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The Tall Ships Races Halmstad - An event you can’t miss

The most beautiful ships in the world and the hottest acts of the summer. When The Tall Ships Races comes to Halmstad 4th–8th of August 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 party of the year. At least 300 000 visitors are expected.

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 & 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.

Halmstad is the final port
The Tall Ships Races is the worlds largest international open ocean regatta. This is a combination of competition and cruising–in–company. This year the sailing race started in Waterford on Ireland, 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 regatta takes about one month and the vessels will reach Halmstad August 4–5.

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 sailingships in the world. But instead, the race has grown, and today it is the largest sailingcompetition 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 7000 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 classed 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 elected by a votation among the crews of the vessels.
The final prizes are awarded during a ceremony held in Halmstad on the Stora Torg (main square) on Saturday the 6th. It is preceded by the Crew Parade where all the crews - about 1 400 people - march together from the event area. The crews will gather in front of the big stage, Ocean Stage, at 16.00 before they walk together in to the Stora Torg, where a bit more than 40 prices that will be delivered to proud winners.

On Monday the 8th, the vessels will leave Halmstad in the Parade of Sail. All the ships will depart at 13.00 in a long beautiful line. Don’t miss it – you never know when they will be back again.

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

Long sandy beaches
And, a little bit of Halmstad - the town with three hearts! 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 a place to meet new people while listening to live music at the summer version of after-ski. The famous ‘After Beach’ takes place daily at 4 pm until Saturday August 6th. The nearest beach from the harbour is Östra Stranden which is only 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. Grains and timber were important export goods that were loaded on the ships on the river Nissan right in the town center. Today Halmstad is
a logistics center where the port is one of the major ones on the Swedish westcoast.

Halmstad has got a vivid cultural scene, museums, public art and galleries all in a walking or biking distance away. The city centre is small, but has plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. You can easily shop until you drop or park yourself at one of the al fresco cafés for some people watching.

Welcome to this huge and international event!

Ulrika Ahlberg, Press Manager
076-773 18 20

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