The Tall Ships Race 2011 takes place from the 30th June with the last race ending on 8th August. The idea of the Tall Ships Races is for young people from different countries to form contacts and relationships with like minded people. Half of each vessel is a crew of youths aged between 15 and 25 years old and are known as trainees. All the ships that enter range from an A class to a D class. In each class the fastest ship will win a prize, there is also a prize for the crew that has established the best international relationships and the winning crew is voted for among all the crews on each of the vessels taking part.
The first race takes part in Waterford, Ireland starting at 7am on Sunday, 3rd July. The race starts at the mouth of the Suir and passes by some superb vantage points along the way! However the festival itself starts on the 30th June with most of the tall ships open to the public from the Thursday till the Saturday before the race sets sail!
The next destination is Greenock in Scotland with the festivities starting from 9th July. On the afternoon of the 9th July Greenock will hold an opening festival showcasing the very best of local talent ranging from music, theatre, dance and even more! On the 10th July there will be an explosion of culture and colour as the sailing nations Crew will parade their way through Greenock with colourful music and songs that will fulfil audiences with joy. There will also be 3 performance stages that will host international music acts from Lulu, Deacon Blue and many more to be announced as well as the local performers. There will also be plenty of other things to do such as visit market stalls, children’s activities, street performers and water based activities there will be something for the whole family!
The tall ships depart Greenock on the 12th July at 1pm starting with the tall ships parade that you can view from the Inverclyde Waterfront for the best sights of these tall ships all passing the port as they begin to make their way to the next destination!
The tall ships will finally arrive in Lerwick on the Shetland Isles. Lerwick similar to Greenock also has a busy four days of festivities with music, dance, market stalls and a variety of children’s activities and much more including another crew parade! The tall ships arrive in Lerwick on the 21st July and depart on the 24th heading towards Stavanger, Norway.
Arriving in Stavanger, Norway on the 28th July the ships will be berthed in the inner harbour in the middle of the city. The tall ships are based in Stavanger until the 31st July. The programme again involves both crew and the public and is very similar to the previous stopping points during this tall ships race, however this time there is a Norwegian twist which will bring a whole new atmosphere and culture for the stop over.
Finally on the 5th August the tall ships enter Halstead in Sweden on completion of the Tall Ships Race 2011 to come to an end. To celebrate there will be a party on the quay with food, one of the biggest mobile Ferris wheels in Europe, market stalls, children’s activities, music, dance, theatre and much more! The prize ceremony will be held in the central square and is preceded by a crew parade for the final time with all activities ending on the 8th August leaving everyone who has been involved with the tall ships race 2011 with some memorable memories that will last a life time.