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Fair Jeanne crew 'devastated' by cancellation

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The operator of one of the four tall ships that was slated to be in Owen Sound Aug. 16 to 18 has cancelled the vessel’s visit to the Scenic City after she was damaged in a collision on Lake Erie.

Laura Franks, executive director of Ottawa-based Bytown Brigantine, said it will take three to four weeks to repair the damage to the Fair Jeanne, which was struck by a fishing boat early in the morning on July 26 off Port Stanley.

As a result, the ship will not be able to take part in the planned tour of southern Georgian Bay, which includes stops in Owen Sound, Collingwood and Midland.

“It’s very upsetting to us,” Franks said Thursday. “We were truly looking forward to spending time up there.”

No one was injured in the collision, which left the 110-foot Fair Jeanne with a hole on her port side above the waterline. It happened at about 4:50 a.m. as the tall ship was at anchor.

Paul Eichhorn, project co-ordinator for the Owen Sound tall ships festival, said there will still be “plenty to see and do” during the event, which will feature visits by the tall ships Pride of Baltimore II, Playfair and Liana’s Ransom.

Free events include live music, War of 1812 historical re-enactments and children’s activities.

Boarding passes to tour the tall ships are 80% sold and are expected to sell out before the event, Eichhorn said.

The festival will wrap up with a parade of sail Aug. 18 at 2 p.m.

A shuttle service will be available Aug. 16 and 17 to take people from the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre and Foodland parking lots to the festival site.

Owen Sound is one of 15 ports on the Tall Ships 1812 Tour. It is being held to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Visit www.tallshipsowensound.com for more information, including a full schedule, or to purchase boarding passes.

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