The world's largest training regatta ‘The Tall Ships Races’ will not take place this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing spread of the pandemic. The regatta will return to the Baltic Sea in 2024. Instead, Tallinn will be holding an impressive maritime festival in the five ports of Tallinn this summer, taking place in 16-18 July.
Vadim Belobrovtsev, deputy mayor of Tallinn, admits that the decision was made with a heavy heart. “We were hoping until the very last moment that this year’s ‘The Tall Ships Races’ regatta would be taking place in its normal grandiose manner. Due to the restrictions which have been imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing spread of the virus, however, we were forced to make this hard decision along with the other ports which were supposed to be hosting the regatta this year, confirming that the 2021 training regatta will be postponed until 2024.” Belobrovtsev explained. “However, we still wish to offer positive emotions to the townspeople and city visitors, so instead of the regatta, we are organising a maritime event in five ports of the city centre. We will also be expecting some ships to visit which usually take part in the ‘Tall Ships Races’ regatta, so perhaps we will even be able to organise a smaller regatta in cooperation with Klaipeda and Szczecin.”
From 16 to 18 of July, following all restrictions and the instructions of the Health Board, a maritime and family festival will be taking place in the Old City Harbour cruise area, as well as in the Kalaranna Quarter, around the Patarei Sea Fortress, at the Seaplane Harbour, and in the Noblessner Port area. Artists from Estonia and abroad will be providing entertainment in the ports as well as on the water. There will be outdoor cafés, children’s play areas, a fish market, and a handicraft fair, as well as a sea taxi which will be transporting participants from one port to another. As per tradition, the maritime festival is free for all participants.
The ‘Tall Ships Races 2022’ international training regatta will be held on the North Sea with Esbjerg, Harlingen, Antverpen, and Aalborg participating as hosting ports. The 2023 training regatta is also going to be held as scheduled. The ports of Tallinn will be visited by the tall ships in 2024 when the training regatta will return to the Baltic Sea.
The ‘Tall Ships Races’ is an international offshore training regatta with long traditions behind it. It is aimed at involving young people and drawing their attention to the current situation regarding the marine environment and the preservation of nature. At least half of the crew members in the fleet are young people aged between 15-25, from various countries around the world who have been selected in their home countries from hundreds of applicants. Quite a few of these youths are making their first ever sea voyage. Taking part in the regatta equips young people with experience in teamwork, placing in a position in which they can test themselves in some surprising situations. The adventures they experience together will give them new skills as well as friends for life.
Photo: the Morgenstern, which is expected to Tallinn maritime festival this year, among other tall ships