2012 Top Story No. 8: Tall ships come to Greenport

12/24/2012 7:51 AM |

PETER BOODY FILE PHOTO | The Tall Ships in Greenport Harbor from an aerial view Sunday.

About 60,000 people visited Greenport this Memorial Day weekend to see the seven vessels that sailed to the village as part of the Tall Ships of America.

Greenport was just one of the stops during The Tall Ships Challenge 2012 tour, a race that began in Savannah, Ga., and finished in Halifax, Novia Scotia.

Among the visiting ships was the H.M.S. Bounty, Greenport’s own tall ship, which was lost off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., during Superstorm Sandy.

At the Memorial Day weekend event, families watched in awe as the monstrous ships sailed in to port, making yachts look like mere toy boats in comparison, as others shopped, ate and enjoyed live music.

The event was a financial success, according to Greenport Mayor David Nyce, who said the village made about $20,000 above the $190,000 it cost to hose it.

“We definitely did better than break even,” Mr. Nyce said of the three-day event, which cost the village an estimated $190,000, according to an earlier report by The Suffolk Times.

The Long Island Rail Road also extended their services to Greenport for the event, helping ease vehicular traffic to the area, although cars parking too close to a pocket track led to some transportation hiccoughs Sunday afternoon.

Despite the small setbacks, Greenport Mayor David Nyce said he considered the event a success.

“Everyone really seemed happy,” David Nyce told a Suffolk Times reporter. “They were calm, polite and they spent money. It was a great way to showcase the village, and that’s exactly what we set out to do.”

Controversy stirred about the event months afterward when a redacted report edited out  how much money was donated to the village by event sponsors, but the full report has since been released.