Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Parade of sails

July has been such an eventful month for us – that is compared with the slow life we normally lead – that I have fallen very much behind with my blogging. Nevertheless, I promised a post on the tall ships departing from Helsinki a week ago on Saturday. So here are some photos of the ‘Parade of Sails’ of The Tall Ships Races 2013 vessels heading off for the so-called Cruise-in-Company leg to Riga, Latvia.

Tre Kronor af Stockholm.

Pelican of London.

Cisne Branco from Brasil.

We decided to bid the ships farewell from Pihlajasaari, one of the recreational islands off the coast of Helsinki. The actual race started from one of the lighthouses outside of Helsinki so we didn’t see the ships in full sail but they were spectacular enough for us even when gliding away in a queue along the coast by island to island towards the open sea.  

Kapitan Glowacki from Poland.

Astrid from Helsinki.
Alexander von Humboldt II from Germany.

All the shores and islands south of Helsinki were patched with thousands of spectators. 

Not to mention that the sea was full of boats escorting the ships. The boaters and yachtsmen were often almost blocking the way for the ships, or so it seemed at least to a layman.

Götheborg from Sweden.

Tenacious from the UK.

Christian Radich from Norway.

A few of us had gone to extremes to have the best views of the exceptional event. The old DC-3 and the Cessna floatplane were flying so close to each other it felt like a real flyby.

Since leaving Helsinki, the ships have arrived at Riga, stayed there for a few days and departed for the second race to Szczecin (Stettin), Poland, where they will stay for visitors to admire from Saturday, August 3 to Tuesday, August 6.

The Cuauhtemoc from Mexico stole the show with sailors up on the yards also when departing from Helsinki.

Should you have developed an interest in the tall ships by now it might still be possible for you to see some of them this season as there will be two more events for these kinds of ships this year. The Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta 2013 from Barcelona through Toulon to La Spezia will take place between Saturday, September 21 and Monday, October 7.

Kruzenstehrn from Russia.

The Sydney to Auckland Tall Ships Regatta 2013, the first ever Sail Training International event to be held on Australasian waters, will visit Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart in early to mid-September before arriving at Sydney on Thursday, October 3 and at Auckland on Friday, October 25.

Farewell Helsinki. Hope to meet you again as soon as possible, but in four years at the earliest. Until then you’ll have to get along with the Tallinn, Stockholm and St Petersburg ferries and the other regulars such as the cruise liners visiting your harbour every once in a while.

My earlier posts on The Tall Ships Races 2013 here and on the Mexican Cuauhtemoc here.

Carnival Legend (built in Helsinki and christened by Dame Judi Dench in Essex in August 2002).


  1. You had a wonderful viewpoint and I enjoyed seeing your photos also another one of the Pelican.
    Sarah x

    1. It was also a fun communal experience. Even queuing to the small ferry provoked lively conversation, which is not that common with strangers around here.