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Video/Gallery: Armada of stunning tall ships carry 500 Dutch students into Ipswich

Some of the 22 tall ships that are taking part on the Race of the Classics. The ships arrived in Ipswich four days into their race.

Some of the 22 tall ships that are taking part on the Race of the Classics. The ships arrived in Ipswich four days into their race.

A fleet of impressive tall ships sailed into Ipswich yesterday as part of a Dutch university sailing challenge called the Race of the Classics.

The annual event sees hundreds of youngsters from universities across the Netherlands take to an armada of ships measuring up to 50m long and set out from Rotterdam for a week on the water. The ships set sail on Monday and arrived in Ipswich yesterday afternoon.

The visit to England was unplanned – the scheduled stop in the Hague was abandoned after the wind changed – but the stop-off in Ipswich went down well with most of the students who had been hoping for the chance to make the coast-to-coast trip.

Yael van Praag, a medical student from Amsterdam and one of the 30-strong organising team, said everyone had been very excited to arrive in Suffolk as they sailed up the Orwell.

She said that for many of the students it was the second, third or even fourth year taking part. “It’s really hard to describe why this event is so special to us,” she added.

“It’s about team-building and networking and all of the students from different universities and cities get to meet and connect. Everywhere we arrive we get a lot of attention from people who are passing by and there are a lot of cars pausing to look – it’s a pretty spectacular view and some of the ships are really big.”

Fellow committee member Anne Pladdet, 24, a tourism student, said that this year there are 500 students on 22 ships – the most the race has seen since it began 26 years ago – and the ships have crews of between 10 and 40 students, all guided by a captain and professional team of sailors.

The tall ships remained in Ipswich overnight before heading back to Holland by Sunday.

11 comments

  • thanks Paul, nice to know the facts.. so an unexpected surprise..

    Report this comment

    mmm

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Sorry, 22 ships.

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    Pop-pop

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • I never knew about it. Pretty cool.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • @Lee Davies - I understand that the ships hadn't contacted any agencies before arriving. The papers took a call - my call - and they managed to find both a reporter and photographer to head down to the quay. I think that they did pretty good all things considered.

    Report this comment

    Duncan AA

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • I don't mind the ships. The are great to look at and it doesn make the marina look very impressive. Again though, as with pretty much every time these ships arrive, the people on board seems to have no respect for residents and were shouting and singing so loudly that it woke me up at 2:50am this morning. I am very happy for them to be here but could they keep the noise down!

    Report this comment

    Chris Church

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • So I take it the star found out about this after the event. Thanks for the usual standard of reporting, some notice is always handy on days like this. So out of touch!

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • It's a spectacular sight, worth a visit if you can get there. But yes, some advance notice would be nice, from someone..!

    Report this comment

    mmm

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Well someone must have known they were coming. 15 tall ships can't just turn up at a port on the off chance can they. I assume this is an organised event.

    Report this comment

    Pop-pop

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Just had a pleasant walk along dock front and enjoyed a friendly chat with a few of the crew. Was told they were unexpectedly diverted here instead of going to Ramsgate where the tide was too low to take them.

    Report this comment

    Paul Roberts

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Ships are still in Ipswich as you can see on Marine Traffic app and website. There you can see for yourself where they are.

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Anyone know when they're leaving?

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

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