The fleet taking part in the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta may be fairly small by normal standards, and despite many vessels still awaiting their race crews to arrive in Genoa, the crew parade did not disappoint. In a beautiful balmy evening in Genoa and under the watchful gaze of Guiseppe Garibaldi himself, the crews gathered in the Piazza de Ferrari to take part in the traditional crew parade.
Led by a brass band and a series of groups of people dressed in national costumes covering many centuries, the crews paraded through the streets, with many singing loudly as they went. The largely all-male Spanish crew of Hansa serenaded many of the young ladies their saw en route, much to the girls' amusement. The crew of Tenacious included eight wheelchair users who which found the going hard on many of the cobbled streets but were all in fine voice singing 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor' amongst others.
The crew of Pogoria marched through the streets singing their own song and included a series of nifty dance moves every now and again, while the crew of Runaway lived up to their name and ran amok through the crew parade flying flags above their heads.
The public of Genoa had waited patiently in the Piazza de Ferrari for the parade to start and watched and applauded each crew as they passed, cheering them on their way. Every street the parade passed saw a large number of people waiting to wave and photograph the crews as they passed.
Finally the crew parade arrived at the Piazza delle Feste in the Porto Antico for the prize giving. Over the previous two days many of the early arriving crews had been enjoying a number of sports including volleyball, basketball and rowing as well as some cultural tours of the city.
On the stage awaiting the crews arrival was the Mayor of Genoa, Marta Vincenzi, as well as Anita Garibaldi, the great grand-daughter of Guiseppe Garibaldi, and her son Francesco Garibaldi, who had donated a couple of the prizes on offer.
When the proceedings got under way, the crews noisily welcomed each new award as the public looked on and the press recorded the events.
Matteo Bruzzo, the President of the Sail Training Association Italia and Chairman of the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta Race Committee, thanked the Mayor of Genoa for her considerable support in making the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta such a huge success. He also introduced the Garibaldi family to the crews who gave them a rapturous welcome.
Prizes were awarded as follows:
- Winner of the Basketball: Pandora (Italy)
- Winner of the Volleyball: Den Store Bjørn (Denmark)
- Winner of the Rowing: Pandora (Italy)
- Most supportive vessel in all activities: Tenacious (UK)
- Ship that participated in most sports: Pandora (Italy)
- Trainee placed on vessel by STA Italia that is furthest from home: Gordon Loader from Glasgow who is sailing on Pamadica (Italy)
- An award from AMIU to a ship that has displayed excellent environmental awareness: Orsa Maggiore (Italy)
- Ship furthest from home: Akela (St Petersburg, Russia)
- Ship most spectacular in the crew parade: Pogoria (Poland)
- Ship most prepared for the vessel inspection: Hansa (Spain), who sent in their fully completed inspection form one month before the event.
- Special award from the Garibaldi family to the best dressed ship in port: Akela (Russia)
- Special award from the Garibaldi family to the youngest captain to take part in the race: Magda Makowska, aged 22, of Runaway (Italy).
Following the prize giving a special display of the Lion Dance was performed in and around the crews to everyone's amusement. Finally a choir of young children sang the UNICEF song and received a huge cheer as the finished.
The crews then departed to take part in the crew party where dancing, food and beer was available throughout the evening.