After over 1,000 miles of sailing and visiting for cities in three countries, the final Host Port celebrations of The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano began today in Cadiz.
With sunshine covering the southern Spanish city, the fleet began making their arrivals yesterday with Challenge Wales (UK), Fryderyk Chopin (Poland) and Vera Cruz (Portugal) some of the first to arrive. As evening descended, the Mexican Class A ship Cuauhtemoc make a spectacular arrival with thousands of visitors lining the quayside to welcome them.
To officially open the event and start the celebrations, the Opening Ceremony was held against the stunning backdrop of Dar Mlodziezy (Poland) along the sun-drenched quayside this morning.
Mayor of Cadiz, Bruno Garcia, welcomed the fleet on their return to Cadiz for the first time since 2016.
“Dear Mr. President of the Sail Training International.
Our maritime history is more than the history in the sea left by the past. It influences the present and can shape our future.
We meet today in Cadiz a city that has always been linked to the sea. From our foundation three thousand years ago to today, in Cadiz good things normally come from the sea.
As the mayor our city it is my honour to welcome you all members of Sail Training International and the crews of all the vessels as our friends, as part of our city and as part of our special relation with the sea.
Thanks for organising The Tall Ships Races, thanks for choosing Cadiz, thanks for your support… and thanks for your friendship. Welcome to your city, welcome to Cadiz.”
Bruno Garcia, Mayor of Cadiz
Following the welcome by Mayor Garcia, Sail Training International Chairman, Jonathan Cheshire, praised the efforts of the organisers following the challenges of the pandemic that affected the original planned return of the fleet in 2020.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are so happy to be here at last in this beautiful and historic city.
We had originally planned for this event in 2020, before the covid pandemic took hold and left a devastating impact on us all; the ships, the ports and Sail Training International. To finally be able to return is truly wonderful.
I would like to thank all of the organising parties here in Cadiz for their incredible hard work to help deliver this event and help us to continue to change young people’s lives.
I would also like to express thanks for the wonderful welcome from Los Gaditanos, a great example of our core mission in practice – that of international friendship and understanding.
I hope you all enjoy the upcoming celebrations over the coming days and look forward to celebrating with you.”
Sail Training International Chairman, Jonathan Cheshire
With the event officially underway, it was then time for the thousands of visitors to make their way to the port and get a close up look at the stunning fleet. For the crews having found their land legs, it was time to take in the cultural delights on offer in the historic city ahead of the much anticipated final Prize Giving Ceremony of the series tomorrow.
ABOUT THE TALL SHIPS RACES MAGELLAN-ELCANO
The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano sees an international fleet of Tall Ships and Small Ships take in the Channel and Iberian Penninsula, visiting Falmouth (15-18 August), A Coruna (24-27 August), Lisbon (31 August -3 September), finishing in Cadiz (7-10 September)
The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano series celebrates the first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan and Sebastian Elcano over 500 years ago. As with every edition of The Tall Ships Races, the series offers a range of sailing experiences for trainees and crews.