Tall Ships’ Races

A tall ship is a large sailing vessel with traditional style rigging.

Usually a tall ship will have a seperate topmast and top sail, and will have rigging in the traditional square rig or gaff rig style, although other styles are also possible.

Tall ships have become increasingly popular over the past half century, thanks in no small part to the Sail Training International organisation which organises tall ship races and cruise in company sailing events.

The Tall Ships’ Races are annualy held races within European waters, held out of different ports across Europe, and actively encourage young people to take part, with at least 50% of the crew of each vessel consisting of young people.

After the second World War the use of sailing ships began to die out, with seamen instead fairing steam powered vessels. Bernard Morgan, a retired solicitor from London had the idea of bringing young cadets and other young people together from across the globe to compete in a sailing competition, and thus the Tall Ships’ Races was born.

The Tall Ships’ Races are now organised by Sail Training International, an association of national sail training organisations set up with the aim of “the education and development of young people of all nationalities, religions and social backgrounds, through sail training”.

The Tall Ships’ Races are hosted as part of an event from various ports across Europe, generally changing ports every year.

Some ports have hosted the races more than once with Antwerp in Belgium hosting the event 3 times in the past 20 years, and hosting it again this year. Waterford in Ireland have hosted the event twice in the past 20 years, with Belfast hosting the event once.

A full list of locations from the past 20 years is shown below;

2016: Antwerp (Belgium)
2015: Belfast (United Kingdom)
2014: Harlingen (Netherlands)
2013: Aarhus (Denmark)
2012: Saint-Malo (France)
2011: Waterford (Ireland)
2010: Antwerp (Belgium)
2009: Baltic: Gdynia (Poland)
2008: Liverpool (England)
2007: Baltic: Aarhus (Denmark)
2007: Mediterranean: Barcelona (Spain)
2006: Saint Malo (France)
2005: Waterford (Ireland)
2004: Antwerp (Belgium)
2003: Gdynia (Poland)
2002: Alicante (Spain)
2001: Antwerp (Belgium)
2000: Trans-Atlantic: Southampton (United Kingdom)
1999: St Malo (France)
1998: Falmouth (United Kingdom)
1997: Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
1996: St Petersburg (Russia)

2017’s race is said to be held in Halmstad, Sweden.

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