Council Encourages Tall Ships Captains to Visit Islay

In December 2009 I wrote for the first time about the possibility that Tall Ships will visit Port Ellen in 2011. The Tall Ships Race 2011 will start in Waterford Ireland on 30 June 2011 and will finish in Halmstad, Sweden, on Monday 8 August 2011. Campbeltown, Oban and Islay have been identified as 'Cruise in Company' ports for next year’s event. This means that after completing the racing leg of their trip from Waterford to Greenock, participating ships have the opportunity to 'cruise' up the west coast of Scotland and visit these ports on their way to Lerwick. From Lerwick things will get competitive once again as the vessels race towards Stavanger, finally finishing in Halmstad.

Last month representatives from Argyll and Bute Council have attended the final leg of the 2010 Tall Ships’ Races in Hartlepool in a bid to convince the ships’ captains to visit the area, Argyll and Islay, during next year’s Scottish leg of the race. The event gave the Argyll team the opportunity to meet with other Cruise in Company representatives and gauge interest from the ships. Marine and Airports Manager Martin Gorringe said: "Because there is no guarantee on the number of tall ships that will call into the Argyll ports during next year’s races, if any at all, our visit to the 2010 event in Hartlepool gave us the opportunity to promote what we have to offer here in Argyll and sell the location. It also enabled us to find out what the crew like to do during these stop offs and all the captains we spoke to seemed very enthusiastic and keen to visit." Continue reading.....

South Kintyre Councillor John Semple, said: "The Tall Ships' Race is an internationally acclaimed competition which is held every summer in European waters. Each year around 100 vessels from throughout the world take part, crewed by up to 6,000 young people. "The main aim of the event is to provide an opportunity for young people to develop their personal skills in a challenging and memorable sail-training environment. I very much hope that the participating ships do visit Argyll, where they can be sure of a fantastic welcome." Oban North and Lorn Councillor Duncan MacIntyre agreed, saying: "It would be an amazing spectacle to have the tall ships here in Argyll. Oban will be celebrating its bi-centenary at the time of the potential visit, so it would be a wonderful addition to the events and activities already being organised. "The Tall Ships Race has a significant number of followers and we have an abundance of hospitality to offer them in Argyll. I also hope that Argyll is well represented with sail trainees on board. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people and I would urge them to join up."

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