The Tall Ships that had taken part in the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta joined up with thousands of other vessels today to take part in the Sail In to Amsterdam as part of Sail 2010. The Tall Ships were the star attraction and were surrounded by a mixture of navy ships, pleasure craft, classic boats, replica ships, traditional Dutch vessels and even submarines as they travelled the 26km journey up the Nordzee Canal from IJmuiden to Amsterdam.
With a brisk wind blowing and sun shining, the several thousand vessels made their way slowly along the canal as spectators lined the canal to watch the incredible sight. For most of the route all the vessels headed in the same direction but as the Tall Ships approached Amsterdam so the pleasure craft turned and headed back towards IJmuiden. Inside Amsterdam and vessels jostled for position as they all tried to get close to the Tall Ships. At times it was hard to see the water.
As each Tall Ship approached Amsterdam, canons were fired and the country's national anthem played to welcome the ships to the city.
The Sail 2010 festival will now last for the next four days to Monday 23 August during which time the crews will take part in a crew parade and prize giving for the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta. In addition there will be shanty singing, exhibitions, competitive sailing, concerts, match racing, demonstrations and dance shows as well as a firework show every night.
Sail Amsterdam only takes place every five years and this year the organisers believe it will be bigger than ever attracting several million spectators to the city to view the ships.
The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta is organised by Sail Training International.