An estimated 80,000 people attended the opening of the Tall Ships Race 2011 in Waterford on Thursday afternoon, when Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially launched the three-day event. Almost all of the 45 Tall Ships taking part in the race have now docked in Waterford and both they and the festival’s food and craft villages continue to attract large crowds throughout the festival.
Thousands of miniature pirates lined out at Lombard Street on Friday morning in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed pirates at a single location.
Finally Roxy music legend Bryan Ferry rocked the Bolton Street car park on Thursday night, for the first of three free open air concerts. His hour and a half set, which encompassed a mix of classic favourites with material from his new album, went down a storm with the large audience. The Waterboys, supported by local darlings O Emperor take to the stage tonight while tomorrow it’s the turn of Sharon Shannon.
Traffic restrictions remain in place with a large number of gardaí present over the three-day event. Park-and-ride facilities are in place on the outskirts of the city to facilitate spectators coming to and from the event.
The Tall Ships vessels will sail out of port on Sunday morning and out of the Waterford Estuary to begin the race.