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Friendship Sail seals twin cities’ historic bond


Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) will begin in style for Aberdeen and Stavanger this year as the twin cities mark the event and their historic bond with a Friendship Sail between the two ports.

The Lord Provost George Adam presented a city plaque to ONS crew member Georgina Panton along with Richard Parkinson, director of Calecore. Aberdeen City Council is working with Calecore, an offshore integrated site investigation solutions company based in both the UK and Norway, on the Aberdeen-Stavanger sail.

Calecore, which initiated the event, will sail across the North Sea for ONS, providing an opportunity to add a unique twist to the 2014 edition of the bi-annual exhibition. The sail has a great symbolic value, tying together the two cities across the North Sea, emphasising the bonds that dates back centuries.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam presented the Calecore crew with a special gift from the people of Aberdeen to the people of Norway as part of the inaugural ONS Friendship Sail. The gift is a wooden plaque of Aberdeen's crest, engraved with a message from the Lord Provost.

Stavanger will welcome the vessel to the city with a quayside reception on Saturday [23 August] ahead of ONS 2014.

The Lord Provost said: "ONS is always a very popular event and it is important that Aberdeen has a strong profile there. ONS presents fantastic business and networking opportunities, as well as providing ideal opportunities to promote Aberdeen businesses and the city itself to both the business and leisure tourism markets.

"Aberdeen and Stavanger have had a very positive relationship for many years and this Friendship Sail, a new initiative for us, emphasises and builds on that relationship. It's an unusual but very welcome way of celebrating our twin city status and I wish the sailors a safe journey on calm seas."

Calecore director Richard Parkinson said: "As a leading player in the provision of offshore site investigations we have strong links with both Aberdeen and Stavanger and are proud to sponsor this high profile event to coincide with the 40th anniversary of ONS. We would like to thank Aberdeen City Council, the City of Stavanger and the organisers of ONS 2014 for their assistance in bringing the Friendship Sail to fruition."

ONS, which this year runs from 25 to 28 August, is one of the key events in the energy sector calendar. The council's International Trade team will be actively supporting business promotion in Norway in a joint venture with Aberdeenshire Council, co-hosting a stand on the Scottish Development International (SDI) pavilion.

The City and Shire pavilion will have a prominent location at the show, held at the Stavanger Forum, with an anticipated 1,250 exhibitors and 60,000 visitors. Norway is a key market for the energy industry in Aberdeen and together the councils will be promoting the city region as the ideal destination in which to invest, live and visit, highlighted by Aberdeen's enviable position as a global energy hub.

As a twin city to Stavanger, Aberdeen has once again been invited to host one of the city pavilions on the Stavanger quayside during the ONS Festival. We will be working alongside Subsea UK, Balmoral and SPE Offshore Europe to deliver the festival pavilion, which attracts local and international visitors.

The three-night event provides a great networking opportunity with a local pipe band and ceilidh band Hoolichan joining the authorities in Stavanger to offer some traditional Scottish entertainment. Catering and support services firm Entier will also be dishing up traditional Scottish cuisine including haggis and stovies, alongside locally brewed beer and malt whisky.