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Tall Ships Groups Firing Broadsides At Each Other

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RALEIGH, N.C. — More than three months after the Tall Ships Celebration in Beaufort, a dispute over its staging continues to sail.

The national parent of the tall ship events, America's Sail, last month threatened to sue Pepsi America's Sail, the local host of the July 4th weekend event, because the organization hasn't yet paid 20 percent of the gross ticket sales due under the contract.

The money was due July 6, but Pepsi America's Sail, which is run by the Friends of the Maritime Museum in Beaufort, had trouble determining its own costs, partly because of ticket refunds, a spokeswoman said.

Hundreds of spectators complained that they couldn't negotiate the crowds to tour the ships, and many were turned away because of lengthy lines.

Pepsi America's Sail officials also said the national group didn't fulfill the terms of the contract.

But the national group fired back Wednesday, calling those accusations "preposterous."

"We believe that a well-run tall ship event organized to make a profit for a worthwhile purpose, as this event was supposed to be doing, can and will succeed in accomplishing that goal," America's Sail said in a statement.

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