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Tall Order For Belfast

 

Updated : Aug 10, 2009

Belfast is gearing up for a week of celebrations as the Tall Ships arrived yesterday.

A crew parade, prize-giving ceremony and final procession out to sea by the sailing vessels drew a crowd of thousands.

Brazilian naval vessel the Cisne Branco crossed the finish line near Co Donegal first last week after recovering from torn sails and stormy seas.

The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge involved racing more than 7,000 nautical miles from Europe to America and back with strong winds and large swells making life challenging for the mixture of professional and amateur shipmates.

The 12 ships travelled from Halifax, Canada, in the final leg of the race. The Uruguayan Capitan Miranda finished second on the two-week journey.

The Tall Ships festival will feature face-painters, street theatre, live music and boat trips out to the vessels. On Sunday August 16 they will parade out of Belfast Lough and disperse.

More than 4,000 car parking spaces will be available and shuttle buses will ferry visitors to vantage points.

The ships left Halifax last month as part of a loop which began in Vigo in Spain and took in Tenerife, Bermuda and Charleston and Boston in the US.

The Atlantic race is held every eight to ten years. The last one was in 2000 and it was last in Belfast in 1991.

 

 

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