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2006 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series – Bon Voyage!

Posted by Peter A. Mello, Executive Director on August 10, 2006

Yesterday marked the final festival day of the 2006 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series. The tall ships left Chicago today for ports unknown and the ASTA Race Team is piloting the land schooner back to Newport.

It was a great summer in the Great Lakes!

Millions of fond memories were created by the tall ships and the crews and trainees had wonderful experiences in each city.

Starting in Cleveland as part the Huntington Cleveland Harborfest, the fleet enjoyed one of the tour’s most picturesque settings at the foot of Ninth Street and next to the wonderful facilities provided by our port organizing partners Great Lakes Science Center and The William G. Mather Steamship Museum. There were more Captain Jack Sparrows per capita than any other city in America that weekend! Hmmm, I wonder why?

Huntington Cleveland Harborfest

On to Bay City for their Tall Ships Celebration! The 2001 ASTA Port of the Year Award winner pulled out all of the stops for the visiting sailors and spectators. Midwestern hospitality doesn’t get any better than this. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm stopped by the Bark Picton Castle and later that evening address the audience for the Saginaw Symphony Orchestra concert. Here is a picture of Captain Dan Moreland of the Bark Picton Castle with Governor Granholm.

MI Gov Granholm and Picton Castle

Green Bay was our next city and it was the first time the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series stopped there as part of the Baylake Bank Tall Ships Festival. In fact, this was the first major Tall Ships event in the State of Wisconsin and it was great to have both Mayor Schmitt and Governor Doyle on hand for the opening ceremonies. One of the highlights of the summer for our Race Team was their purchase of authentic cheeseheads.

Green bay

Our final stop was Chicago, one of America’s greatest cities. One of America’s greatest mayors, Mayor Daley really understands and appreciates his city’s rich maritime heritage. It’s really tough to find a more spectacular skyline that Chicago’s amazing architecture as the backdrop to the Tall Ships Chicago fleet.

Niagara in Chicago

We thank all of our port organizer partners, the amazing volunteers, the ever vigilant US Coast Guard and all of the various emergency services units in each community we visited. Thanks to all of the generous sponsors and supporters who make these events possible. Finally, a really big thanks goes out to the millions of spectators that came out this summer to experience the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE. We look forward to welcoming many of you aboard for a life changing adventure aboard an ASTA member vessel!

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