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.
This years tall ship races are now open for entry. If you’re at least 15 years old, you, your children, your grand children, your school or your employees are all eligible to sail on board the Tall ships in this years race events and be part of the Tall Ships Races history.
This years events include;
The Tall Ships Races
Antwerp – Thursday 7th July 2016 – Sunday 10th July 2016
Race 1 – Lisbon, Portugal – Friday 22nd of July 2016 – Monday 25th July 2016
Race 2 – Cadiz, Spain – Thursday 28th of July 2016 – Sunday 31st of July 2016
Race 3 (including cruise in company)
A Coruna, Spain – Thursday 11th of August 2016 – Sunday 14th of August 2016
The second event is the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta
Blyth, UK – Friday 26th of August 2016 – Monday 29th of August 2016
500 Nautical Mile Race
Gothenburg, Sweden – Saturday 3rd of Semptember 2016 until Tuesday 6th of September 2016.
Once the vessels entry is complete, vessels will be looking for crews to man the vessel during the races and cruise in company stages of the events. Vessels will advertise for crew as and when required.
If you’re looking for more information on the ports hosting this years races and the festivities surrounding them, you can check them out on Sail Training International site here: http://www.sailtraininginternational.org/
Sail Training is more than just a sailing activity, participants will learn both physical and emotional strength, taking part in gruelling races aboard vessels which have floated the seas for hundreds of years. Most participants find the experience positive and state that they would take part in future events, so challenge yourself today and get aboard a vessel!
Spectating the Tall Ships’ Races can be quite an event on its own, whether you make it to one of the visited ports along the route, watch the event on standard television or watch a streamed feed on a smart TV box, you’ll get a great deal of enjoyment all round.
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