The opening ceremony took place along the quayside today with Robin Snouck Hurgronje, the Chairman of the Race Committee for the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta, welcoming crews and visitors to Istanbul. He outlined the importance to Sail Training International of being in Istanbul as one of the main missions was to bring tall ships and people together, "and by doing this we hope to contribute to international friendship and understanding."
Mr Snouck Hurgronje (pictured in the centre with Istanbul Organisation's Captain Yilmaz Dagci on the left and Captain Saim Oguzulgen on right), emphasised that the ships that were alongside in Karaköy were not the whole fleet. "Unfortunately, for safety reasons we have been enforced to berth 11 Class B, C and D vessels in the Ataköy Marina. together with Istanbul Organisation, we will do our utmost to integrate crew members of these ships in the programme here in Karaköy."
Metin Kalkavan of the Maritime Trade Association, Hasan Naiboglu, the Undersecretary for Maritime Affairs and Hayati Yazici, the Governor of Istanbul and President of the Capital of Culture 2010 Agency also spoke to the watching press and visitors.
Once the entrance to the port had been opened to the public, they began to pour into the village area to view the ships made all the more colourful by the crew of Shabab Oman who entertained the crowds with their unique brand of music. The crew of Dewaruci from Indonesia also drew a crowd with a dancing display.
This evening the captains will enjoy a typical Turkish dinner at the Liman Restaurant close to the ship.
To view the provisional results of the race, click here
To view the combined race results of Leg 1 and 2 of Race 1, click here
To see more images from the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta in Istanbul, click here
The Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta is organised by Sail Training International.