A jewelery company on Teesside has become the first sponsor of the Tall Ships’ Race, which will end in Hartlepool in 2010.
Local firm Mobeus will create the captains’ trophies and the rest of the prizes for the world-famous event.
It is expected that more than a million visitors will descend on the county, making it one of the biggest spectacles in the North East.
Mobeus owner Mark Lloyd said he wanted to “help put the town on the map”.
The event is due to take place in the town between 7 and 10 August.
The larger class vessels will berth in Victoria Harbour at PD Ports and the smaller ships will berth in Hartlepool Marina.
The race starts in Antwerp, Belgium, on 10 July 2010, and crews will sail to Aalborg in Denmark and Kristiansand in Norway before setting off for Teesside.
Hartlepool Council is helping coordinate the preparations.