Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Mayor of Waterford and distinguished guests, including Sail Training International’s Event Chairman, Knut Western, officially opened The Tall Ships Races 2011 in front of thousands yesterday.
The event, organised by Sail Training International and presented by Szczecin involves sail trainers and tall ship operators from all over the world with a purpose to develop and educate young people of all nationalities.
Knut Western, Event Chairman, The Tall Ships Races 2011, said: “The Tall Ships Races are the jewel in the crown of sail training. We are proud to be back in host port Waterford, which is the starting point of a series of races that will go from here to Greenock and Lerwick in the UK, then Stavanger in Norway and finish in Halmstad Sweden, five weeks from now. Waterford did a great job of hosting the event in 2005 and we have high expectations again this year as the whole community have worked hard to deliver a fantastic event.”
The port of Waterford is hosting 1,022 trainees and 424 crew on board 44 vessels from 12 different countries in addition to half a million visitors expected this weekend, all of whom are welcomed by the local community.