The Tall Ships Races 2011, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International came to a close today as Constantia, the only Swedish vessel to have taken part in each leg, became the first vessel to leave Halmstad in the final Parade of Sail for this Race Series.
Halmstad certainly ensured the Race Series ended on a high with Captains and crews full of compliments for the host city which has been home to the fleet for the first time.
Constantia was closely followed by Colombian Class A military ship, ARC Gloria, in the Parade of Sail. The Captain and crew have have been determined to bring a taste of Colombia to The Tall Ships Races with delicious coffee, Colombian music and 100 footballs on board!
Rumour has it the crew play three-aside on the main deck which gets extremely competitive as they compete for extra food and sleep. At 0500 each morning, the cadets clean the ship from bow to stern polishing every piece of brass which explains why Gloria always looks stunning and perhaps why the football tournament is taken so seriously!
The final ship to depart in the Parade of Sail was Norwegian Class A vessel, Christian Radich. The ship started off this Race Series in true traditional form by taking first place in Race One from Waterford to Greenock. However, this Race Series has produced some surprising results.
Paul Bishop, Race Director, comments: “The Tall Ships Races 2011 Race Series has provided the crews of the 87 participating vessels with a wide variety of racing conditions since they started Race One from Waterford on 3 July. They have experienced some thrilling and exhilarating sailing but they have also had to contend with many frustrating and challenging times in the light and variable winds.
"The level of competition at sea amongst many of the crews has been intense but the spirit of this international fleet from 15 nations during the host port programmes ashore has been fantastic. The variety of sailing conditions has produced a spread of winners in the overall Race Series with a complete cross-section of types of vessels from a spread of nationalities.
"The Tall Ships 2011 has been a great success thanks to the professionalism of the Captains and Officers, the enthusiasm of the young crews and excellent organisation of the host ports of Waterford, Greenock, Lerwick, Stavanger and Halmstad.”
The fleet has now departed which concludes The Tall Ships Races 2011. It has been a fantastic Race Series enjoyed by all who may now start to turn their thoughts to next year.
The Tall Ships Races 2012, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International will start in Saint Malo, France (Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 July) with Race One heading to Lisbon, Portugal (Saturday 19 – Sunday 22 July).
Race Two will end in Cadiz, Spain (Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 July), with the fleet taking part in Cruise-In-Company heading to A Coruna, Spain (Friday 10 – Monday 13 August).
Race Three and the Race Series will conclude in the Irish port of Dublin (Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 August).
If you can’t wait until then, check our website for information about our other sail training events. Sail Training International looks forward to seeing you all again soon and trainees don't forget there is still time to enter our 2011 Photo and Film Competition!