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99 sailing ships and half-million tourists to visit Riga during "Tall Ships Races 2013"

BC, Riga, 01.05.2013.Print version
99 training ships and yachts from about twenty countries, with a total of approximately 3,500 crewmembers representing 35 countries, will visit Riga during the "Tall Ships Races" international regatta that, in terms of significance and due to its major scale, will be on par with the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Riga; the regatta is expected to bring around half-million tourists to Riga, as the organizers of the Riga leg of the regatta told a press conference on April 30, informs LETA.

The Riga leg of the regatta will be held July 25 through July 28. During these four days, Riga will host a variety of free cultural and recreational events, and the general public will be able to see the ships that visit the Riga port. This year, the regatta will start in Arhus, proceed to Helsinki, then to Riga, and finish in Szczecin.


Riga Vice Mayor, Freeport of Riga CEO Andris Ameriks (Honor to Serve Riga) said that this is a major challenge for Riga. There is not enough room in the port to accommodate all these ships, and serious planning will have to be done so that they are given the welcome they deserve and served properly. Also, the large Tallink cruise liners will continue their business during the regatta as they could not be rescheduled to other piers in the vicinity of the commercial port as this would have meant overly complex solutions.


Also, some half-million tourists will visit Riga for the "Tall Ships Races" – which is one-third of the total number of tourists who visited Riga last year. "Riga has not hosted such a major event since the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the city," stressed Ameriks. In 2003, when Riga also participated in the "Tall Ships Races", the city was also visited by about half-million tourists. Ten years ago, Riga was awarded the title of the best host of the regatta, therefore organizers of the regatta are confident that this year the event will be as successful.


Former Riga City Council member Sarmite Pika is in charge of organizing the event in Riga. According to Pika, there will be many interesting and exciting events when the regatta visits Riga. The National Armed Forces will offer the public to visit the patrol ship "Skrunda", there will be an exhibition of vintage cars, crews from the ships competing in the regatta will participate in a parade via Riga's Old Town, plus the sailing ships will also participate in a spectacular parade as they leave Riga.


During the four days, any Rigan or guest of the city will be able to board and tour the ships anchored at the Riga Port, and talk to the crews. The largest numbers of sailing ships arriving in Riga will be from Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Germany, Norway and Netherlands. The "Cisne Branco" will travel to Riga all the way from Brazil, and the "Shabab Oman" from Oman, the only sailing ship to win the main regatta prize, will also visit Riga. The oldest ships will be "Caroline af Sandes", "Liv" and "Wyvern" from Norway, built in 1885, 1893 and 1897, respectively.


C-class yacht "Spaniel" and D-class yacht "Galaxy" will represent Latvia at the "Tall Ships Races".


The Riga leg of the regatta is organized by the Riga City Council, Riga Tourism Development Bureau, Freeport of Riga Authority and Latvian Sail Training Association in collaboration with the Riga Passenger Terminal, yacht center "Andrejosta", Ministry of Defense and private sponsors. The Riga City Council and the Freeport of Riga will spend EUR 1 million on organization of the event.

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