The Mayor of Gdynia, Mr Wojciech Szczurek, the Chairman of the Race Committee, Mr Robin Snouk Hurgronje and the
Minister of Maritime Infrastructure, Mrs Anna Wypych Namiotko, officially opened the Regatta this afternoon, watched by hundreds of visitors and crews. As the three dignitaries rang a bell to declare the event open, 2011 blue and white balloons were released into the sky, a canon fired and the entire fleet blew their whistles.
Almost all of the fleet are now in port, the final two arriving tomorrow (Saturday). The quaysides are full of visitors watching as the vessels come alongside and tie up and their crew step ashore for the first time since leaving Turku last Sunday.
De Gallant (Netherlands) was one of the last to arrive and her captain, Feike De Baat, brought her faultlessly into her tight berth between two others vessels. Similar to the rest of the fleet, the crew onboard had battled with strong and unfavourable winds during the race but it had made sailors of the trainees.
This evening the captains will be entertained at the traditional Captains' Dinner where they may perhaps contemplate their chances in the Captains' Optimist Dinghy Regatta at the Central Beach at 12.00 tomorrow!
Pic: Ringing the bell to open the Regatta
The Culture 2011 Tall Ships Regatta is organised by Sail Training International