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Tall Ships Races 2017: Turku ‘honoured’ to host fleet for record fifth time

Posted on: 22.07.17

Crowds flocked to Turku on Saturday (22 July) to visit the stunning fleet taking part in the Tall Ships Races 2017.

Young people representing 31 different countries will set sail on Sunday for a spectacular Parade of Sail ahead of the start of Race 3 on Monday afternoon.

Turku Mayor expresses ‘honour’ at hosting fleet for record fifth time

Addressing the crews, the Mayor of Turku, Aleksi Randell, said:

“It’s an honour to host the fleet for the fifth time. Turku has now hosted the Tall Ships more times than any other port in the Baltic.”

Memorable times for trainees in Turku

Since arriving in Turku trainees have enjoyed a wide range of sports and cultural activities including bubble football, Finnish darts and river rowing races organised by the City of Turku.

Elina Karjalainen, 22, is a sports instructor from Helsinki who sailed into Turku earlier this week as one of the trainees on board Valborg (Finland).

Originally signed up Race 1 from Halmstad to Kotka, Elina had “so much fun” that she grabbed the opportunity to stay on board for the Cruise-in-Company from Kotka to Turku.

“My family have a summer cottage in Porvoo, where Valborg and Astrid [another Finnish sail training vessel] were built so I’ve always dreamed of taking part in a Tall Ships Race.

“As part of a crew of 19 from Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands, Elina soon overcame her initial apprehension and relished being part of the close-knit team.

“At first I was afraid about getting up to do night watches but it went really well and it was great to be part of such a good team.”

“To any young people thinking about getting on board, I would say: ‘Go now and just do it!'”

“I’ve been doing social media updates during the voyage so all my friends have been following me and they are all so interested in what I’m doing.

“My friends are all so inspired and now they want to do it too.”

Identical twins, Paulina Seidler and Karolina Seidler, are sailing on board Zryw (Poland) in the Tall Ships Races 2017. The two 17-year-olds, who sailed for the first time this spring, are from Szczecin in Poland, the final port of call for the fleet.

“It took a while for our captain to work out the difference between the two of us but now he knows,” Paulina said.

“We love the energy and atmosphere here in Turku. It has always been my dream to visit this part of the world so I’m very happy to be here,” Karolina said.

Host port seminar hailed A ‘resounding success’

The visit to Turku has also provided an ideal opportunity to bring together more than 50 delegates representing 18 past, present and future host cities for the Tall Ships Races & Regattas. Sail Training International’s Host Port Seminar was held in the city today to coincide with the visit of the Tall Ships Races 2017 and Commercial Director Paul Thompson said it had been a “resounding success”.

“Today’s seminar provided the ideal opportunity for host port representatives to experience the spirit and spectacle of the Tall Ships Races first hand while also having the opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world and hear from experienced presenters during the formal seminar programme,” he said.

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

Watch the action fleet departs from Turku using YB Satellite Tracking.

What’s Next?

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: The Tall Ships Races 2017 Race fleet in the River Aura ahead of Sunday’s departure and Parade of Sail. (Credit: Olli Sulin for the City of Turku)