The Tall Ships Races 2011 - Stavanger, officially opened this evening to the sound of a shanty echoing around the harbour with cadets on Statsraad Lehmkulhl, crews and the general public joining-in to set the tone of the event.
The Mayor of Stavanger invited one representative from each nation involved in the event to place a rose in tribute and memory of the victims of the recent tragic events in Norway. The fleet of 70 has Tall Ships from 13 different nations.
Following a one mintue silence, the Mayor, Leif Johan Seviand, addressed trainees and crew: "Dear Youth. You are our courage and our hope. You are in many ways the captains of our future. Soon, you will be the ones shaping the new tomorrow. I hope you will take pride in the sailing experience of the Tall Ships Races and seek friendship, wisdom and adventure together."
Local organisers are keen for all visitors and crews to take away a positive experience with international friendships and understanding developed through sail training regardless of cultural, relgious or social background - the ehos behind Sail Training Internaitonal, organiser of The Tall Ships Races, presented by Szczecin.