Scotland got underway at 1pm.

The races are expected to conclude in early August.