The locals in Aalborg might have wondered why the ship Magni R circulated on the fjord for several weeks earlier this spring. But in fact, there was a reason for the odd behavior. The ship was in the process of cleaning up sand and sludge from the fjord bottom – also called dredging.
The dredging is part of preparations for this year’s Tall Ships Races, which take place August 4-7. Here, some of the world’s largest sailing ships visit Aalborg – and the big ships need enough water under the keel to not go aground. Therefore, as much as 56,000 cubic metres of sand have been removed from the bottom of the central harbour basin.
– Due to strong currents in the fjord, the channel and the fjord bottom are continuously sanding, making the dredging a necessary effort we initiate every year prior to the cruise season. This year, however, we are extra careful, since Aalborg is not only the destination for a large number of cruise ships, but also the final port for this year’s Tall Ships Races, where competing ships call into the central port, says Harbourmaster at Port of Aalborg, Claus Rosenbeck.
Although it may sound odd, the dredged sand is deposited elsewhere in the fjord.
– The sand that has been pulled up in the channel and along the quay will be moved out to the middle of the fjord off Stigsborg Brygge. Here, there is a hole in the fjord that we can fill up. So, the sand is actually recycled in the fjord, where it initially come from, Claus Rosenbeck explains.
Sailing ships as tall as the Aalborg Tower require special efforts
The largest ships participating in the Tall Ships Races – the Class A ships – tower with its huge masts over 50 meters into the sky, which is almost on par with the 55 meter high Aalborg Tower. Similarly, the ships draw up to 7 meters below the surface. In other words, there is a need for a special effort from, among others, Port of Aalborg when the beautiful sailing ships visit Aalborg.
– It is not common to get a visit from so many sailing ships at once. Especially when considering the size of the ships, it takes a huge effort to prepare and coordinate. In addition to ensuring that the harbour basin is actually deep enough for the ships at both high and low tide, we also make the arrival plan for all the ships. In addition, we also obtain permits to make an alternative route for ships with high masts when sailing under the high-voltage lines that cross the fjord at Nordjylland Power Station east of Aalborg, Claus Rosenbeck explains.
Tall Ships Races kicks off on June 7 in Esbjerg, Denmark. Then the race goes over Harlingen in the Netherlands and Antwerp in Belgium, before the ships arrive in Aalborg on August 4. Around 750,000 guests are expected when the entire central quays in Aalborg and Nørresundby are converted into a party space.
For further information please contact:
- Claus Rosenbeck, Harbourmaster, Port of Aalborg A/S, tel. +45 29 20 72 21, email@example.com
- Press Service: Maja Thordahl Schou, Head of Branding & PR, Port of Aalborg A/S, tel. +45 22 61 83 08 and firstname.lastname@example.org