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The Tall Ships Races 2011, Waterford

Festivals are well loved in Ireland. But those who think the festival of St. Patrick’s Day is the biggest festival in Ireland are very wrong indeed. Today we’ll tell you about a festival that, based on the quantity of visiters and participants, is the largest festival in Ireland.

Truthfully we didn’t know these ourselves until we went to Waterford for the Tall Ships Races 2011. But more specifically this was a festival for the viewers, but for the participants this was a race, with all the attributes of a competition.

The Russian tall Ship

Now we’ll describe every in order. From the 30th of June to the 3rd of July, Waterford held an event, which, by its size put all the festivals that we had ever been to into the shadows, including the Meritime festival in Dublin. This festival isn’t a joke, because 47 big and small yachts arrived, along with 1.5 thousand sailors!

Of course in Ireland, where most people aren’t indifferent to the sea, an event like this could not be left unnoticed. So logically, so many people came, that it felt as if a quarter of Ireland decided to spend their weekend here. But thankfully, the organisation of the Tall Ships Races was top class.

Upon arriving to Waterford, the Garda directed the visiters to a specifically designated car park. After paying €10 to get into the car park, visitors got a booklet about the Tall Ships Races 2011 worth €5 and a bottle of Lucasade. Then they were able to get a free ride to the place where the actual festival took place.

The Garda not only kept order but also gave small children a luminous armband, on which their guardians had to write their telephone number. There were enough bins and mobile toilets and dangerous places were blocked off by a net.

The tall Ships on the River Suir in Waterford

Now we’ll give a brief explanation about the Tall Ships Races 2011. There were 12 ships from countries in Europe and one ship from South American country Columbia. An overwhelming amount of ships were from England, a whole 18 of them, 6 of them were from Poland and the Netherlands, the Norwegians had 4 along with Belgium who had 3. The rest of the countries that participated in the Tall Ships Races only had one ship.

The biggest ship was the Russian ship called ‘Mir’ (which translated from Russian means peace) from St. Petersburg. It was 110 metres long, whereas the smallest ship, the Estonian ‘St. Iv’ was only twelve metres long. All the ships in the races were interesting-but we were interesting in seeing only two.

The Norwegian tall Ship

The ship ‘Europe’ from Holland, despite its small size of 54.6 metres and old age 100 years visited Europe, America, Canada, South Korea, Japan and even the Antarctic. Which is how it got its nick name of the ‘Ocean Wanderer’.

And the British ship ‘Lord Nelson’ amazed us because it was built (in 1985) in a way so that even people with physical disabilities, including people in wheelchairs can steer it. Up to half of the crew can be people with physical disabilities. This is amazing considering the fact that this is a ship.

Continuation about the Ships Races in our next post...

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