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Tall Ships Dublin Set to be Biggest Festival of 2012

17th May 2012
Tall Ships Dublin Set to be Biggest Festival of 2012

#TALL SHIPS – Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague started the countdown to August's Tall Ships Races arrival into Dublin today.

Eighteen vessels are on the entry list for the 2012 Tall Ships Races which are set to conclude in Dublin Port next August.

The list is dominated by British entries, with all nine UK tall ships expected to sail the third and final leg from A Coruña in northern Spain to Dublin.

Tall ships from Russia, Poland, France, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia and Belgium will also be in the fray when Ireland's capital hosts the final port of call for the 2012 races.

With an awesome splash and the help of "First Mate" Keith Duffy, as mythical Dublin "Mermaid" (Chantal McCormick of Fidget Feet) presented an aerial performance from The Jeanie Johnston on Dublin's Custom House Quay today.

Local school children, captivated by the performance were also on hand to encourage everyone to "jump on board" what is set to be the biggest Festival of the summer, The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin. The Johanna Lucretia, one of the majestic Tall Ships taking part in the race travelled from the UK to mark the occasion, joined in the action on the river Liffey as she sailed up the river through the East Link Bridge, guided in with an impressive water salute from the tugs of The Dublin Port Company just before the Samuel Beckett Bridge.

All of these captivating displays were staged today as a preview for what can be expected when up to 50 splendid Tall Ships will arrive in the city and line the North and South of the River Liffey, as the centerpiece of a four day free festival: The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin from Thursday August 23rd until Sunday August 26th.

One of the most anticipated events of the year, The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International arrives in Dublin on Thursday 23rd August and will see the city come alive with a festival atmosphere both on and off the water. Local organisers, Dublin City Council and Dublin Port Company are delighted that Dublin was chosen as the final host port of The Tall Ships Races 2012 and are working around the clock to finalise all details for the ships arrival and programming for the four days of free quayside spectacle and performance.

Dublin City will be bustling with entertainment as part of The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin. The quaysides will be alive with street performers, buskers and bands all weekend. An exciting Family Programme in Grand Canal Square will present nautical themed workshops and installations, interactive concerts, puppet shows, storytelling and amazing water sports displays in Grand Canal Dock.

Bulmers will present a free live music stage in George's Dock where there will be performances from Therapy?, The Undertones and many more amazing music acts nightly. (Full line up to be released). The evening programme will feature a special programme of illuminations and performances along the quays

Literary trails, heritage events and visual arts exhibitions, which celebrate the personal stories and memories of Dublin's seafaring community and the docks, are also planned for the Festival. The full festival programme will be announced in July and check out for regular updates.

The event is expected to deliver an estimated economic benefit to Dublin in the region of €30 million.

The Tall Ships Races 2012, organised by Sail Training International and presented by Szczecin is renowned around the world as one of the key highlights of the maritime calendar, as a leading tourist attraction and for its ability to deliver economic benefit to the host city. Sail Training International is a charity established to harness sail training to develop and educate young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague speaking at today's launch commented: "I am delighted to be a part of the launch of The Tall Ships Races 2012 Dublin, the city's most anticipated event of the year where Dublin can expect to see up to 1 million visitors with a majestic fleet of ships and 3,000 crew attend the event. This is not only one of the world's most spectacular maritime events but a great opportunity for local communities and businesses in Dublin to showcase all that the city has to offer"

Mary Weir, Project Manager for Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin, commenting on today's countdown said: "We are only three months away from welcoming one of the most spectacular events, The Tall Ships Races back to Dublin this August. It made a lasting impression on the city when it was last here in 1998 and we are working on a really exciting programme of entertainment and activity that will live up to our reputation for staging festivals and providing entertainment to suit all ages and tastes that will include public access and activity on selected ships.

Peter Cardy, Chief Executive of Sail Training International comments: "Dublin will be the final host port in a long race series which begins on 5 July in St Malo, France. Before competing in the final race from A Coruña to Dublin, the fleet will race to Lisbon and Cadiz in addition to taking part in a Cruise-in-Company. There will be much anticipation by the crews and trainees for the final prize giving ceremony when Sail Training International will reveal the overall race series winner along with a host of other prizes including our prestigious Friendship Trophy and Torbay Cup. We are looking forward to the event returning to Dublin and I'm sure the fleet and visitors to the city will receive the same warm welcome Irish ports have become known for. We are sure that Dublin will be a fantastic final host port for The Tall Ships Races 2012."

Keith Duffy, Ambassador and "First Mate" for Tall Ships Races 2012 Dublin said at today's launch: " I am incredibly honoured to have been chosen to represent Dublin City in my role as First Mate for The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin. I'm no sailing expert, but I can't wait to see all the impressive Tall Ships arrive and welcome the crews to join in the many Festival events the organisers have planned from music to aquatic outdoor cinema, lighting installations and maritime events for old and young alike. Hopefully no one will make me walk the plank, and I will enjoy what promises to be one of the best festivals Dublin City has ever hosted."

Eamonn O'Reilly, CEO of Dublin Port Company who manage Dublin Port, said "We are delighted to welcome the Tall Ships Races to Dublin Port - Dublin Port is Ireland's premier port and handles 50% of all Ireland's imports and exports, making it a significant facilitator of Ireland's economy. In addition the Port welcomes 1.7 million tourists through the ferry companies operating at the port and in 2010 and additional 130,000 tourists and crew from the 85 cruise ship calls."

Published in Tall Ships Team

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