Tall Ships draws all sorts from all over

THREE Argentine women are to travel almost 11,000 kilometres (as the crow flies) to be in Waterford for the start of the Tall Ships Races and will set sail on the massive Russian tall ship, Mir, from Ireland to Cherbourg-Octeville in France on July 9.

The three first-time visitors to Ireland - Luisa Miguens, Zara Gallegos and Maria Bello - are far from professionals but have some experience of such trips, having sailed at different times with the Argentine Navy and on a French three-masted barque.

The outing will be not just an adventure but a special voyage of healing for 58-year-old Luisa, who was widowed in December.

“Zara and Maria never met previously but I had sailed with both of them and, after they saw how devastated I was when my husband died, they both felt that it could help my healing to embark on a sailing adventure with friends.”

Nicky Fewer, chairman of the team coordinating Waterford’s hosting of the Tall Ships Races 2005, said the three ladies will be among a massive influx coming from across the world as visitors or active participants.

“One of the great features of the Tall Ships Races is their truly international nature and the way that friendships are built across generations and geographic boundaries,” she says.

More than 90 tall ships from 21 countries have registered for the first race in the Tall Ships Races 2005, which commence from Waterford on Saturday, July 9, with a festival on July 6.

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