Hundreds of visitors gathered in the Port of Volos today for the opening ceremony of the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta.
The dockside area where the majority of the largest tall ships in the fleet are now moored is developing into the hub of Volos, and the carnival atmosphere is at boiling point at this, the first ever sail training event to be held in Greece.
The national sail training organisation of Greece – STA Hellas – is playing an important part in ensuring this inaugural Greek event is a success and George Karavolos – chairman of Sail Training Hellas –(pictured centre) speaking about the importance of the event said: “We are proud to be involved with tall ships training events. It is an important marine and cultural event that attracts many visitors to our country. It also serves to promote international friendship. We are also pleased we have our own participation in the race with several of our own young trainees taking part.”
Temperatures in the 30s didn’t deter the crowds who made a special journey to listen to Alekos Voulgaris – the Mayor of Volos – (pictured right) make his speech on stage at the entrance to the port at midday today. In his summary, the Mayor welcomed the visitors to the regatta, which he believes is an important cultural and marine-athletic event.
“This is the first time a regatta like this has been organised in the eastern Mediterranean with a Greek attendance…We welcome today the young trainees, the crews, the ships and the international visitors participating in this five-day festival. Volos is a modern city with a signified historical identity, a great cultural heritage and modern artistic creativity…Our city is an important regional centre that seeks the bond creation with the European countries and with the countries of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, for tourist growth, cultural interaction and collaboration among European and neighbouring populations.”
Robin Snouck Hurgronje – Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta, Event Chairman – (pictured left) joined the Mayor on stage to express his gratitude to the City of Volos for hosting the event. “The fleet presence here consists of 16 different nationalities and that is fantastic… We want to come into contact with the people in Volos, because we want them to understand our mission and become a member of our big family.”