Crowds pour into Bergen to visit The Tall Ships’ Races fleet1
As the final vessels in The Tall Ships’ Races fleet arrived in Bergen this morning, so crowds of people turned out to see them. A huge carnival atmosphere quickly built up with the three stages around the town entertaining the crowds with jazz, shanty singing and other music.
A total of 84 vessels will be in Bergen for the four day festival prior to the start of the second race to Den Helder in the Netherlands. Crews arriving on the vessels reported having a fantastic time on the cruise in company, with all the little ports offering them welcome parties and other entertainment.
Arnau Garcia Hidalgo, a 16 year old from Barcelona, said he had a great time and enjoyed the cruise in company almost as much as he had the race from Liverpool. “I love coming into the new ports as there is always such a great welcome,” Arnau said. “The race was great fun and I learnt how important it is to be part of the team and that I can cope under stressful situations.”
The young man also said he’d love to take part in next year’s Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge as it would be, “a huge adventure and the ships visit two ports in Spain which would be really good fun.”
Arnau has been sailing on the Spanish vessel Far Barcelona which has returned to Norway after some 130 years. The vessel was built in Norway in 1874 in the same shipyard as the Norwegian vessel Loyal and yesterday the two vessels made a dramatic return to Bergen.
At 1900 hours the official opening ceremony will take place to be followed by the traditional captains’ dinner, to be held at the town hall. Later this evening will see a grand firework display over the harbour which is guaranteed to draw huge crowds.
A number of vessels still have berths available for the second race from Bergen to Den Helder which starts on Tuesday 12 August. These vessels include Kaliakra (Bulgaria), Pelican (UK) and Willliwaw (Belgium). Anyone interested should go along to the vessels in Bergen to find out more details.
Tags: captains dinner, carnival atmosphere, Den Helder, kaliakra, Norway, sailing, Spain, vessels