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Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta - The spectacular culmination

by FNOB on 25 Sep 2013
Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta 2013 © Santi Serrat
The grand parade of the 27 boats has been the astounding culmination to four days in which Barcelona has vibrated with the great vessels from the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta which were moored at Port Vell. It has been four days fully open to the public in which locals and enthusiasts from around the world have taken part in the great celebration of the culture of the sea. Around 200,000 people gathered in the Port Vell to be part of the most spectacular event of 'Sea of Mercè'.

At the exhibit Barcelona Sails in the village of Portal de la Pau, more than 3,000 young people took part in the educational workshops that have been conducted daily and were again the main protagonists of the last festive day.

At 11 am, the boats began the dock out with an emotional farewell to the public who, once again, made the most out of the festival of La Mercè to be part of the sailing celebration offered by the Port Vell.

At noon began in front of the W Hotel, the grand parade through the city’s waterfront. Slowly and majestically the Tall Ships, headed by Russian Kruzenshtern, were sailing powered by a gentle breeze of about 10 knots along the Barcelona’s waterfront, to finish in front of Badalona. There, at 17h00, the race started toward the French port of Toulon, where they are expected to arrive on September 27th. The grand parade, in which not all boats chose to hoist all their sails, was a great opportunity to appreciate in full sailing mode the classic rigs that have been the protagonists of the last two centuries of sailing.

Yesterday afternoon, at the Saló de Cent of Barcelona’s Town Hall, the City Mayor, Xavier Trias, and the Generalitat’s Presidency General Secretary and vice president of the Consorci El Far, Jordi Vilajoana gave a reception to the captains, officials and organizers of the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta. Since it was also the centenary of the poet Salvador Espriu’s birth, the event featured a moving recital of a selection of poems by the Catalan poet related to the sea. Poetess Odile Arqué recited the poems in Catalan and in English accompanied by guitarist Eduard Iniesta.

In the act Xavier Trias and Jordi Vilajoana presented the commemorative half models to the captains of the awarded vessels in the classes A, B, C and D:

· Captain Andrey Orlov. Boat MIR
· Captain Doru Todoran. Boat Adornate
· Captain Tom O'Learly. Boat Spirit of Oysterhaven
· Captain Aleksei Chegurov. Boat Akela
· Mr. Joaquim Marias, Tall Ships Commissioner in Barcelona

These boats received the award since they are the ones that have sailed the longest distance to be here, as representatives of each class taking part in the Tall Ships Regatta.

Jordi Vilajoana, as vice president of the Consorci El Far, was very pleased to have been able to share these days with the crews of the Tall Ships, emphasizing on the shared values with the Consorci in their formative work: 'At the Consorci we have spent many years working on these values , recovering the culture of the sea for the city and applying their values in education and training of young people. I can assure you that we are thrilled with initiatives like Grumet Èxit, Grumets amb Cor and the Escola Drassana and reinforce us to continue working in this direction.'

Xavier Triasclosed the ceremony, placing the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta on the line of events open to the sea that characterize Barcelona and that have the Barcelona World Race as a great example of human and technological development. Barcelona’s Mayor also highlighted the importance of the sea as the birthplace and union of cultures: 'At all the events open to the sea, citizen participation has been the common bond that strengthens, not only this way of seeing the world, but to also of relating to the world. The sea as a union, the sea as a common language, as birthplace of cultures that have been key in the development of our relationship with all the people.'

The grand parade of the Tall Ships happened to be at the same time as the arrival of the first classified boats in the Generali Solo, the solo race of which the first leg went from the French port of Cavalaire-sur-Mer to Barcelona. The 17 entries began docking in their Figaro Solo in front of the Portal de la Pau, next to the Moll de la Fusta, where also the International Boat Show of Barcelona opened today. The solo sailors will be in Barcelona until Sunday the 29th, when they will start the second leg to Beaulieu-sur-Mer. While in Barcelona, the 17 sailors will compete in two inshore races in front of the city’s Event website
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