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Halmstad, Sweden

The Tall Ships Races

Jul 13, 2011

The most beautiful ships in the world, the hottest acts of the summer, and one of Europe's tallest mobile Ferris wheels is some of what you'll find when The Tall Ships Races comes to Halmstad in Sweden at the beginning of August when the entire port will burst into life! Around 70 ships will be tied up along the wharfs and create a grand backdrop to the biggest event of the year.

The entire port will be filled with activities during these days, and there is something for everyone. You can board one of the classic sailing ships, mingle among the exhibitions and restaurants, challenge someone to a game of chess at the Piazza of Chess and Art, or experience world-class street theater. There will be live music on five stages and among the big names are September and Timbuktu. Rix FM Festival kicks off their party already on Thursday the 4th with acts like Eric Saade, Jay Smith, and Eric Amarillo.

Children have their own place - Kids Area. There, Captain Kidd and his cronies are on a rampage, but there is even room for the Small Stars and one or another treasure.

In the Youth Area, which is housed in a 3,000 m2 warehouse, there is a recording studio, ice skating rink, and Internet café. There, you can expect both foam party and fashion show — and much, much more.

The Tall Ships Races is the world's largest international open ocean regatta. This is a combination of competition and cruising-in-company. This year, the event started in Waterford, Ireland, on July 3 and on the way to the final port of Halmstad, the ships have stopped over in Greenock (Scotland), Lerwick (Shetland Islands), and Stavanger (Norway). The entire event takes about one month, and the vessels will reach Halmstad on August 4-5.

Among the "celebrities," the race will have Sedov, the world's biggest sailing ship (122 meters) and two Norwegians: Sörlandet (one of the oldest full-rigged ship in the world, built in 1927 in Kristiansand) and Christian Radich (who had one of the leading parts in the tv series, "The Onedin Line," during the 1970s). Bark Europa, who is celebrating it's 100-year anniversary this year will also come - with library, ships dog, and a bit over 20 beautiful gaff sails.

And many, many more...

The Tall Ships Races have been held since 1956, and the first race was actually ment as a big farewell to the last of the great sailing ships in the world. But instead, the race has grown, and today it is the biggest sailing competition in the world.

The whole idea with the Tall Ships Races is to bolster contacts between young people from different countries and with different social backgrounds. At least half of the crews of the vessels must be between 15 and 25 years old - these are the so-called trainees. This year, about 7,000 trainees take part. About 180 Swedish youths have received scholarships in order to take part in The Tall Ships Races 2011, most of them on the race from Stavanger to Halmstad.

The ships are classes from A to D. In each class, the best (fastest) ship wins a prize. The most coveted prize is, however, given to the ship whose crew has shown the best comradeship and established the best international contacts. That winner is decided by a vote among the crews of the vessels.

The final prizes are awarded during a ceremony held in Halmstad on the central square, Stora Torg, on Saturday the 6th. It is preceded by a so-called crew parade where all the crews – about 1,400 people - march together from the event area. A bit more than 40 prizes will be delivered to proud winners during that ceremony.

The Tall Ships Races are arranged by Sail Training International, STI. This is a nonprofit organization based in Gosport, England. Twenty-five countries are members - among these Sweden. The organization is not affiliated with any political or religious movement.

On Monday the 8th, the vessels will leave Halmstad in the Parade of Sail. All the ships will depart at 1:00 pm in a long beautiful line. Don’t miss it – you never know when they will be back again.

And, a little bit of Halmstad – the town with three hearts!

The three-crowned hearts on the town's coat of arms helps to spread happiness and thoughtfulness. Possibly, this is why people feel so welcome to this town.

Halmstad is one of Sweden´s most popular summer destinations, well known for its beaches, world-class golf courses, and a wide variety of sports and nightlife.

Tylösand, the diamond among the beaches in Halmstad, offers a long sandy beach suitable for beach volleyball and to meet new people while listening to live music at the summer version of après-ski. The famous "After Beach" takes place daily at 4:00 pm until Saturday 11/07/2011. The nearest beach from the harbour is Östra Stranden which, is just 20 minutes' walking distance away.

Halmstad has a rich history and celebrated its 700th anniversary in 2007. For a long time, the town belonged to Denmark. Some 100 years ago, Halmstad was a prominent maritime place. Several smaller wooden freighters had Halmstad as Port of Registry and many of them were built in the shipyard of Halmstad.

Halmstad has got a vivid cultural scene, museums, public art, and galleries all walking or biking distance away. The city center is small, but has plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants. You can easily shop until you drop or park yourself at one of the open-air cafés and have a look at the people around you.

The ships

The competition

Contact us: The Tall Ships Races at

The Tall Ships Races
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