The countdown is officially on for Northern Ireland’s biggest ever event, The Tall Ships Races 2015 organised by Sail Training International.
In six months time, an array of magnificent vessels from across the globe will come to Belfast for the first leg of The Tall Ships Races – another ‘big start’ for the city and from 2 to 5 July 2015, the Lidl Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival will welcome this global armada as it fills the Belfast Harbour alongside international markets, live music and fun fairs.
This amazing spectacle on both land and sea will ensure the thousands of international crew will have an incredible time before they embark on their journey towards Ålesund in Norway.
Belfast last welcomed the Tall Ships Races in 2009 and with 39 registered ships (including 14 Class As), plus expressions of interest from many others at this early stage, The Tall Ships Races 2015 is well on target for being a bigger and better spectacle!
The visiting vessels are from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Organisers are also hoping to see some South American ships in the line-up soon as well.
The Netherlands’ Gulden Leeuw joined us for the 2014 Maritime Festival and is set to return for The Tall Ships Races. Captain Robert Postuma said they’re excited about their trip:
“We’ve entered the Gulden Leeuw for the Tall Ships Races 2015 and are very much looking forward to visiting Belfast again.
“Last year we enjoyed our stay in Belfast where we met friendly people and daring sailors! We look forward to meeting up again!”
Commenting on their forthcoming visit, Captain Chris Blake, from the UK’s Pelican of London ship, said that his crew are equally enthusiastic:
“The trainees and ship’s crew of Pelican of London are looking forward to returning to Belfast as we take part in the Tall Ships Races in 2015. Belfast has always looked after us well and made us all feel very welcome.”
The Tall Ships Races will be a fantastic finale for a summer of world class events including the Irish Open Golf in May and the Giro d’Italia’s legacy race, the Gran Fondo Giro in June.
For more information go to www.tallshipsbelfast.com or follow Tall Ships on Facebook @tallshipsbelfast or Twitter @tallships2015.