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Tall Ships Races 2017: Trainees visit ‘paradise islands’ during Cruise-in-Company to Turku

Posted on: 18.07.17

Many of the international crews taking part in the Tall Ships Races 2017 are navigating the stunning Finnish coastline on Tuesday (18 July) as they take part in the Cruise-in-Company from Kotka towards the Finnish port of Turku.

Anchored in paradise

Justine Tilmant, 19, an navy officer-cadet sailing on board HNLMS Urania, reports that they anchored overnight on Monday “in the middle of nowhere” between some of the islands in the archipelago.

“With the sun, it looks like paradise. After a delicious dinner, we had the opportunity to visit the little islands a bit and it was really fantastic. We had a really nice view of the Urania and the backdrop is very beautiful,” she said.

An international mix of crew is on board Urania for the Cruise-in-Company including representatives from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The German crew arrived in Kotka minus their kit after their bags went missing in transit.

“The airline lost them and there was no way to get them on time to the ship. This meant that the midshipmen of the other countries are sharing their clothes with them. It’s good that sailing it’s a team sport!” crew member Ben Clarke said.

‘Beautiful landscapes’ en route to Turku

Juhani Toikka, Cruise-in-Company Coordinator from the Sail Training Association Finland, was on hand in Kotka to share his organisation’s in-depth knowledge of local waters with the vessels taking part.

“The crews will be experiencing beautiful landscapes en route from Kotka to Turku. It is very special to cruise between the islands but the navigation through the archipelago can be very challenging so that will be keeping everybody on their toes,” he said.

Juhani said that in addition to a large number of vessels visiting Tallinn, 20-25 were heading for Nauvo, 20 were heading for Hanko and 10 for Kasnas.

Warm welcome in Tallinn

Some of the larger ships taking part in the Tall Ships Races 2017, who are restricted in where they can visit due to their size, headed for Tallinn where a Captains’ Dinner was held at the House of the Black Heads on Monday night.

Race Director for the Tall Ships Races 2017 Mike Bowles, who attended the dinner in the Estonian capital, said:

“Although it is a fleeting visit, Tallinn has given the 40 vessels from the Tall Ships Races 2017 fleet a very warm welcome as they did back in 1992, and last night’s Captains’ Dinner attended by the Mayor and the Chairman of the City Council was an excellent event,” he said.

The fleet is scheduled to arrive in Turku, where a busy programme of events is planned during the four-day port visit, by midday on Thursday.

About the Tall Ships Races 2017

The Tall Ships Races 2017 is taking place in four different countries and five ports, with three exciting race legs across the Baltic Sea and a spectacular Cruise-in-Company. The event has attracted an incredible fleet of more than 100 vessels, and participation from an awesome number of trainees from around the world. There are trainee places available on each of the race legs and the Cruise-in-Company – book your place directly with a participating vessel.

Follow the Fleet

Follow the fleet on their adventures using YB Satellite Tracking.

Get involved

Want to get involved with the Tall Ships Races 2017? There are still berths available – secure your place today! Check out our event page for more information. Book your place directly with a participating vessel.

Photo: HNLMS Urania at anchor during the Cruise-in-Company from Kotka to Turku. (credit: HNLMS Urania)