The Tall Ships Races sailing event is coming to Turku in late July 2017. The races promise to be one of the most impressive events of the centenary of Finland's independence.
In Turku, the fact that the tall ships can be brought all the way into the city centre lends a wholly unique atmosphere to the event. All the participating ships will be anchored in a very small area on both sides of the River Aura, which divides the city. As a result, all services will be available nearby, contributing to the event's dense and lively atmosphere.
This will be the fifth time that Turku will act as one of the host ports of the Tall Ships Races. This means that Turku will have acted as a host more times than any other city in the Baltic Sea region. Every year, the Tall Ships Races have attracted approximately half a million visitors to Turku, making them the largest public events held in Finland year after year.
In 2017, the Tall Ships Races will begin in Halmstad, Sweden, from where the ships will sail to Kotka, Finland. From there, the voyage will continue to Turku, Finland, after which the ships will sail onwards to Klaipeda, Lithuania, and finally to Szczecin, Poland, which serves as the final port of the race. The sailing leg between Kotka and Turku is a transition leg (Cruise-in-Company), which is not a competitive event.
The Tall Ships Races event strengthens Turku's profile as a seaside city and as an organiser of maritime events. For Turku, the Tall Ships Races events and youth sailing activities are an important part of an active city, lively culture and international activities.
Sailing ships serve as ambassadors of clean transportation
The route used by the sailing ships participating in the Tall Ships Races forms a chain around the cities on the shores of the Baltic Sea, and the events organised in the host cities attract millions of visitors. The very presence of the ships serves as a reminder of the values of clean transportation, which are now more important than ever as all the countries along the coasts of the Baltic Sea are affected by the deteriorating state of the sea. Turku is an active participant in the efforts to protect the Baltic Sea, which is why this theme will be actively promoted in connection to the events organised as part of the Tall Ships Races.
2017 marks the centenary of Finland's independence, and the Tall Ships Races are one of the official events of the centenary year.