Back to Google News (external - login to view) Breathtaking tall ships event launches in Poland
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WARSAW (AFP) The world's most breathtaking tall ships arrived with sails billowing in the Polish Baltic Sea port of Gdynia on Thursday, ahead of the launch of the month-long Tall Ships Races 2009.
"These are the largest and most beautiful sailing ships in the world, the atmosphere is unparalleled and the event is an absolute pleasure for sea-lovers," Jaroslaw Walczak, a member of the organising team, told AFP.
Some 105 vessels from 17 countries, with a total of 3,000 crew members, will participate in the 423 nautical mile race starting Sunday.
The first leg across the Baltic from Gdansk will end in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the ships will moor July 11-14 before leaving for Turku, Finland for a July 23-26 stop.
They are then expected to arrive in Klaipeda, Lithuania on July 31 in the final leg of the race.
Twenty-one breathtaking class A, square rigged sail ships are in the fleet.
At 122 metres in length, Russia's four-masted Sedov, the largest training ship in the world, moored Thursday in Gdynia. Measuring 108.8 metres in length, Poland's Dar Mlodziezy is the second largest ship in this year's race.
The Lord Nelson, a 42.8-metre ship from Britain, is fully accessible to the disabled, while the green sails and hull of Germany's 62.6-metre Alexander Von Humboldt make it one of the most distinctive vessels in the race.
At 112-year-old, Denmark's fully functional 25.92 metre-long Skiblander II is the oldest.
Half of the crew members are under 25. Held annually, the Tall Ships Races are organised by Sail Training International, a registered charity focused on youth education through sailing.
I must go back to sea again...........