Thousands delight in Lisbon leg of The Tall Ships Races 2016 (video)

They arrived last Friday and delighted thousands over a wonderful weekend of colour and sunshine under a cloudless sky. The Tall Ships Races brought 50 of the largest sailboats in the world to Lisbon’s Santo Apolónia port.

For four days, queues of enthusiasts visited the boats which are now en-route for Cadiz, in Spain.

The night before they left , there was a fabulous 10-minute firework display which could be seen for kilometres, up and down the banks of the Tejo river.

Said Filipe Costa, representing national organiser Aporvela, the “hot nights helped a lot. We had thousands of people applauding the fireworks, it was wonderful”.

Part of the tradition of the Tall Ships Races is that crews put on their own shows as the boats leave port.

This year, as in 2012, the Mexican team got a rapturous response as members climbed the masts with arms outstretched to the sound of national music.

The Tall Ships Races is a sailing competition that takes place every year and is designed to train young people from all over the world.

The first regatta was held between Torbay (UK) and Lisbon 60 years ago.

This year’s competition began in Antwerp, Belgium and will leave Cadiz next Monday after a similar weekend stint, making for Coruña in northern Spain.

Next year, the route will take in Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland, with Lisbon not due for another visit before 2020.

See video of ships leaving Lisbon – https://www.facebook.com/camaradelisboa/videos/1233061006713847/