Lisbon has been buzzing with excitement today as The Tall Ships Races 2012 officially opened its gates inviting everyone to enjoy the celebrations.
The Opening Ceremony was attended by Assunção Cristas, Minister of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Spacial Planning; António Costa, Mayor of Lisbon and António Guimarães Lobato, President of Aporvela.
Robin Snouck-Hurgronje, Chairman of The Tall Ships Races 2012 represented Sail Training International and spoke very highly of local organiser, Aporvela, for staging what promises to be a fantastic few days for the return of the Tall Ships to Lisbon.
A core aim of The Tall Ships Races is to promote international understanding and friendship which was fully supported by Lisbon today when all VIP guests, trainees and crews, stood for the hoisting of national flags representing countries of participating Tall Ships.
Tonight the trainees and crew have several activities planned including an Olympic themed party on Rona II, a EuropaVision song contest and a dramatic fire show staged by trainees from the city of Szczecin.
The Tall Ships Races 2012, Presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International is taking place in the following host ports:
St Malo - Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 July (race start Monday 9 July)
Lisbon - Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 July
Cadiz - Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July
A Coruña - Friday 10 to Monday 13 August
Dublin - Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 August
Behind the scenes insights on Twitter @tallshipsraces and Facebook