The four day festival in Genoa has been a great success with over 125,000 people estimated to have visited the ships so far and enjoyed the carnival atmosphere in the whole city. Last night the city enjoyed a 'white night' when every Piazza held some form of entertainment and a big firework display over the Porto Antico at midnight kept the public entertained.
Yesterday the captains observed a minute's silence in respect for the tragic death of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski. In addition, all the vessels are flying their ship ensigns at half mast in respect. There are a number of Polish crew taking part in the event, as well as the ship Pogoria, so all are understandably shocked by the tragedy.
Today the fleet will begin undocking at around 1030 hrs with the Parade of Sail due to start at 1200 when the fleet will sail along the coast and past the Socglio dei Mille (Rock of the Thousands) which is the exact place that Guiseppe Garibaldi left Genoa en route to Sicily 150 years ago. On the rock will be Anita Garibaldi, the great grand-daughter of Guiseppe Garibaldii, who will salute the vessels as they pass.
Once the fleet reach Camogli they will head off towards the start area, some three miles off the Pta della Chiappa for the race start at 1600 hrs.
The weather forecast is not particularly good for a race start, with low winds expected and even a period of total calm possible during the afternoon. If the race cannot start at 1600 hrs, there will be an hour's delay in the hope of more wind. If sufficient wind still does not materialise then the fleet will have to motor down the race course towards Trapani for 60 miles to a point where they will again attempt a race start. Everyone hopes that this will not be necessary and that the fleet get off to a good start today.