TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series Official Blog

Sea stories, scuttlebutt and fantastic photos covering America\’s official Tall Ships® Races!

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Meet the 2016 Summer Interns

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 19, 2016



Benjamin Shaiman was born and raised in New York City. He grew up in Manhattan and was constantly presented with the parade of sail and shipping that daily moves up and down the Hudson River. Despite this geographical proximity, Ben was the first member of his family to take to sailing, and quickly found a sailing school a mere quarter-mile from his home. In high school a friend introduced him to the South Street Seaport Museum, and tall ship sailing became a passion like no other. Ben is now a student at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and still tries to find time in the academic year to sail with school’s club. Aside from sailing and studying economics and history, Ben is also an avid artist and musician.



My name is George Smolucha from Lincolnshire, Illinois. I’m number four of five children that were born in the first seven years of my parent’s marriage. We grew up close and competitive, sharing adventures. We spent summers and long weekends taking family trips to the family farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is over 400 acres.

At the farm, no two days are alike and outside adventures are where I like to spend my time. There is the beach, the river, over a dozen quads, snowmobiles, snowboarding, hiking, and fishing. My favorite is battling for the fastest time on the racetrack we built on my sport ATV.

Currently, I am working on rehabbing a commercial building in Chicago, and I am looking forward to accepting the challenge to Tall Ships America. I am anticipating an amazing summer and developing new friendships with all of you.


Posted in 2016, Internship Program | Leave a Comment »

Reception in The District

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 17, 2016

Capitol Building_Tall Ships America copy

It’s been bonkers here at Tall Ships America HQ. The weather has finally  (finally!) started to feel like Spring, which means that the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016 Race Series is just around the corner. Our summer interns have been hired and I am excited to share their stories with you later this week. And, to top it all off,  I celebrated my ten year anniversary at Tall Ships America last month. Mind=Blown. You can read about my five year anniversary here and I have a post to share next week.

One thing that we do every year to set the groundwork for our TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® series is an annual reception in the U.S. Capitol Building (read about past receptions here, here, here and here). These events provide an opportunity for us to present and discuss future TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series to an international audience. Naval attaches from all over the world are invited, along with political representatives from the ports that host the tall ships, and our Host Port Organizers. It takes about six weeks for us to prepare for this reception and then it’s all over within two hours. Whew! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2016, USCG | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Californian

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 12, 2016

Californian at sea 7054

Californian Underway


Where you’ll find the ship

San Diego, CA

Fun Facts

Designed for speed, Californian has nine sails, carries 7,000 square feet of canvas, and is armed with four six-pound deck guns.

The backstory

The Californian is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush. The Revenue Cutter Service, along with four other federal maritime agencies, was consolidated into the United States Coast Guard in 1915.

Californian was built from the ground up in 1984 at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay. She was launched with great fanfare for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In July 2003, the Governor signed a bill into law designating the Californian as the official tall ship of the State of California.

Since her launching in San Diego the ship has played host to thousands of adventure travelers, sailing enthusiasts, students and history buffs up and down the West coast. She has also made voyages to Hawaii, Mexico and the East coast of the United States. Californian casts a distinctive and instantly recognizable silhouette and has become one of the most well known tall ships in America. The Maritime Museum of San Diego uses her for a variety of dockside and at sea educational programs along with public adventure sails ranging from a half-day to more than a week. Her annual tour of the California coast each summer offers residents and visitors throughout the state an opportunity to enjoy the State’s Official Tall Ship.

Who Sails

Groups and individuals of all ages


Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Lynx

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 5, 2016

LYNX (2)

Lynx Underway

Where you’ll find the ship

All along the East Coast

Fun Facts

Lynx hosted three of Tall Ships America’s interns during the 2008 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series. Applications are still being accepted for this summer’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series in the Great Lakes. Check out the application here!

The backstory

The square rigged topsail schooner Lynx has been designed and built to interpret the general configuration and operation of a privateer schooner or naval schooner from the War of 1812, the original Lynx having been a “letter of marquee” Baltimore Clipper commissioned during the opening days of the war. Serving effectively as a blockade-runner and offensive weapon of war, she was among the first ships to defend American freedom. Dedicated to all those who cherish the blessings of America, Lynx sails as a living history museum, providing inspiration and resolve at this time in our nation’s history. She is fitted with period ordnance and flies flags and pennants from the 1812 era. To compliment her historic character, the lynx crew members wear period uniforms and operate the ship in keeping with the maritime traditions of early 19th century America. Lynx also operates as a sail training vessel to serve as a classroom for the study of historical, environmental, and ecological issues. In addition, she undertakes “port to port passages” that lead to personal growth and awareness through the experience of life at sea aboard a traditional sailing vessel.

Who Sails

School groups from elementary age through college. Individuals of all ages.



Posted in 2007 | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Elissa

Posted by Tall Ships America on March 29, 2016


Elissa Under-Way






Where you’ll find the ship

Galveston, TX

Fun Facts

Elissa’s homeport is just under an hour away from Houston, TX where the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and Championship will be played this weekend. Our intern, Micah Wisen, is a current student at Syracuse University and is pulling for a big victory for his Orange on Saturday!

The backstory

In 1975, a rusted iron hulk lay in the waters of Piraeus, Greece. Nearly 100 years earlier, she has sailed the world’s oceans as a proud square-rigged sailing ship. Cut down, leaking and decrepit, she waited a cable’s length from the scrap year. Today, Elissa remains one of the hallmarks of maritime preservation. Lovingly restored and maintained, she sails again, continuing a far longer life than most ships are ever granted. She tests her readiness annually in a series of sea trials amid the oil rigs and shrimpers off Galveston Island. Working under professional officers, her volunteer crew completes an extensive dockside-training program.

Who Sails

School groups from middle school through college; individuals of all ages


Posted in 2007 | 2 Comments »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Corwith Cramer

Posted by Tall Ships America on March 22, 2016

IMG_3612 (1)

SSV Corwith Cramer: Photo Credit – Jeremy Harlam

Where you’ll find the ship

Woods Hole, MA (Homeport), Bermuda, the Caribbean and Europe

Fun Facts

Today’s photo of Corwith Cramer was taken by a former SEA student, Jeremy Harlam, who was a trainee aboard the vessel in the Fall of 2011. Thanks for the great shot!

The backstory

The Corwith Cramer was the first ship built to the USCG’s regulations for Sailing School Vessels. The Sea Education Association (SEA), working through Tall Ships America, was instrumental in helping the Coast Guard shape these regulations. The Corwith Cramer was built in Bilbao, Spain, and it took the largest floating crane in northern Spain to launch her. She is a safe, stable vessel and a platform for SEA’s educational and oceanographic research missions. Along with the Robert C. Seamans, the Corwith Cramer is owned and operated by the Sea Education Association.

Who Sails

Educators and students who are admitted by competitive selection


Posted in 2007 | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Irving and Exy Johnson

Posted by Tall Ships America on March 15, 2016

Irving and Exy

Irving and Exy Johnson: Photo Credit – Stephen John


Where you’ll find the ships

Southern California and offshore islands

Fun Facts

Next week LAMI’s Spring Adventure camp will begin! Young persons aged 11-17 have the opportunity to participate in a variety of day long events highlighting various aspects of Tall Ships. Click here for more information!

The backstory

Irving McClure Johnson and his wife Electa “Exy” Johnson first met while sailing trans-Atlantic aboard Wanderbird. The two would go onto sailing around the world seven times with youth crew. The Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) launched the twin brigantines, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson, in 2002 for their TopSail Youth Program. TopSail youth engage in building cooperation, courage, confident and character in the real-world classroom of the sea.

Who Sails

Youth/school groups from diverse, urban communities


Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Roseway

Posted by Tall Ships America on March 8, 2016

The Roseway in Frederiksted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Roseway: Photo Credit – Ted Davis


Where you’ll find the ship

New England and the Caribbean

Fun Facts

This summer, Roseway will be running both a Junior Watch Officer and Youth Ambassador programs. Both experiences would be opportune for any National Maritime Sailtraining Scholarship applicants to participate in!

The backstory

The 137ft Roseway was built in 1925 in Essex, MA as a private fishing yacht. She remains one of the last Grand Banks schooners built in Essex and is a registered US National Historic Landmark. Today, she is utilized as a sail training vessel for the World Ocean School which affords students a practical application for their studies as well as cultivating teamwork, community service, environmental responsibility, and cross-cultural friendships so that they gain insight into becoming empowered, motivated and engaged citizens.

Who Sails

Middle school through college students; individuals of all ages.



Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Call for Summer Interns!

Posted by Tall Ships America on March 2, 2016


TALL SHIPS AMERICA is seeking a summer intern who is interested in working in a unique nonprofit environment. Interns support the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Team in various components of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series, which is an annual series of tall ships races and maritime port festivals that celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions and which inform the general public about the transformative power of ‘Adventure and Education Under Sail®.’ Interns join the race team in working with the vessels, crews, trainees, port organizers, US Coast Guard, and others to execute a successful series of races and port festivals for traditional sailing ships.

Our summer intern will join TALL SHIPS AMERICA in Toronto on June 30th and will depart from Duluth on August 22nd. As a member of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Team, we expect that the intern will support festival operations and dockside vessels in Toronto, ON (July 1-3); Fairport Harbor, OH (July 8-10); Bay City, MI (July 15-17); Chicago, IL (July 27-31); Green Bay, WI (August 5-7) and Duluth, MN (August 18-21). There is an option to stay on board through our stops in Erie, PA (September 8-11) and Brockville, ON (September 17-18) if the applicants’ availability allows.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2007 | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about HMS Surprise

Posted by Tall Ships America on March 1, 2016


HMS Surprise (Formerly known as HMS Rose): Photo Credit – Google Images

Having just recently wrapped up Oscar Sunday this past weekend, we figured it would be fun to feature a tall ship vessel which had “won” an Oscar herself!

Where you’ll find the ship

Dockside at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Fun Facts

In 2003, the ship appeared as the HMS Surprise in the film Master and Commander: Far Side of the World starring Russell Crowe and directed by Peter Weir. This film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2004 and would go onto win two.

The backstory

The ship now known as HMS Surprise began life in 1970 as a replica of the 18th century Royal Navy frigate Rose. During the next 30 years Rose sailed thousands of miles as an attraction vessel and sail training ship prior to her conversion to HMS Surprise. For the academy award winning film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, the filmmakers made a painstaking effort to recreate a 24 gun frigate specific to Great Britain’s Nelson era Royal Navy. The result is a replica vessel unmatched in its authenticity and attention to detail.


Tune in next Tuesday to see which Tall Ship will be featured next!

Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016 | Leave a Comment »


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