Throughout the day the 28 participants of the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta have been docking in the Port Vell, for the sailing competition that takes place in two stages: Barcelona - Toulon and Toulon - La Spezia. From September 21st to the 24th, the boats will be moored in Barcelona’s Port Vell and will be open to the public at certain times. The visiting public will have access to the boats and will learn about these wonders of the sea, unique in the world.
The event already has a solid background in the city, since it was the host port in 2004 and 2007 of other congregations of these extraordinary ships which were a great success of participation. This year, it happens at the same time as the festival of La Mercè which creates the perfect setting to further integrate the event with the public in the activities of La Mercè and the Sea.
The highlight today was the arrival of the giant four-masted barque Kruzenshtern mooring its more than 114 meters of beautiful steel hull on the Moll de Barcelona, opposite the World Trade Centre. With Russian flag, the Kruzenshtern is one of the few representatives left of the last great sailing merchants who remained active until World War II.
Mir also arrived today, unofficially named as 'the fastest', in reference to its proven speed. The Russian tall ship, which is the great reference of modern ships dedicated to training of sailing, majestically raises its three enormous fully rigged masts at the beginning of the Moll de Barcelona.
In the same dock as Mir, Santa Maria Manuela is moored, a Gaff four-masted schooner which is one of the last survivors of the famous Forta Branca Portuguesa. Its captain, Antonio São Marcos, speaks enthusiastically about the traditional sailing which is the basis of the culture of the sea and emphasizes that these vessels carry out an extraordinary job training and educating young people from all kinds of cultures: 'Today anyone over 14 years old who wants to learn to sail can join us, participating in all the tasks of the boat and always accompanied by a professional sailor. The educational program includes knowledge of sail trim, assistance to navigation officers, rigging, etc.' The Portuguese Captain remarks that sharing the tasks and living together develops in students a sense of teamwork and civic awareness. 'All functions on the boat are essential for its proper development, - states - even those that seem less important.' São Marcos values the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta as a special moment to share experiences with other skippers and other crews. 'It's the Barcelona party. It is a unique opportunity, people has to go to the harbor to see this historical heritage, because this does not happen every day.'
In the Portal de la Pau, in front of the statue of Columbus, the regatta village is preparing for opening to the public tomorrow. The village will present a spherical central tent which exhibits various activities from the organizers and sponsors and the tents of the exhibition 'Barcelona Sails'. In this exhibition, the public can participate in free activities and fully open to everyone, as well as finding information about the activities of the Consorci El Far and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB), institutions that organize the event in Barcelona with Sail Training International ( STI ).
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6:52 PM Fri 20 Sep 2013GMT
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