The pride of the Brazilian navy, the Cisne Branco, is the latest crowd-puller to enrol in the Tall Ships Races in Turku this summer. Built in Amsterdam in 1999, the full-rigged ship is 76 metres long.

The name Cisne Branco means ‘white swan’, and it is the first Brazilian vessel in the history of the Tall Ships Races events to arrive in Turku. The ship is used both as a training ship for cadets in the Brazilian navy, and as the international cultural ambassador of the country. The ship has a crew of 84.

A record-breaking 73 ships have registered to come to Turku at this point, 15 of which are class A vessels. They come from a total of 16 countries. Not all ships that register for the event visit all five ports in the competition. However, more ships are expected in Turku than the other ports, because it is the middle port of the route.

Efforts continued to bring in exotic ships

- During the application phase of the event, we decided to truly invest in bringing exotic ships to Turku. In 2003, the Mexican vessel Cuauhtémoc visited Turku, but since then, all of the participants have come from the Baltic Sea or the Black Sea. This time, negotiations with the captains and operators of ships as well as the embassies of various countries were started in the early stages of planning, says Kimmo Hyyppä, project manager of the event.

- Representatives from all five ports participating in the 2017 Tall Ships event cooperated in attracting ships from further away to the Baltic Sea. We invited the ambassadors of approximately 20 potential sailing ship countries to the presentation events in Stockholm, Warsaw and Helsinki. In addition, we organised a five port reception in Lisbon last summer, and invited the captains of some ships to the event. We also met with captains in Varna, Bulgaria, Quebec, Canada, and Halmstad, Sweden.

- Registration is still open for several months, but it already seems that we are going to be getting a huge number of ships in Turku. In 2009, a total of 121 ships registered for the Tall Ships Races, 115 of which arrived in Turku. We hope this record will be broken this summer, Hyyppä says, in anticipation.