On July 14, 2009, the second stage of the international regatta of training sailboats "Race of large sailboats" officially ended in St. Petersburg.
The competition opened on July 11 - the opening ceremony was attended by the Governor of St. Petersburg Valentina Matvienko, as well as the Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly Vadim Tyulpanov, State Duma Deputy Artur Chilingarov and Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Transit Policy Nikolai Asaul. Within four days, 127 sailing ships visited St. Petersburg, including 24 class A sailboats from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark and Russia.
On July 12, the ceremony of awarding the winners of the first stage was held at the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island, in which the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin took part. In his welcoming address to the participants of The Tall Ships' Races Baltic 2009, Putin noted: “It is gratifying that St. Petersburg, which is rightfully considered the sea capital of Russia, has been honored to host the coastal stage of the regatta for the second time. The accumulated experience in organizing large-scale events will allow the city to hold a sailing festival in accordance with the highest international standards. And its rich historical heritage will give everyone the opportunity to get to know Russian culture better.”
Recall that the first stage of the regatta was held from 2 to 5 July in the city of Gdynia in northern Poland. Further, from July 23 to 26, a stage will take place in the Finnish port of Turku at the confluence of the Aurajoki River into the Archipelago Sea, and from July 31 to August 3, The Tall Ships' Races will host Klaipeda, the third largest city in Lithuania.
International regattas for training sailing vessels have been held regularly since 1956. Previously, the competitions were held under the names "Operation SAIL", "Cutty Sark", until the modern "Race of large sailboats" was approved. Soviet and Russian athletes have been taking part in regattas since 1978.
The race is organized by the international non-profit organization Sail Training International - the worldwide Association of training sailboats. The prestige of the regatta is emphasized by the fact that in most of the participating countries, the first persons of the state act as patrons of events for the reception of the regatta.
The fleet of training sailboats around the world has about 300 vessels. Under the Russian flag, 5 large sailing ships take part in the regatta: Mir, Kruzenshtern, Sedov, Nadezhda, Pallada and more than 10 small ships and yachts. Sailing vessels with any type of sailing rig, with a waterline length of at least 9.14 m are allowed to participate in the race. .
The main priorities of the competition are the spiritual and physical development of young people, character education, attracting young people to a healthy lifestyle, maritime professions, fostering tolerance and establishing friendly contacts between young people from different countries, strengthening relations between countries. Note that St. Petersburg hosted The Tall Ships' Races fleet in 1996.