The Tall Ships’ Races are races for sail training “tall ships” (sailing ships). The races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing.
The Tall Ships Races 2018
Sail training gives you the opportunity to step into a world of adventure. A world where you can challenge yourself, learn new skills and make new friends from around the world.
There’s no feeling like crashing through the waves, far out to sea, on a ship where you know you’re an essential part of the team. You can be at the helm steering or in the galley preparing dinner, scrubbing the decks or raising sails, but whatever you’re doing you’ll be part of a watch and you’ll have an experience you’ll never forget.
Simply choose a ship, sign up as a trainee and you’ll soon be having the adventure of a lifetime. Whether you choose the smallest or the biggest vessel, every trainee gives their all to put the skills they learn to the test and become an essential crew member.
Your next steps towards adventure can be found over at the new Sail On Board website…
The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles, and a “cruise in company” between the legs. Over one half (fifty-percent) of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.
Between 1973 and 2003 the races were known as The Cutty Sark Tall Ships’ Races, having been sponsored by Cutty Sark whisky. From 2004 to 2010 the races were supported by The City, Province, and Port of Antwerp.
Tall ships – Training and Racing
By the 21st century, “tall ship” is often used generically for large, classic, sailing vessels, but is also a technically defined term by Sail Training International.
Definitions are subject to various technicalities, bowever by 2011 there are only two size classes:
Class A is square-rigged vessels and all other vessels over 40 m LOA
Classes B/C/D are 9.14 m to under 40 m LOA.
Vessels are manned by a largely cadet or trainee crew who are partaking in sail training, 50 percent of which must be aged between 15–25 years of age and who do not need any previous experience.
After World War II, tall ships were a dying breed, having lost out to steam-powered ships several decades before. It was a retired solicitor from London, Bernard Morgan, who first dreamed up the idea of bringing young cadets and seamen under training together from around the world to compete in a friendly competition.
The Portuguese Ambassador to the UK, Dr Pedro Theotonio Pereira was a huge supporter of this original idea and believed such a race would bring together the youth of the world’s seafaring peoples.
These two figures started discussions in 1953 and three years later they saw their vision become a reality.
The first Tall Ships’ race was held in 1956. It was a race of 20 of the world’s remaining large sailing ships. The race was from Torquay, Devon to Lisbon, and was meant to be a last farewell to the era of the great sailing ships.
Public interest was so intense, however, that race organizers founded the Sail Training International association to direct the planning of future events. Since then Tall Ships’ Races have occurred annually in various parts of the world, with millions of spectators.
Today, the race attracts more than a hundred ships, among these some of the largest sailing ships in existence, like the Portuguese Sagres. The 50th Anniversary Tall Ships’ Races took place during July and August 2006, and was started by the patron, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who also started the first race in 1956.
Information that is specifically for captains taking part in a Sail Training International event. The documents available to download are listed by event, with the addition of a few non event specific documents.