The Italian naval ship Palinuro
led the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta fleet out of Trapani today and along past the beach in a parade of sail. In beautiful conditions with a strong breeze blowing from a northerly direction, the fleet were able to put up some sail to say farewell and thank you to the people of Trapani.
A number of the fleet will be heading off to Volos in Greece for the start of the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta - the second in a series of Tall Ships Races being organised by Sail Training International this year. However, because of the volcanic ash problem that is affecting flights, a few ships will need to return to Trapani in order to wait for their crews to join them before they can continue to their next destination.
Tenacious (UK), Astrid (Netherlands), Hansa (Spain), Kaliakra (Bulgaria), Maybe (UK), Tecla (Netherlands), Akela (Russia) and Woj (Austria) will all be heading to Volos, although Tenacious and Maybe both need to wait for their new trainees to arrive, or find another location en route where they can meet them.
A number of local Italians went out on the parade of sail on board Tall Ships and appeared to be enjoying themselves in the lovely sailing conditions. Palinuro led the fleet past the beach before heading off to Livorno, her next port of call. The Dutch vessel Oosterschelde is to head back to the Netherlands. However, as she is first going to stop off in Valencia in Spain, has been offering berths to anyone who wants to reach Spain and is unable to fly.
The Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta has been a huge success in Trapani with 200,000 visitors estimated to have come to the city on Saturday alone to to view the fleet, watch the crew parade and prize giving, enjoy the festival atmosphere and take advantage of the 'white night' of music and events. It has been estimated that approximately 1,500 people per hour visited the fleet during their stay in Trapani.
The crews thoroughly enjoyed their stay in Sicily and are leaving with fond memories and many Italian friends they have made along the way. The 135 Italian trainees who took part in the event, all aged between 16 and 25 years, the majority from Liguria and Sicily, have also made new friends and for many a new passion in Tall Ships.
Further images from the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta can be viewed here.