Tall ships draw 15,000 people in Sydney and Louisbourg
The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta was a big success in both Sydney and Louisbourg, drawing more than 10,000 people to the Sydney waterfront and more than 4,600 people to Louisbourg.
“I’m mostly excited to see the Sydney waterfront come alive like this,” said Nicole MacAulay, spokeswoman for the Port of Sydney Development Corporation.
“People are so excited with everything happening down here on the waterfront. There was something happening everywhere for everyone.”
Amanda McDougall, spokeswoman for the organizers of tall ships regatta in Louisbourg, also heard good things from people attending.
“Town was abuzz with people talking about how good the Tall Ships were,” she said.
“People were saying we want this to happen in Louisbourg all the time — not just the tall ships but festivals. The atmosphere was so happy and fun.”
In Louisburg, about 1,700 people came to see the ships on Friday and roughly 2,900 people came on Saturday.
MacAulay confirmed about 2,500 people came to see the tall ships in Sydney on Friday and about 8,000 came on Saturday.
Totals for Sunday were still under review for both locations at time of publication.
The tall ships were also in St. Peter’s and left Sunday, however, no one was available for comment.
The event attracted locals and tourists to the Sydney waterfront.
Harry Vient, from Cape Cod, Mass., was a cruise ship passenger who enjoyed touring the ships and taking pictures. This was his first visit to Nova Scotia.
“This is nice. I saw some of them when they were in Boston earlier this summer,” he said.
Mary Mitchell and her husband Mitch were “excited” to see the ships, especially the Lord Nelson. It is one of the only tall ships in the world designed for able-bodied and physically disabled people to sail it.
“To think they offer it (tours of the ships) for free,” said Mitchell, who lives an hour outside of Sydney, Australia.
“In Sydney they would charge for something like this. And we’d be in queue for hours.”
Julianna Parsons was there with her three-year-old daughter Annalynn.
“Annalynn liked the tall ships very much but she took it very seriously. She is just like that,” said Parsons, who lives in North Sydney.
It was the variety of ships that Parsons liked.
“They had classic ships like the Bluenose II, to more modern. It was the first time I had been on the Bluenose,” she said.
Anyone viewing the tall ships on the Sydney waterfront had a special treat — live bagpipe music.
Greg Campbell from Sydney was busking on the boardwalk across the water from the tall ships. As he played, the music drifted over the water and people could hear it on the dock and in the boats.
For MacAulay, it was a welcome surprise.
“It’s super cool, and I don’t know who he is,” she said. “He added ambiance.” One moment that stuck out to McDougall was the night before the regatta in Louisbourg.
“Some of the tall ships anchored right in front of the Fortress of Louisbourg. They really enjoyed it and it was incredible to see,” she said.
The success of the event makes both MacAulay and McDougall think the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships would be a great yearly event.
“If that could be possible it would be great to see them come every year,” MacAulay said.
“I think it was one of the happiest events ever in Louisbourg,” McDougall said.
Nicole MacAulay, spokeswoman for the Port of Sydney Development Corp., stands in front of the tall ship Lord Nelson on Sunday. An estimated 15,000 people attended the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta in Sydney and Louisbourg.
Mary Mitchell, from Australia, gets to try Const. Hugh MacDonald’s motorcycle at the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta in Sydney.
Harry Vient, from Massachusetts, snaps photos of the Bluenose II mast during the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.