The Tall Ships Races event was officially opened on 20 July in great mood. The area of Varvintori was filled with visitors attending the opening of the event and the Finnish Air Forces made as many as three overflights with Hawk training fighter jets.

Numerous vessels arrived in the River Aura during the morning, and all vessels had berthed by the afternoon. The last to arrive in the afternoon were the outstanding Sedov (Russia, 122 metres) ja Mircea (Romania, 93 metres).

The Brazilian fleet vessel Cisne Branco had an engine problem fixed in Tallinn and is heading towards Turku. The vessel is expected to arrive in Turku on Friday 21 July before noon. Cisne Branco is a full-rigged vessel and 88 metres long.

On Friday 21 July, a spectacular crew parade will begin at 5:15 p.m. at the yard of Turun ylioppilasteatteri (Student theatre of Turku). The route of the parade goes via Läntinen Rantakatu to the programme stage in front of Suomen Joutsen (Swan of Finland). An award ceremony begins straight after the parade.

The crew members will have a rowing contest on the River Aura. The contest can be followed from 10 a.m. to between Auransilta bridge and the Theatre Bridge. A unique angle grinder symphony (Rälläkkäsinfonia) begins at Varvintori at 10:55 p.m. The angle grinder is “played” by Jankke Laaksonen, who plays the guitar in the bands Aurajoki Bottom Band and Kaapo & Zetor.