'Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta'
© Santi Serrat
In excess of 54,000 people visited the Port Vell yesterday to admire the vessels of the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta and visit the facilities of the exhibition 'Barcelona Sails' in the village at Portal de la Pau. The youngest were the main protagonists on a day were the sun didn’t stop shining.
Along the Moll de Barcelona, where the giants are moored Mir, Cisne Branco, Belem, Gulden Leeuw, Santa Maria Manuela and Kruzenshtern, the public waited in long queues to get on board of the best representatives of the great school of traditional sailing, vessels where hundreds of students are trained in ocean journeys to learn the basics of navigation.
In the Moll d' Espanya there are moored 11 jewels of classic sailing. Ships like La Recouvrance, Atyla, Johanna Lucretia, Pandora, Hoëdic and Far Barcelona, are admired among lovers of classic boats. While in the Moll de Drassanes, the German training ship Alexander von Humboldt II, unmistakable for its green hull and gold rigging, is supported by the floating dock where smaller boats are moored.
Galaxie is one of the projects that best represents the spirit of the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta. Galaxie is a racing boat from the 70’s, which was donated to the NGO Joves Navegants (Young Sailors) to give the opportunity to learn how to sail to boys and girls in risk of social exclusion or disabled. They can also take part in both offshore and inshore regattas and to become aware of the environment.
'The sea is therapeutic for people with problems and those who do not', said the first officer Bernadí Mata. 'These kids are used to doing what they want due to their personal situations, and here they find themselves in an environment where they can’t function without teamwork and collaboration. When they return to their youth centres, their teachers congratulate us for the positive change the kids have been through. These benefits are not only short term. There are kids who discover their vocation sailing with us, such as the case of a student who has ended up becoming captain of the marine navy.' said the first officer.
For the crew, the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta is an opportunity to socialize and to know other similar projects, learn their way of working, and even exchange students. Those responsible for the children are delighted with the spirit and the organizational capacity of the city of Barcelona. Bernadí Mata said: 'It's a city where cultures from around the world come together. For our guys, this is like visiting London or New York, and we must admit that Barcelona is a specialist in culture'.
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3:39 PM Sun 22 Sep 2013GMT
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