Photos and text by Tim Bird, July 2013
Attracting half a million spectators, the Tall Ships Races formed the biggest single event in Helsinki’s calendar for 2013. The Finnish capital rose to the occasion with flying colours and with wind in its sails.
About 100 sailing boats and ships of varying sizes and historical vintage crammed Helsinki’s Hietalahti Marina in late July in a celebration of sail. Crewed mostly by youngsters and witnessed by more than half a million visitors during their four-day call, the ships added extra zest to summer in the city. The presence in town of 3,300 crew members from 37 different countries also contributed a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The event began with the glorious arrival of the Mexican navy’s Cuauhtemoc on the morning of July 17 and concluded with the graceful departure of the whole armada in a majestic Parade of Sail on July 20.
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