Sail Amsterdam attendance stuns organizers
Sail Amsterdam 2015 has come to an end and its attendance exceeded all its organizers' expectation. An estimated record 2.3 million people came to see the tall ships. The previous edition of Sail in 2010 attracted 1.7 million visitors. Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan called it a "fantastic Sail". According to NRC, 350 thousand people came to see the tall ships arriving on Wednesday, on Thursday there were about 400 thousand visitors, Friday around 500 thousand and 600 thousand on Saturday. On Sunday an estimated 450 thousand people came to watch the tall ships leaving Amsterdam, in the so-called Thank You Parade. The Thank You Parade is the traditional closing of the Sail event. With the three masted Russian ship Mir in the lead, about 30 tall ships paraded out of Amsterdam via the North Sea canal back to IJmuiden. Prince Maurits, the patron of Sail, and his family attended the farewell parade.
The Sail organizers attribute the high number of visitors to not only the fact that a record number of 50 tall ships participated in this year's event, but also to the fantastic weather during the event, according to the Telegraaf. Two days of dreary weather in the Netherlands ended on Wednesday last week, just as the tall ships started making their way to Amsterdam. The sunshine lasted the rest of the week, with warm temperatures up to 26 degrees. "We want to give the visitor count some perspective", a spokesperson for Sail told the newspaper. "If it was bad weather, there may have been a million fewer visitors - and we still would have had a wonder event. In such a Sail numbers do not tell the whole story." Mayor Van der Laan said that he was "hugely impressed" by the Sail organization, the police, the officials, firefighters and everyone else involved, including the visitors. "They came for the fun and gave fun. Sail was a celebration of connection, it worked out very harmoniously.", the Mayor said according to the Telegraaf. "You can not wish for better than having an event proceed like this."