Trainees from many of the 73 international vessels and the people of Kotka gathered under glorious sunshine on Thursday (13 July) afternoon for the Opening Ceremony of the Tall Ships Races third visit to the city.
Mayor of Kotka welcomes crews
The Mayor of Kotka, Henry Lindelöf, welcomed the Tall Ships Races 2017 crews, who represent 28 different nations, in a ceremony which included music and dancing at the start of an action-packed programme in the Finnish city.
“I’m sure you all feel the special atmosphere welcoming you here in Kotka. I’m so glad that you’re all here and I wish the very best for every one of you.”
Henry Lindelöf, Mayor of Kotka
Superb weather greets final arrivals
The final vessels to arrive in Kotka today were greeted by superb weather and the fleet and crowds of visitors have enjoyed an afternoon of radiant sunshine.
Crowds are already enjoying the bustling event area and large crowds are expected over the coming days to enjoy Finland’s largest free family festival.
Race Chairman ‘delighted’ to bring Tall Ships back to Kotka
Sail Training International’s Race Chairman Sigurd Dale, speaking at a press conference this morning, said he was “delighted” to bring the Tall Ships Races back to Kotka for the third time after previous visits in 1992 and 2007.
“It really is all about the young people taking part and we want to stress that sailing in the Tall Ships Races is open to everyone. We’d urge people to visit the Sail on Board stand here in Kotka to find out more about opportunities.”
Race Chairman, Sigurd Dale, Sail Training International
This evening the City of Kotka will host a Captains’ Dinner and a number of vessels are hosting hospitality events on board for guests and sponsors.
Forging international friendships in Tall Ships Races 2017
Lotte Erika Nygard, 24, a volunteer at the Red Cross in Norway, is part of the international crew sailing on board Sorlandet.
“It is a great adventure for me, because we have an international crew including trainees from Syria, Poland, Sweden, Eritrea and Kurdistan. During the first race I have met new people and learned how to climb the mast.”
About the Tall Ships Races 2017
The Tall Ships Races 2017 is taking place in four different countries and five ports, with three exciting race legs across the Baltic Sea and a spectacular Cruise-in-Company. The event has attracted an incredible fleet of more than 100 vessels, and participation from an awesome number of trainees from around the world. There are trainee places available on each of the race legs and the Cruise-in-Company – book your place directly with a participating vessel.
Want to get involved with the Tall Ships Races 2017? There are still berths available – secure your place today! Check out our event page for more information. Book your place directly with a participating vessel.