By the decision of the Turku City Board in spring 2020, the tall ships event was already planned in Turku for summer 2021, but the event had to be cancelled due to safety restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, the preparations can move forward as usual over the next three years.
The Tall Ships Races is Europe’s largest free-of-charge family event, offering plenty of accompanying events for both the spectators and ship crew members. Six host ports will participate in the 2024 Tall Ships Races, as many as three of which are located in Finland. In addition to Turku, all the other cities that were involved in preparing for the 2021 event will also be participating: Klaipėda in Lithuania, Tallinn in Estonia, Mariehamn on the Åland Islands and Szczecin in Poland. Helsinki will join in as a new port welcoming the tall ships.
Turku will be the start and finish port of the race, but the start and finish line will be on open water near Utö.
“I am happy to have the chance to welcome this wonderful marine event in Turku again after the cancellation last summer. We can utilise our earlier preparatory work, which means that we already have a head start,” says Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.
The City of Turku has hosted the Tall Ships Races four times in 1996, 2003, 2009 and 2017. In addition to this, the Culture Tall Ships Regatta sailing event was held in 2011 in cooperation with Gdynia and Klaipėda to celebrate the year as the European Capital of Culture. The event has been the largest public event of the year in Finland each time.
Last time, the Tall Ships Races event was held in Turku in the Finnish independence jubilee year 2017, when the event broke records in the number of spectators and ships alike. Ninety-six ships from 21 different countries sailed on the Aura River, and more than 500,000 people attended the event. Based on research, the regional economic impact of the event was between 36 and 40 million euros.
The Tall Ships Races 2024
- Klaipėda, Lithuania, 27–30 June
- Race 1
- Helsinki 4–7 July
- Cruise in Company
- Tallinn, Estonia, 11–14 July
- Race 2
- Turku 18–21 July
- Race 3
- Mariehamn 24–27 July
- Race 4
- Szczecin, Poland, 2–5 August
Further information: Sail Training International -web pages (new window)