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Tall Ships Races to disrupt traffic in Helsinki

West Harbour users should be prepared for temporary changes to traffic arrangements around Hietalahti as a majestic fleet of tall ships sails into town. The Tall Ships Races take place from July 17 - 20.

Pedro Doncker -alus (kesk.) osallistui Saksan rannikkokaupunki Kielissa järjestettyyn Tall Ships Race -tapahtumaan 29. kesäkuuta 2013.
Elegant tall ships make for quite a spectacle, even for landlubbers. Image: Carsten Rehder / EPA

Helsinki’s Hietalahti is preparing to receive Tall Ships Races competitors next week. The elegant sailing vessels are expected to appear in Helsinki waterways from Wednesday.

Preparations for the race will see closed streets in Hietalahti Square and surrounding areas for the duration of the event. Construction work related to the event began Friday.

Race-related events will take place around Hietalahti, Jätkäsaari and in part of the Hietalahti shipyard area. The modified traffic and parking arrangements will also be in effect throughout the construction and dismantling phases of the event.

West Harbour passengers are advised to take note of the proposed traffic disruptions, to use public transportation and to reserve plenty of time for arrival and exit from the port.

Tall Ships Races is a large sailing competition which is held every four years on the Baltic Sea. The event is expected to attract around a hundred entrants and to involve over 2,500 crew members – in addition to about half a million spectators.

Alongside Helsinki, the other host cities for 2013 are Aarhus in Denmark, Riga in Latvia and Szczecin in Poland. The last time Helsinki was a host city was in 2000.

Organisers are urging spectators to leave their cars at home in favour of other means of transportation, such as foot, bicycle or public transportation.

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