Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta
Two new Tall Ships events start off the Sail Training International calendar in 2010, inviting ships to go south for some warmer weather and sunshine. Both events involve exciting new ports and some wonderful sailing with great opportunities for cultural exchanges. All the normal ingredients in the host ports will ensure a great experience for all. The timing of these events has been arranged so ships can still travel north to take part in the traditional Tall Ships Races in the summer.
The first race of the year will be the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta
The Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta 2010 will mark the 150th anniversary of Giuseppe Garibaldi's successful expedition from Genoa on the north-west coast of Italy to Trapani on the north-west corner of Sicily in the south. The event will take place between 8-19 April and is sure to offer the participating Tall Ships an interesting and warm welcome to the Mediterranean.
The purpose of the 'Expedition of a Thousand', as Garibaldi's expedition became known, was to unify the new Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, (comprising the Island of Sicily and the southern-most tip of mainland Italy whose capital was Naples). Garibaldi was, at the time, a famous Italian revolutionary leader and soon became a national hero in Italy.
The fleet will meet in the beautiful city of Genoa, which was a successful host port for The Tall Ships Races Mediterranean 2007. The city has a fascinating aquarium, an interesting port, and an historic centre said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe. In 2006, Genoa's Rolli Palaces were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Genoa is a train hub and can be easily reached from Milan, Turin, La Spezia, Pisa, Rome and Nice. The city also has its own airport, Cristoforo Colombo. The race will start on 11 April following a parade of sail along the coast. The race will follow a direct route south to Trapani, through the Gulf of Genoa, the Ligurian Sea, close to Elba and the French island of Corsica, and then through the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the east of Sardinia, and on down to Trapani.
On arrival in Trapani on 16 April, the ships and crews will be berthed in the hook shaped harbour which curves out into the Mediterranean Sea. Trapani is a fishing and ferry port with a long history. Nowadays the town is renowned for its fine seafood and Sicilian cuisine, and makes a good base for tourists exploring this part of the island.
In both ports, crews will be offered a range of sport activities and cultural visits as well as the traditional crew parade and party. Both ports are also planning a range of exhibitions, concerts and entertainment, including famous Italian 'White Nights' that are sure to create a buzz and ensure plenty of visitors to the ships.
When the fleet leaves Trapani on 19 April many of them will be heading direct to Greece for the start of the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta.