Captains and dignatories from around the world gathered in
Dublin today to mark the official opening of The Tall Ships Races
Dublin Festival, 23-26 August.
was given to Sail Training International’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize
for its exemplary work in international relations and to the Captain’s who faced gale conditions
at sea on their way to Dublin. As Dublin's
Harbour Master said, “Thank God we got them all in safely!”
The Mayor and Admiral of Dublin port started proceedings with the blast of a caxton and a warm welcome to Dublin. He encouraging
everyone to take full advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy an unprecedented
variety of events.
Knut Western, Chairman of The Tall Ships Races
saluted everyone gathered and explained how Sail Training International brings
sail training and Tall Ship racing
together to people from all backgrounds, “Although we organise a race; the fastest vessels of the
race aren’t the only winners. Our
Friendship Trophy is the most coveted prize because it is offered to the vessel
which has demonstrated the best international understanding.
“And special recognition needs to be given to our very brave
trainees who endured extremely rough weather through the Bay of Biscay, on
their journey to Dublin. One Russian
trainee told me she had been sick, aching and green for two days. The tenacity of our trainees is no less Olympic
in effort than what we have seen in the athletics in London."
Keith Duffy, first mate of Dublin Tall Ships and former member of boyband Boyzone, concluded the
event by saying it made him proud to be Irish and a Dubliner. “To see the Liffy filled with Tall Ships and people
from around the world come together makes this a very special occasion. I hope everyone embraces this wonderful weekend.”
Tomorrow (15:00, Friday 24th August) 1,800 crew from the Tall Ships Races will parade up the north side of the quays all the way to Custom House. Directly after the Crew Parade is the prize giving ceremony.