The large sailing vessels left the River Aura on Sunday 23 July. The Parade of Sails at Airisto was spectacular ‒ hundreds of spectators came by boat to see it and thousands of visitors sat watching on the cliffs. Also President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö watched the parade at Airisto from his yacht Kultaranta VIII.

The event in Turku was an overall success. The weather was excellent and there were no major incidents.

- This has been the best edition of the Tall Ships Races of all time here in Turku. The atmosphere was awesome and we set a new visitor record for the Tall Ships Races. The first estimate of visitor numbers is a total of 544,000, said Kimmo Hyyppä, Turku’s Tall Ships Races 2017 Project Manager.

- Working towards this grand event started years ago and the last few days have demonstrated that thorough preparation is worthwhile. I am very pleased with the positive spirit of the Tall Ships Races, the Deputy Mayor Jarkko Virtanen said.

- Each of the five Tall Ships Races events held in Turku have had their unique character. The story began in 1996 when the riverbanks were renovated. In 2003, we celebrated in a flood of visitors around a Mexican vessel. In 2009, an enormous concert hall was set up in the area and a record in the number of ships in the Baltic Sea was made with 115 vessels. In 2011, we celebrated Turku’s year as the European Capital of Culture. Now, in 2017, the most striking point was the enormous number of visitors and on the basis of feedback, the event area and its services were very classy and practical, Hyyppä stated.

- The event extended vastly to the eastern bank of the River Aura and the public was evenly gathered on both sides. The weather has always been favourable during the event in Turku. Apart from a few showers on Thursday, the Tall Ships Races will again be remembered as a sunny and summery event.

- The atmosphere during the event was safe and happy, the visitors on the riverbank were cheerful.

- The event organisation of the City of Turku is truly put to test this week, when straight after the sailing vessels comes Europeade, the largest folk culture event in Europe. Already at the beginning of the week, 6 200 dancing and playing guests from 24 European countries arrive in Turku, Hyyppä said.

The international main organiser impressed with Turku

- The Tall Ships fleet’s visit to Turku for a record fifth time has been a resounding success. The River Aura has once again provided a superb intimate location for the fleet, giving visitors a close-up view of the diverse range of vessels taking part in this year’s event, Knut Western, Race Chairman for the Tall Ships Races 2017, said.

- The crew members who visited Turku will always remember their time in this beautiful city where the received an incredibly warm welcome. We’re delighted that around 50 young people from Turku are on board various vessels in the fleet for Race 2 from Turku to Klaipeda.

- I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the excellent team here in Turku, especially the large number of dedicated volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to make this event such a phenomenal success, Western said.

The event in Turku provided an excellent opportunity to gather representatives of previous and upcoming host ports of the Tall Ships Races together.

- Our seminar became a success. More than 50 delegates represented 18 different ports and many new opportunities were found for collaboration, Sail Training International’s Commercial Director Paul Thompson said.

Next the ships head towards Klaipeda, Lithuania. This year, the Tall Ships Races will end in Szczecin, Poland, on 8 August.

 

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