Maritime Festivals and Events to look forward to…

November 7th, 2013 by Guy
Alex Von Humboldt at Sunset

Alex Von Humboldt at Sunset

Having spent last week thinking excitedly about the Tall Ships Races beginning in Belfast in 2015, we thought it would be a good time to look forward to other Maritime events in the coming few years. Having been part of many spectacular events in the past such as the Mayor’s Thames Festival, Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, International Festivals of the Sea and Tall Ships Races in Hartlepool and Belfast in recent years here at Topsail we love to look ahead at future spectacles on the water.

Early predictions for the Tall Ships Races 2014 astoundingly predict up to 100 Tall Ships from around the world taking part according to organiser Sail Training International. Beginning in Harlingen, The Netherlands, the fleet will then head north to Fredrikstad in Norway where the Tall Ship Races will coincide with the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Norway’s Constitution and independence. The next visit remains in Norway, heading to Bergen for the fourth time. This beautiful natural harbour promises to be another highlight for the event with up to 500,000 visitors attending before a final leg to Esbjerg, Denmark. This is always an extraordinary event that aims to train and challenge hundreds of young people. What’s more, the following year, it’s going to begin in Belfast on 2nd July! We remember taking part in the Belfast visit 2009 and we Topsailors are elated that its coming so close again in only a few years’ time.

Luckily you don’t even have to wait until 2015 for an event in UK waters as the Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta is happening next year. Over 30 Tall Ships will arrive in Falmouth during the last week of August before a weekend of festivities and the beginning of the race on 31st. The Tall ships “will pass between Henry VIII’s twin Tudor castles of Pendennis and St Mawes in a magnificent Parade of Sail to the start line in Falmouth Bay.” Then they will continue east to the Isle of Wight before finishing in Royal Greenwich for another week of celebrations. This magical event looks set to take the already successful Sail Royal Greenwich event of last year to new spectacular heights. We can’t wait!

The summer of 2014 will also see the return of the Clipper Round the World Challenge. Topsail and Thames Leisure were in the flotilla that saw this momentous event begin from St Katherine Docks and exit the pool of London via Tower Bridge last August. We’ll be there to welcome their return in mid-July and celebrate their extraordinary achievement. In the meantime, why not follow their progress as the 670 crew travel 40,000 miles taking in 16 ports on 6 continents before returning to London next July on their website!

What a great few years of maritime events to look forward to – not forgetting the yearly events like the Henley Royal Regatta and Mayor’s Thames Festival that keep us busy. And, of course, we’ve all got our fingers crossed about another Festival of the Sea!

By Guy Wimpory guy@topsailevents.co.uk

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