A proposal will be introduced to Turku City Board on Monday on the City of Turku seeking to host the Tall Ships Races event in 2021 and beginning negotiations on a host port contract with Sail Training International (STI). An opportunity to host the event for the sixth time came as the hosting port status of St. Petersburg was cancelled.

The next Tall Ships Races event in the Baltic Sea region is organised from 27 June to 3 August 2021 and the event would take place in Turku from 7 July to 10 July 2021.

The initiative to host the event came from Sail Training International, which organises the Tall Ship Races events, after it ceased negotiations with St. Petersburg. According to the original plan for 2021, the order of hosting cities during the races was supposed to be Klaipeda, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Mariehamn and Szczecin. If Turku replaces St. Petersburg, it will also act as the final port of the first race taking place from Klaipeda to Turku.

If negotiations result in mutual understanding, Sail Training International will make a host port contract with the City of Turku for 2021. The decision on approving the host port contract will be made by the City Board.

- In 2021, Turku celebrates the 10th anniversary of being the European Capital of Culture. The grand Tall Ships Races event with magnificent vessels and a great atmosphere will be a perfect culmination of the anniversary, says Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.

- The event also supports the Turku’s efforts for the Baltic Sea, as the focus is not only on youth activity and internationality but also heavily on environmental protection, she adds.

Normally, hosting ports are selected and preparations initiated approximately three years before the event. However, the tight schedule does not raise concerns in Turku.

- Turku is very experienced in organising international sailing vessel events. I believe that we will now benefit from it and that we will again have a wonderful maritime summer event enjoyed by the whole country, says Arve.

The City of Turku has acted as a hosting port for Tall Ships Races four times in 1996, 2003, 2009 and 2017. In addition, the Culture Tall Ships Regatta event was organised in collaboration with Gdynia and Klaipeda in 2011 when Turku was the European Capital of Culture. Every time the event has been the biggest public event of the year in Finland.

The last time Turku hosted Tall Ships Races was in 2017, the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence. The event broke records both in terms of number of audience and participating vessels, as 96 vessels arrived from 21 different countries and over 500, 000 people took part in the event. Based on research, the regional economic effects of the event were between 36 and 40 million euros.